Godzilla- Pure saturday matinee fun - 2.5 stars

The proposition of a new Godzilla film causes many to groan and others to cheer. 

He has been the subject of over 50 films throughout cinematic history and people continue to pay to see this creature on screen. My biggest issue with these films has to be the viewer. Why do people go to see Godzilla? If you are looking for a good film with a believable storyline, give this film a miss. If you are looking for a bit of escapism with good special effects, you might want to consider this modern telling of Godzilla. In all seriousness, fans of Godzilla do not take themselves or these films too seriously. Why do they go? To watch a huge lizard destroy the cities of the world. So, why do critics continue to judge these films through the same lens of a Wes Anderson or Martin Scorsese film? They are missing the point. I would challenge anyone to stay within the context of the genre. Judge it for what it always has been, pure escapism. 

Walking into the cinema...
    I will admit I am not a huge fan of Daikaiju (giant monster) films and I am still recovering from the devastating 1998 interpretation of the giant lizard. My son and friends allowed me to come along with them to see the film and I think I went with the right audience. I entered the cinema with low expectations, but expecting Saturday afternoon matinee fun. 

So, how did the big lizard stack up? 

Cinematic value: 2.5 stars
   To take on the world's most famous monster is a risky move for any studio, but  directs Godzilla with a respect for the original films, but adding some well placed twists. The story begins in 1999, with the family of Joe Brody () who live and work in the community surrounding a Japanese nuclear power plant. Within moments of the beginning of the film, disaster strikes and we move ahead in the story to 2014. Joe continues on in search of answers to the disaster. While discoveries in the Philippines by Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (and his team find the incubation centre of other creatures who are hatched and strengthened by nuclear power.  In the process, the birth of these creatures cause Godzilla to come out of seclusion. Inevitably, a series of battles and threats to humanity ensue across the Northern Hemisphere. Throughout the story, the human hero of our film Ford Brody ( ) helps in the the pursuit of the monsters and is a catalyst in saving many of the human lives in the battles. The director adds twists that keep the audience off balance enough to stay to the end, especially to consider who the ultimate hero is in the film. 
    Fans of Tokusatsu film making understand that these films are known for their visual effects and not for their dialogue. Edwards stays true the genre and expectations for Godzilla. The visual effects and action sequences are what give this film a favourable rating. The high altitude jump scene and some of the monster battles make this worth the price of admission. The writing and acting are meant to support the special effects and monsters. The human actors are bit players in this film, because the stars are the gigantic movie stars. To expect Shakespearean dialogue or great acting prowess does not honour this type of film. There are some great actors in this film and they were under-utilised for their craft, but I cannot imagine they signed on for this film with an expectation of an award nomination. 
   Walking in with a box of popcorn on a Saturday afternoon, the movie delivered what was expected. Unbelievable escapism and good special effects. To expect more is to not understand Godzilla and why he has managed to remain a star for all of these years. Like the box of popcorn, Godzilla was a short-lived enjoyment and this film will not be much more than a fond memory. 

Family value: 2.5 stars
     The film has moderate, science fiction violence and brief language. I would not recommend this film for younger viewers or older ones who take films like this too seriously. 

Leaving the cinema...
    It met expectations, Saturday matinee fun. Listening to teenagers talk about what was silly and good about the film, but enjoying a fun time at the theatre. 

Overall Rating: 2.5 stars

Written by Russell Matthews based on a five star rating system @ Russelling Reviews
#godzilla #Daikaiju  #Tokusatsu