Godzilla attacks the box office competition

Friday, May 16, 2014 - 7:29pm

EDITOR'S NOTE: Felipa Solis is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. This review appears as a special to Local 4 News.

Millions of years ago in prehistoric times, the Earth was said to be filled with radioactive materials. This was in essence how dinosaurs thrived! As the earth lost it's radioactive substances, Dinosaurs literally lost their might. Thousands of years later, as man created a new source of nuclear power, everything changed and as a result... Some of the beasts were awakened from their long slumber. Welcome Godzilla! He first emerged on film for the first time in 1954 and took the world by storm. Now, relative newcomer Director Gareth Edwards with only an entertaining low budget film about monsters under his belt, brings nuclear powered mutants back to the forefront in a big budget highly anticipated summer blockbuster.

This film brings Godzilla to a whole new era, with a whole new demeanor. In the original Japanese version, Godzilla or "Gojira" as he was known, worked hard to topple Japan and its people and was considered a cruel reminder to the country ravaged by WWII. Alas..... 60 years later, a new improved monster has emerged... In this film we see how additional creatures are awakened thanks to generous supplies of nuclear radiation. Now,Godzilla is on hand to emerge from the Pacific Ocean to save the planet from bad MUTOS- Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms. Suffice to say these giant bugs need more than a can of raid to end their reign of terror.

The film, which opened officially today, features many interesting back stories with an all star cast including Bryan Cranston and Juliet Binoche as a couple with a young son who work at a nuclear reactor in Japan in 1999. Spoiler alerts would be very easy here so let's just say that following a horrible tragedy... all of the nuclear power, earthquakes and more are the ties that bind. We jump 15 years to 2014 where the young son manages to take over where his Father left off to bring freedom from gigantic monsters who survive on radiation,skyscrapers and screaming humans.There is even a monster love story here- why not hook up while destroying New York- Las Vegas and Honolulu?

This is a very entertaining two hours. The film also stars Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins as scientists, working together to put an end to this nuclear terror. Aaron Taylor Johnson stars as the son turned hero and his wife by the young actress Elizabeth Olsen. There are many subplots that all intertwine where the world or at least the west coast can be free of monstrous devastation. Bryan Cranston is always great and not on the screen long enough- Juliette Binoche the same . Godzilla here is actually the conduit to give peace a chance. The giant bug roach things are fabulous and the cinematography is truly outstanding. I saw the film in Extreme digital mode rather than 3D and I didn't miss a beat. It is indeed an homage to the beautiful Japanese original, where computer generated imagery was not even a dream. I was very taken by the small tribute to Alfred Hitchcock in one of the suspenseful moments - This film is a little dark for young children so don't expect Transformer fun- this is however, a kinder more caring Godzilla with less of an ax to grind. He saves the day and puts nuclear power issues at rest for at least a moment.


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