Damned good fun
My brother and I went to see Godzilla on Saturday night.
If 8 year-old-Matt had his way, we're looking at a complete sweep for the 2014 Oscars.
Director Gareth Edwards apparently had taken some notes on what works in ominous movies starring scary creatures. You literally don't catch sight of the title creature for the first half of the movie. Then, when he's on the rampage, or fighting, you get partially-obscured shots, cut off just when you think you're going to see more. It works. It works GREAT.
When Godzilla finally climbs out of the sea, and challenges his adversary, he gives a blasting scream that had my brother and I pumping our fists and cheering in a manner that in retrospect HAD to have been annoying to other people in the theatre. We got there a little late, and sat in the fourth row from the front, and I remarked that watching the credits at the beginning (which, by the way, are well-rendered in a novel way) felt like watching a tennis match. But it gave us the bigger-than-life feeling. The movie was shot in high-definition, and I never noticed any pixilation. We didn't see it in 3D (my brother says that it gives him a headache), but the CGI has that appropriate quality of not being noticeable. I know that we said that we were there 10 years ago, but it's only these last couple of years that I have really believed it.
The movie has several homages to the classic movies of the '50s and '60s, with a mug for the camera, and a tail-swing, and the great scream (one of which goes on for about 20 seconds) that make him the monster you remember.
Are there some silly plot devices? Of COURSE there are. Just don't worry about that. By the way-- there actually is a plot.
The casting was spot on. Brian Cranston was very well-used, but not over-used.
Ken Watanabe acted his butt off as Dr. Ishiro Serizawa, the world expert on the radiation-consuming monsters' ilk.
Elizabeth Olsen was nice eye candy and the raison d'etre for the rather silly Naval lieutenant played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson who becomes the Forrest Gump of the movie, wandering through every aspect of a world crisis and basically just giving us a personal view of the entire event.
I don't even care that the masked Filipino guards at the initial discovery site have Mexican style looped bandoliers on while carrying AK's. I just don't care. It was a great movie. I loved it. I think that I'm going back to see it again, because fun.
Go see it in the theaters. Because fun.