“Godzilla” review: a gorgeous, albeit terrifying monster smackdown

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“Godzilla” review: a gorgeous, albeit terrifying monster smackdown

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Are you one of the millions left disillusioned with the 1998 “Godzilla?'” Well you, and those millions others, shouldn’t worry about everyone’s favorite amphibious monstrous reptile’s latest incarnation, as the 2014 version does justice to Godzilla’s name.

The movie starts off with an atomic detonation that takes place in the Pacific Ocean in 1954. Apparently, this wasn’t a just an ordinary (at the time!) atomic detonation test.

The (human) plot centers around bomb disposal officer Ford Brody, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. He is summoned to Japan to retrieve his father, played by Walter Whit… err, Bryan Cranston, who was caught breaking into the quarantined area where he, Ford and his wife lived before a catastrophe at the power plant he and his wife worked at caused the area to be engulfed in radiation. From hence on, two massive unidentified terrestrial organisms (or MUTOs) spawn and wreak havoc on their way to reunite, which unfortunately takes place at our lovely city, San Francisco. Ford and the rest of the US military try to find a way to dispose of the two robotic Mothra-looking things to little avail. And that’s where the creature the government tried to kill with an atomic bomb comes in.

Godzilla is an ancient bane to the MUTOs; their natural predator. Awoken, he trails on of the MUTO, and that’s when the fun begins. The creatures battle in both Hawaii and The City and leave devastation in its wake.

The film lacks in characters to care for. Aaron Taylor-Johnson does a convincing job as the leading man, but the rest of the human characters don’t stand out. But again, this is “Godzilla,” we came to see the reptile have a battle royale with other kaiju; humanity’s feeble attempt to engage the creature should only serve as an under card, not main event. But even then, with all the fantastic actors involved, it was kind of disappointing.

Elizabeth Olsen teams up with Taylor-Johnson before the second installment of “The Avengers” by portraying Ford’s wife. But she disappears in the role. The chemistry wasn’t there between Olsen and Taylor-Johnson (maybe it has something to do that they’ll play brother and sister in “Age of Ultron?”) I found her character silly; There was a time where the television was blaring with news about the monsters, on top of her son exclaiming it to her, only for her to painfully slowly turn around and look up at the tube.

Visually, “Godzilla” might be the best looking movie of the year. The scene where Ford and other servicemen perform a HALO jump is simply beautiful. With the score, between the POV shots and panoramic view of a devastated San Francisco offer a poignant and just mesmerizing view. The only negative when it comes to visuals is the plumes that engulf the screen when Godzilla fights the MUTOs. It might be a little hard to see but it still adds to film’s element. But beside their rumble in The City, the fight scenes are exhilarating.

Godzilla makes a triumphant return to the big screen. While not a perfect movie, the pure exhilaration and visuals make up for the lack in human characters and sometimes silly moments. This version of Gojira redeems the Western World from 1998’s ZIlla. Director Gareth Edwards did a fantastic job. So while we wait for the inevitable sequels, start off your summer with this romping good time!