Gareth Edwards, the director, creates some epic monsters and moments, but fails in the most basic of things. The script is as old as the concept of Godzilla. The screenplay ebbs from monstrous highs to abysmal lows, leaving you shifting in your seats. After a few views, even the monsters look boring.
The movie begins with tragedy. Bryan Cranston, of Breaking Bad fame, loses his wife to a disaster in the nuclear plant he works in. 15 years later, he still believes that it was a massive cover-up and the accident was not caused due to a natural disaster. By then his son (Aaron Taylor Johnson) has his own family and is a lieutenant. His wife is a nurse ( How original!). Then begins an unbelievably long chain of coincidences, with Aaron at the epicenter of every monster sighting in the world. When the monster first awakes, he is there. When the monster reappears in Hawai, he is there. The monster even swims all the way to San Fransico from Hawai, where quiet coincidentally Aaron’s family lives. It almost seems like the monsters are more attracted to him, than the radio-active shit that the scientists believe they are. Lest I forget, I must mention that this film has more than 1 monster. Infact, there are 3, 2 bad ones and 1 hero – the savior of humanity – Godzilla.
The problem with all these Disaster films is that they are extremely formulaic. There is always a family angle, there is a hero who is the epicenter of everything that is happening. He does the most inane things possible, but still survives ( not so surprisingly). There is the Golden Gate Bridge with the mandatory kids in a bus. There are millions of American soldiers, with heavy artillery, saving the world. There is a team sitting in the control room helplessly biting their nails. And then there is the WOHOO saved the world moment after which the Hero finally runs and kisses his wife/GF/etc).
Now the problem with this specific film is that apart from all the clichés, the pacing of the film is horrendously bad, there are not many edge of the seat moments and you remain detached almost throughout. Ken Watanbe simply broods like Alok Nath and seems as helpless as Rahul Gandhi in the elections. His eyebrows are the only thing that act throughout the film. Aaron Taylor Johnson lacks the hero appeal and Bryan Cranston is killed off pretty early. Even the sound design is not as epic as Del Toro’s summer blockbuster – Pacific Rim.
The summer is just getting worse. From Amazing Spiderman to this. If you really want to see this, I suggest lower your expectations. That way you might not be monstrously bored. Godzilla truly is a disaster film disaster.
PS: On Friday, as this Godzilla entered the theaters, another Godzilla entered our Parliament. Let’s hope that king of monsters performs much better than this one.