BY Jen T. Tuazon
The new Godzilla movie is here and it’s a hodgepodge of scenes from Aliens, Jaws, Jurassic Park and even Titanic!
Godzilla, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Juliet Binoche, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, and Elizabeth Olsen, resurrects the iconic monster in the 21st century. Nuclear physicist Joe Brody (Cranston), haunted by a tragic powerplant accident, becomes convinced there exists a grand cover-up operation on the real reason behind the fatal explosion. With the reluctant help of son and US Navy explosives-expert Ford Brody (Johnson), they uncover the massive truth, unearthing such freaks of nature as “mutos” (fugly, supersized cockroaches) and of course, the monster of the hour, Godzilla himself.
I’m not a fan of reptiles—they’re my least favorite in all of the animal kingdom. So it’s probably not the best idea for me to watch a movie starring a ginormous lizard. But this reboot by director Gareth Edwards was supposed to be a really good one and there was enough hype to make me curious. Plus it’s in 3D!
The movie opened with a scene supposedly located in the Philippines, which won my patriotic heart instantly. But the excitement died down quickly as the movie, while an action disaster film, took time to build its momentum. The movie will require patience from the viewer as it first teases with mere traces, anecdotes, and glimpses of Godzilla and in fact waits well way til past the halftime mark to reveal the monstrous lizard in its full scary glory. And it’s a noticeably fuller Godzilla, too. (As one Japanese fan commented: “He’s so fat, I laughed.”)
What the viewer will be treated to right away are the so-called “mutos” which stands for “Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism”–creatures so hideous they will make you want to take your eyes off the screen. As you can probably tell they’re not the good guys in this movie, and for the most part they are the main source of havoc in Japan and in the US (or wherever the extremely unlucky Ford Brody happens to be).
A story about a giant lizard fighting off super-sized cockroaches might seem silly and difficult to appreciate, but thankfully director Gareth Edwards lays the foundation for the story almost brick by brick by brick, enough to make the narrative believable (or just plain not silly).
Overall, if you’re a big fan of the Godzilla franchise, you will love this movie. Otherwise, you may not appreciate the story as much but the film does provide enough visual spectacle (especially in 3D) and excitement (reminiscent of scenes from classic disaster movies) to make your time in the theater worth the while.
GODZILLA, showing in Philippine cinemas on May 15, is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures.