Friday, May 16, 2014
Summer Cinema: Godzilla
Independence Day. But the approach sadly back fires to a degree as the characters are thinly sketched and not overly interesting or compelling, we don't root for them, we're not concerned with their safety, they're all just there to let us know what's going on. Sure there's carnage, destruction and monster on monster crime galore but the film takes so long to build up to it that by the time it happens it's a little underwhelming. The choice to delay Godzilla's appearance is a smart one but once he shows up to take care of business, the film cuts away to some human issue right before a monster mash is about to go down and that happens several times. Don't get me wrong, there's some great stuff in the film from the Incredible Hulk like opening of news clippings and footage of nuclear tests and the rise of the mysterious beasts and cover ups, Godzilla's amazing appearance and movement, fluid action scenes, iconic shots of the monster, a flaming French kiss, nods to the original series, a nice pace, a trim 2 hour runtime and a penchant for actual sets and props VS total CGI environments. There's a familiar, low-watt, movie star free but capable cast involved who all do fine jobs no matter how brief their appearance. In the end, it's not that Godzilla is boring or ponderous, it's just not very exciting, sadly. And it's no Pacific Rim. Elbow Rocket!