Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Max Borenstein
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen and Bryan Cranston
This film begins in 1954, the same year that the original film was released. We get a lot of military images along with covered up documents that show the credits. We then see a giant monster going into the ocean and it is shot with a missile that has a crossed out image of what is being shot.
The film then shift to 1999. There is a scientist that is coming to a mine that has collapsed. They go inside to check out what was in there and find a large skeleton. The odd thing about this is that the bones are fossilized. We then see that something has escaped from this mine.
We then shift to Japan. There is a nuclear power plant where Bryan Cranston is working. He is an American and he is concerned with the seismic readings he is getting. His son is played by CJ Adams and his wife by Juliette Binoche. It is Cranston’s birthday and they are trying to set up a surprise for him. Cranston asks his wife to check out the lower levels of plant when they first arrive at work.
When they are arrive, the earthquakes seem to be moving closer and a breach in the plant occurs. Cranston has the controls turn to manual to try to buy time for his wife and her team. He fails though. Cranston barely escapes as the plant collapses. Adams has to watch from school as the plant is destroyed.
We then move to present day, 15 years into the future. Adams has grown into Aaron Taylor-Johnson. He is coming home from the military to be with his family. His wife is a nurse and she is played by Elizabeth Olsen. They have a young son played by Carson Bolde. They have a party for Taylor-Johnson’s return.
It is cut short though when Olsen gets a call and it is about Taylor-Johnson’s father. He has been arrested in Japan. Taylor-Johnson doesn’t want to go, but Olsen convinces him to.
Cranston is bailed out of jail and we learn that he has lost his mind. He thinks that what happened at the plant was not a meltdown, but something attacked it. He believes there is a cover-up as well. Cranston does convince his son to come with him to prove it by going to their old house. That is what he was arrested for, trespassing.
They go there and Cranston proves it is a cover-up, there is no nuclear fall-out. They see that where the plant once was, there is a bunch of lights and a base. They are arrested and taken to there.
Cranston points out that what happened fifteen years ago is happening again. The man in charge is part of a group known as MONARCH is Ken Watanabe. He works with Sally Hawkins. We learn there is something that is eating the nuclear power from the reactors and it appears to be full. It then stops eating and attacks, moving east afterward.
Taylor-Johnson tries to call his wife to let her know what happened, but he has to leave a message. Cranston passes away and it awakens Taylor-Johnson to want to help. We see there is another group, led by David Strathairn and Richard T. Jones. It is then revealed that in the past a giant lizard, named Godzilla, was attacked by the ‘nuclear bomb testing’. No one has seen it since 1954.
The monster from Japan is a giant insect and it is moving toward San Francisco, Taylor-Johnson and Olsen’s home. Another one wakes up in Las Vegas and begins heading there too. Godzilla is trying to intercept them. What will happen? Why are they going to San Francisco? Can they be stopped? Who is friend and who is foe?
I will lead off saying that his one is much better than the 1998 version that the United States tried to make. This one has a great cast, which helps. I could name everyone, but that would take too long so I will say that I love the casting choices for each character. I thought the giant monsters look great as well. I like the choice of how they made Godzilla look more realistic. This is a big benefit of computers and doesn’t look bad at all. I also like the director, Gareth Edwards, choice to make this film like Jaws. We don’t see the monster much, but when we do, it is good. The battle scenes don’t last long, but I really enjoyed the time during them. I also like that this film did what the Japanese did, making Godzilla a ‘good anti-hero’.
As a fan of the monsters, I do wish we would have seen Godzilla for more than 12 minutes. I would say that all together in this film there is 20 minutes of giant monsters combine. I will not hold this against the filmmaker and its choice though, because I still felt the film was good. I also felt that the cast was too deep in that we don’t get enough from Olsen or some of the other characters. It is like a sports team having too many weapons and only one ball to go around.
Now with that said, I would recommend seeing this film. If you like giant monsters films, this one is on par with the best of the Godzilla films. The cast is one of the most all-star studded casts you will see in a film like this. The monsters look great and the battle scenes are as well. There isn’t a lot of either, but they don’t disappoint when they do. Even if you don’t like films like this, I think most of you can still enjoy this one.
My Rating: 7 out of 10