Gareth Edward's "Godzilla": "Monsters" on Steroids
17/05/14 03:12 Filed in: Movie Review
Gareth Edwards is a visionary. That’s not hyperbole due to "in the moment" excitement of having seen Godzilla on opening night. That’s just the plain truth. In film school they taught us that only actors and directors have monopoly power because when you want that Gareth Edwards look to a film, or that Brad Pitt California cool, they are the only ones who can deliver. While that’s mainly true, there are certainly actors and directors who are fungible, but Gareth Edwards is not one of them.
Godzilla’s story is nothing new. Grief stricken Bryan Cranston thinks something is not as it seems at a nuclear power reactor in Japan. For years he’s been living with that feeling. When his son comes out to visit him after years of estrangement, Cranston’s suspicions are confirmed in the first of several mind blowing scenes. Something (the MUTO) has been feeding off the radiation at the nuclear site and it is ancient and unhappy. Its radiation source is dwindling and it needs more. It also needs to mate.
When the MUTO is finally unleashed it throws off the earth’s ecological balance and Godzilla enters the picture to keep things in check. MUTOs eat radiation and Godzilla eats MUTOs (well not really, but the big guy definitely doesn’t like them).
There are several jaw dropping scenes in Godzilla, but maybe the most haunting happens when the military air drops into the city where Godzilla and the MUTO are battling it out and we get a first person view of the action through the perspective of one of the jumpers. You really have to think about where Mr. Edwards chooses to put the camera, because that’s the genius to his directing. Note the scene where the MUTO discovers a couple characters hiding out on a deserted railroad track in a misty forest at night. The dread built into that scene is palpable. We know the MUTO don’t eat people, but that still doesn’t stop this scene from being scary.