We shall start with the trailer.
Oh, you’re still with me. I know. I’m not talking about a book. I’m talking about a movie. Just, bear with me.
So Nick and I went to see the new Godzilla movie. The title of this article was not my assessment. It was the assessment of a young woman who was seated behind us as the movie let out.
Technically, I agree with her. I will never get those two hours back. Of course, sans time travel, we will never get back two hours we have ever spent doing anything. By the laws of physics as we understand them today, it is simply not possible. Now, she meant that to be an exasperated complaint about the movie.
Me? I simply use it as a point of fact. Two hours, once spent, are gone.
But the movie.
Okay, I will be honest with you. I never walk into a Godzilla movie expecting much. I only marginally enjoy watching the old Godzilla movies. Mostly because I have always found the dubbing to be painful. I did find the Matthew Broderick “I’m only a worm doctor” movie to be enjoyable, though. Mostly because I adore Matthew Broderick.
I can’t help it. He’s just so gosh darn cute!
I will occasionally sit through at least part of an old Godzilla movie as well.
At any rate, I really only have one requirement of a Godzilla movie. I have to have fun watching it. I’m not a gung ho action film girl. I know there is an Expendables III coming out. I saw the trailer for it. It was buried among the some ten they showed before the movie today. I won’t see it because I haven’t bothered to see the first two. And don’t tell me about how awesome the first two are.
I don’t care. I’m not a huge action movie girl, remember?
So, if you want me to enjoy a Godzilla movie, give me something that I will grab me. Fortunately, Godzilla did that. I will tell you what it did, but warning. I will be giving some SPOILERS! Got that. SPOILER ALERT!
If you read any more than this, some things in the movie will be SPOILED. I’ll try to save a few surprises but … I am going to be giving some SPOILERS!
Just in case I did not make it clear … because I know someone will be like “I didn’t know you were going to spoil it!”
But I put them behind the cut. So if you went past the cut, well … you’ve been warned. If you don’t want spoilers, it’s on you now.
Okay, so what did the movie do to grab me?
First, it gave me an actor I love. Bryan Cranston. Now, sadly, I never did watch Breaking Bad. I love Malcom in the Middle. He’s a pretty prolific actor, so I went hunting down memory lane (also known as IMDB) and realized he was also in one of my favorite X-Files episodes: Drive.
It also has Ken Watanabe in it. But he’s no one big.
When we meet Brian, he is Joe Brody, a family man and chief engineer of the Janjira nuclear power plant in 1999, where he works with his wife. It is his birthday, and what does he get? His wife dies in an apparent “melt down” and he spends the next 15 years estranged from his son who pretty much thinks he’s insane. Oh, and the son got to watch the power plant where his parents work collapse from his class room at school. 15 years later, he’s a bomb breaker in the US Armed Forces returning home to his wife and kid after a 14 month deployment.
I have a human plot!
The second thing the movie did to grab me. It carried a human plot from beginning to end, following the effect the Monster has on a single family. In this, I think the movie did well. I felt, though not all agree, that it did a good job splitting the human and monster time. One of the problems I have with the old Zilla movies is that, well, the humans get lost once the Monsters appear, whether their plot is really resolved or not. Here, some may complain the monsters don’t get enough air time, but I felt it was a good balance.
Did I say monsters?
I did. Now, if you’ve been following the Godzilla stuff online, you already know what I am about to talk about. I did not, so I did not know about this. I saw a couple of trailers and when Nick was like “We’re going to go see that on Friday” I was like “Sure” because, well, it would get us out of the house.
Remember, not a huge Godzilla fan, so I really did not care one way or the other myself about seeing the movie.
One of the complaints about the Broderick Godzilla movie is that it pits Man against the Monster. We win … sort of. But let’s face it. We sucked at winning. I caught the movie on TV one day with my daughter, right near the end. I’m like “Kids love the Godzilla movie. She’ll enjoy this.” So I sit her down with me. It is at the part where the baby Godzillas hatch and get killed.
So angry and upset, she started crying. How dare those mean humans kill all the Godzilla babies. They were just babies!
And while on one hand, she hadn’t seen the rest of the movie, so she did not understand why this was necessary in the movie’s logic, on the other hand … she was right. That’s not what Godzilla is about.
In this movie, they did the Godzilla story justice. Yeah, we try … a lot … to kill Godzilla. But that is not what the movie is about. The movie is about Godzilla laying the smack-down on a couple of new monsters called Muto, who are apparently parasites that would kill the Godzilla creatures long ago. I won’t spoil it beyond there, for people who don’t know about the two monsters.
Now, the movie is not perfect. Honestly, though, the movie makes the same mistakes that every action movie makes. You have to get X action scene, so to do so, you have Y happen. It does not matter that Z is the better or more logical choice, or that Z would have seen a better outcome. Y is what is needed for X scene, so Y it is.
I will say, though, that at least Godzilla keeps you interested in following the Y trail to X.
In the end, I really enjoyed the movie. It is not a best picture by any stretch of the imagination. But it brought back the OLD Godzilla in a fun way. I jumped. I wanted to cry once or twice. I laughed several times, quite possibly in places that I should not have (I think so mostly because Nick looked at me kinda strangely). The movie was actually better than I thought it would be.
I recommend it.
But DO NOT wait for the DVD release unless you are rich and have a massively huge home theatre. You want to see this on the big screen. We did not do the 3-D, and we still enjoyed the movie. It has a lot of scenes that would probably be really good in 3-D, so if you’re into that sort of thing, knock yourself out.
Also, do not miss the part where Godzilla saves the kids.
And good watching, everyone!