Maddy’s Movies: “Godzilla” ROARS with everyone


An iconic movie monster becomes even more legendary in the newest version of “Godzilla.”

I can honestly say there was not one moment of this movie where I was bored. This action-filmed monster movie was everything I dreamed it would be, and so much more.

British director Gareth Edwards, most known for his indie film “Monsters,” is unknown to me but I’ll be sure to keep my eye on him. He knows his way around a monster movie.

Funny thing is, though, for a movie titled “Godzilla” there wasn’t a whole lot of Godzilla in the film. His fellow monster MUTO, Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism, and human actors got more screen time. But we can’t expect a famous monster like Godzilla to just be there when we want him.

The action starts up pretty quickly in this film. Opening title sequences show old footage of the Castle Bravo nuclear tests on March 1, 1954, at Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands. What seem like only tests is really just a cover up to kill something big that is lurking in the waters.

Jump ahead to 1999 where scientists, Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins), find some crazy big skeleton in a Philippine mine along with a dormant chrysalis-shaped pod and an opened one. Whatever was in the pod is now on the move.

This leads to the tragic incident at a nuclear power plant in Japan where loving family Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston), wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche) and young son Ford (CJ Adams) live and work. Earthquake-like tremors lead to some pretty predictable destruction at the plant that does not end well for Sandra, ultimately causing Joe to go a little crazy and leaving Ford scared for life.

Flash forward 15 years later and those same seismic patterns are back. A desperate Joe goes back to the plant to prove he has been right all these years — it “wasn’t a natural disaster!” — while his now older son (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) just wants to forget about the event and go home to his own family.

Joe gets his answers as the first monster, MUTO is released upon the earth flying high in the sky and feeding off of nuclear power.

After that, it gets a little silly. The MUTO is stalking its next power plant and Dr. Serizawa believes the only thing that can save the world is — wait for it — Godzilla.

Godzilla lets out a mighty roar. Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
Godzilla lets out a mighty roar. Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Yes, the first time we hear the monster’s name is in that stereotypical and borderline racist Japanese accent that we have all mimicked at some point in our lives, adding some unnecessary humor to an otherwise solemn moment.

It gets pretty hard to take the movie seriously after that but hey, this is a movie about giant ancient monsters fighting each other. Odds are you’re not gonna see this film for science accuracy and seriousness.

The best part of this movie is the sound effects. They nail Godzilla’s roar perfectly. It insights both fear and excitement for anyone in the theater, “Godzilla” fan or not. His roar only increases Godzilla’s badassness. The MUTO’s noises (roars, gurgles, whatever) are equally impressive and add suspense to the film.

This is no “Pacific Rim.” There are no giant robots and, in my opinion, the acting is much better. Also a plus, no long, drawn out fighting scenes between monsters.  Director Edwards does a great job balancing between the unrealistic monsters and the very human side of survival and family.

Ford’s family is in the middle of everything and you can see the struggle on Elle Brody’s (Elizabeth Olsen) face as she makes the tough decisions for the safety of her family.

But when the monsters fight, it is the most entertaining thing in the film.

I give “Godzilla” three out of four roars. Sure, there are some inconsistencies that bothered me a little, and for a PG-13 movie there seemed like a lot of unnecessary casualties (poor unsuspecting civilians). But if you really want to be entertained this summer, “Godzilla” is your movie.