It looks as though it has been over a year since my last Robservation. What could have possibly happened that would’ve made me too busy to write movie reviews? Oh yeah:
Bought a house!
Won The Sing-Off!
Toured the nation!
Adopted a puppy!
So really not that much…I’ll stop slacking and get back to what the people demand from me: MOVIE REVIEWS! (I’ve received zero demands)!
Only a powerful, historic, larger than life kind of character could have taken me out of my writing drought. A kind of character that has been around since the 50’s and has had dozens of movies based around him. I’m of course talking about the “King of Monsters,” Godzilla.
I’m not going to claim to know everything about the history of Godzilla, in fact I know very little about the giant green monster. My only knowledge comes from the poorly-executed, very expensive movie made in 1998 that was simply called, Godzilla. I can still remember the brilliant marketing scheme of endless previews with Puff Daddy’s “Come With Me,” a recreation of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” playing throughout. The soundtrack happened to be the only memorable feature of the film. 16 years later it only made sense to try and salvage what was left of the 60 year old franchise.
When I found out this movie was being made again I was very reluctant to get excited since I was burned so badly back in ’98. Then I saw that one of my favorite actors, Bryan Cranston (Walter White from AMC’s Breaking Bad), looked like he was the main character, aside from Godzilla, and it definitely piqued my interest. Without giving too much away, Cranston plays a bigger role in the beginning of the film and then it’s up to Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass, Savages) to keep our attention through the end (which seems much longer than 2 hours and 3 minutes). Whoever edited the trailer deserves an award for making it look as if Cranston secured the lead role…I didn’t even remember seeing Taylor-Johnson in the trailer and after watching the film I know why he wasn’t the main focus.
Godzilla was directed by somewhat newcomer, Gareth Edwards, who’s only other feature film directing credit was Monsters in 2010, which he also wrote (not to be confused with the animated Monsters Inc.). Edwards didn’t have a whole lot to work with in terms of a good script. There were giant holes and super contrived situations that made me laugh alongside fellow Home Free member, Tim and our good buddy, Buegs (who happens to be the guy who made the cricket noise in the beginning of Jump Right In on our album…he loves it when I tell people that). I felt super bad for Academy Award nominated actor, Ken Watanabe, for the super cheesy dialogue he was forced to recite. Every time he would speak he would look off in the distance and whisper most of the line, then at the very end dramatically turn his face to the camera on a closeup and finish the sentence. It was comical how many times this happened. It’s always tough watching a good actor look silly because of bad writing.
The first half hour of this movie is pretty great. Cranston and Juliette Binoche (Chocolat, The English Patient) have some intensely dramatic scenes that are worth watching. Then it quickly makes a turn for the worse and this is before Godzilla is even really introduced. By the time Godzilla made his screen debut I was pretty checked out and wondering how much longer was left. There was supposed to be some love story between Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen (the younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley) but a connection was never established and this viewer could not have cared less about them.
Surprisingly, it looks as if my opinion is in the minority with Godzilla getting a 73% on RottenTomatoes.com. It certainly isn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but it’s far from great. I would give this movie a 2 1/2 stars out of 5. I’ll give the two stars to Cranston’s performance and the half to how awesome Godzilla looked. Tim went to the restroom during the movie and made a pretty hilarious comment, “Usually I will hold it until the movie is done, but this wasn’t worth ANY amount of discomfort.” I think that pretty much sums it up. Watch Godzilla if you want to be entertained by demolished buildings and gigantic monster fights, but don’t feel bad if you have to relieve yourself in the middle of it.