As a young boy, I always looked forward to Thanksgiving. I loved the brown, orange and yellow colored decorations that my mom would place around the house to help get into the spirit of the holiday. Of course it goes without saying that the actual day of celebrating Thanksgiving was always awesome, for I would awake to the sounds of mom from within the kitchen, working away upon the turkey, stuffing and other assorted wonders. My grandmother, aunt and uncle would arrive in the early afternoon, with grams brings two homemade pumpkin pies. One for dessert after our Thanksgiving feast and the other she baked for me for the day after Thanksgiving.
It was the day after Thanksgiving that was when the Godzilla Marathon was on t.v.! From morning, through the afternoon and into the evening, I would sit there happy as a clam, fully taking in all the Godzillaness goodness, while enjoying the last remaining pumpkin pie that my grandmother made for just this special occasion.
So Godzilla and I go way back.
In terms of the film, I will simply say that I wanted “more” Godzillaness. While I enjoyed the particular approach of framing the film through the experiences of the primary human perspectives which the main actors provided, I very much wanted to see more of Godzilla in action. There were three principle fights sequences with Godzilla within the film, one of which was shown by way of a background cable news report. Though it lends itself to the “realism” of what it would be like to have these massive monsters actually showing up upon the scene and directly effecting local and world events, the thing that I missed until the final fight sequence between Godzilla and the pair of “bad” monsters was the actual battle between them.
When watching a Godzilla movie, it is all about watching and enjoying Godzilla waffle stomping his opponents. Sure, it can’t be a walk in the park for Godzilla, for it wouldn’t be interesting or have any sense of ‘tension” within the film, but in the back of your mind, you know that Godzilla was win and that is the really fun of the Godzilla films is watching him bring the pain train down upon his particular opponent, as well as whichever city he just so happens to level.
The final fight that takes place within the city of San Francisco at night was visually really cool and unique, for there was a much more heightened sense of obfuscation as to how things were going to play out when there was the final showdown between Godzilla and the other monsters. It especially was really effective having this closing clash take place at night, for when the audience gets to finally see Godzilla make use of his defining and legendary atomic breath weapon blast, it was truly spectacularly, for with the contrast of the darkly lit night scene in contrast with the realization that Godzilla was in fact “charging” up to let loose his atomic discharge as realized by the fact on screen we see the white/blue atomic buildup starting at the base of his tail and moving through his back armored plates until he opens his massive jaws and proceeds to fully unload his wrath upon his opponent.
That was with the price of admission right there!
Visually, I was very happy with how Godzilla was portrayed. He looked like “Godzilla” to me, so it was really good to see how he retained a much respected balance between the classic “man in a suit” look, which we all love and cherish and the beauty and nuances that only the current computer generated look can be generated. He looked way cool!
Suffice to say, I was really pleased with how he not only looked, but also how he sounded in terms of his classic “Godzilla roar”. That one one aspect of the film that for me was a key ingredient if I would really buy into the film. He had to look and sound like the Godzilla I know and love and so happy that the filmmakers delivered that in spades!
In terms of the actors themselves, I will simple say that Bryan Cranston was a perfect selection to play his role. He was both believable and engaging. I do wish he had a much larger timeframe, but it is understandable as to how things play out with his character to move others and the film forward.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson was serviceable and for me was solid within his part trying to both get back to his family, as well as deal with the ramifications of what has been newly released upon the world.
Lastly, I wanted to mention Ken Watanabe, who is one of my favorite actors. He is one who I make a point of watching whatever film he is within, for I find his acting and characterizations of his specific roles always engaging and fulfilling. So when I learned that he was to be one of the primary actors within this film, I was more than pleased. Suffice to say, I certainly hope that for the sequel that they are planning on making, that he has a much larger role within the film, for I would contend that his character would be a good one to build the continuing story around, while not only letting that character further develop, but also as a means of reference and connection for the audience.
Finally, the director Gareth Edwards made a very solid Godzilla film. I was overall quite pleased with how it played out, both the storyline and the visuals. The only real contention that I had and which I hope will be further elaborated upon within the next film is simple put: “More Godzillaness!”
As a Godzilla lover, I want to see much more of the spectacla of who he is, as well as more and or longer actual fight sequences. The story and overall character of Godzilla is now established within film, now he needs to be allowed to do what he has done best throughout the many film incantations that have been presented to his beloved fans worldwide.
Do that and you will have the perfect Godzilla film for our age!