With Godzilla vs. Kong releasing, let’s travel back to the movie that kicked off this Monster-Verse, with the almighty Godzilla.
The world is beset by the appearance of monstrous creatures, but one of them may be the only one who can save humanity.
Remember a time when Godzilla just wasn’t part of our lives? At least not here in North America, going 16 years without a major Godzilla movie to hit theatres. Times had changed. This wasn’t the 90’s and the last time this iconic monster was on screen, let’s just say, it was quite forgettable. In fact, the Roland Emmerich take on Godzilla was flat-out embarrassing. The world needed a new and fresh take that felt a little more this century.
In comes Gareth Edwards who knew a thing or two about making a monster movie. Not only was he bringing in one of the biggest monsters this world has ever seen but coming along for the ride was at that time, the biggest thing on TV – Bryan Cranston. I remember it like it was yesterday, Bryan Cranston screaming “it’s going to bring us back to the Stone Age!” During the first teaser trailer for the film. The marketing was off to a flying start because we thought it was going to be Walter White vs. Godzilla. We all know that’s not what we ended up getting but none the less seeing Cranston in this movie was incredible to see, just wish he would have become a major player in this Monster-Verse.
Instead, we got the Maximoff twins. Aaron Tyler-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen headlined this movie and for me, they have been some of the best human characters this universe has had to offer. Johnson’s stoic performance where he was a soldier who happened to be a jack of all trades – is another character you wish you saw again. Taking part in the “halo jump” sequence which is to this day arguably the best scene this franchise has to offer.
Gareth Edwards takes a play out of Steven Spielberg’s playbook by teasing us for the majority of the film with the creatures. Much like Jaws, it isn’t until the end where we finally get to see Godzilla in all of his glory and the suspense and build-up works so well in Edwards’s favor. He is a sight to behold and it wouldn’t be right to introduce us to him so early in the film. Because once the film gets going and especially in the third act, when the violence starts – it hits hard. I’ll never forget that noise, you know, the sound of Godzilla building up is legendary Atomic Breath. Watching him shoot that into the MUTO’s mouth is something every movie fan will never forget, what a moment!
Unlike the next installment, this doesn’t feel so bogged down by the character development because it felt so needed. Like I mentioned it takes a while for us to even see Godzilla, this isn’t the sequel where that mystique and suspense is still lingering. They seem essential to the plot and at this time they are unsure if Godzilla is friend or foe. I really liked Tyler-Johnson and Olsen in their roles, I know some people will disagree but they just felt so grounded, with King of The Monsters everyone felt like a comic-book character. Speaking in one-liners and just being either disposable or filling their cliche role.
Overall, I think Godzilla reminded us what we can have with these types of movies and where the genre was going. Pacific Rim, Kong: Skull Island and King of The Monsters really show just how great these movies can look. It’s difficult to put it all together. The special effects are something to behold and I’m excited to see how Godzilla vs Kong expands this universe and how Adam Wingard will bring his own sense of style to this franchise. Godzilla remains a great larger-than-life monster movie filled with good performances and some unforgettable movie-going moments.
Godzilla = 84/100