Godzilla, the “King of Monsters,” is back in a “Godzillian” way mesmerizing old seasoned fans and the new generation of kids who will watch it with their parents.
The latest “Godzilla” has a more aggressive visage and despite the use of computer graphics, the movie retains the dramatic stage-like nature of the previous versions. Earlier movies actually had stunt men adorn the Godzilla suit to give the monster a personification of the human element and emotion. True to the style, the story is told from the perspective of different characters, all of which are essential to the plot.
Humanity’s obsession with plundering the environment for fuel and the rampant use of nuclear energy awakens monsters that were dormant for thousands of years. These monsters – a male and a female — require a constant source of radioactive material including nuclear waste from reactors, submarines and other sources to breed. The monsters named ‘Muto’ wreak havoc awakening Godzilla who catches up with them and what ensues is an epic series of battles played out on the streets of San Francisco.
Godzilla battles it out with the Muto that are bent upon destroying the human world. This lends to a deep sense of realism for the audience, and gives them a feeling of what it would be like to be trapped in a situation where buildings are falling and monsters are destroying sky scrapers with dust and debris flying all around.
The benevolence can be a little troubling as one wonders why a deep sea monster would take the trouble to save the world from monsters that were created by our own abuse of nature.
Ken Watanabe’s character in this movie accurately ties up loose ends of this conundrum towards the end of the movie in his usual stoic poetic reply about misconceptions humans harbor about the power of nature.
The acting in the movie is best left to Godzilla’s character. Despite being a visual effect, it was capable of reaching out to the audience with its doleful, tired eyes as a parent would feel after a child kept on making the same mistake repeatedly.
The actors, including Ken Watanabe and Aaron-Taylor Johnson, seem to be secondary characters to the roaring ray-emitting Godzilla. The two-hour movie could have used more footage of the monster than the constant stream of dialogue from the cast.
The beginning of the movie spews out clues in the form of newspaper titles explaining possible human causes for the existence of these monsters. While the latest Godzilla has the monster awakening out of his deep underwater slumber to come and save the day, viewers are forced to wonder what would happen otherwise.
Interspersed with the human element, the movie endears audiences to what makes every monster movie loveable — the humanity of the monster pitted against that of the human characters in the story.
Watching Godzilla fight it out with the two monsters addicted to radioactive material actually places the audience in a regular boxing match The only difference is that it is not a stage in Las Vegas where the fight is taking place but in a city where sky scrapers adorn the fighting stage and little kids in yellow school buses try to get away.