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In monster movies, when someone – preferably an anxious scientist – tells you that the happening electrical fluctuations aren't caused by transformer malfunctions, and that they are electromagnetic pulses, it’s wise to listen to them. Especially when their next sentence is: “You have no idea what's coming”, and “it is going to send us back to the Stone Age”.

A scene from movie, "Godzilla". – Courtesy Photo
A scene from movie, "Godzilla". – Courtesy Photo

In Godzilla, the new unspectacular version negating Roland Emmerich’s 1998 panned blockbuster, the line comes from a guy called Joe Brody played by a wasted Brian Cranston.


Big lizard, rampaging bigger cities


In the world formed by screenwriter Max Borenstein’s and director Gareth Edwards, the sloppy hulking gray-ish lizard’s job is to kill the competing species. That would be the Mosura, a pair of winged Kaiju’s (that’s giant monster to anyone not from Japan), spawned by radiation whose off-springs – likely in the hundreds of thousands – would kill the planet’s domineering species; meaning us.

A scene from movie, "Godzilla". – Courtesy Photo
A scene from movie, "Godzilla". – Courtesy Photo

We, after finding out nuclear explosions can’t hurt the big scaly lizard, are quick to pick sides. And so, in one of the scenes Godzilla has an official military escort as he swims to fight off the Mosura in the middle of San Francisco.

Hundreds of anonymous citizens, wide-eyed in terror run frenzied, often with Lieutenant Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), a soldier on his way back to his wife, Elle (Elizabeth Olsen), a nurse, who is too busy bandaging victims to hear of the Kaiju devastation playing on the big-screen television sets of her hospital.

A scene from movie, "Godzilla". – Courtesy Photo
A scene from movie, "Godzilla". – Courtesy Photo

These scenes, which pop-up every now and then, are technically apt, very expensive to produce, but choppily executed. The upshot feels like a robbed experience, especially when the Kaiju’s take breathers during brawls, and disappear from scenes, and all we see – in 3D nonetheless – are real estate damages.

The other pivotal humans, Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins, the government’s secret scientists, meanwhile are safe in fortified security.

A scene from movie, "Godzilla". – Courtesy Photo
A scene from movie, "Godzilla". – Courtesy Photo

In a way, the characters vocations are custom-placed elements that would leverage the movie’s human angle. A soldier, making his way back will see a lot of action; the nurse would heal the wounded, the military would be concerned safe-keepers, and the scientists would be figuring the way out of this mess.


The Final Word


Godzilla, like the monster-lizard, is equal parts bloated and boring.

Edwards, who did a fantastic job with Monsters, is intelligent enough to build intrigue, if not momentum, in the first half, losing the movie’s pop grandeur once the Kaiju tournament begins.

Most of the action, expensive as it is, keeps Godzilla out of frame or in the dark (the lizard has a 20% on-screen role). Edwards instead shifts focus on half-convincing human anguish – which, unfortunately isn’t his directorial forte, yet.


Released in Pakistan by HKC and Warner Bros. “Godzilla” is rated PG-13 for nothing you haven’t seen before.

Directed by Gareth Edwards; Produced by Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent and Brian Rogers; Written by Max Borenstein, based on the character “Godzilla,” (owned by Toho Company Ltd.), and Story by David Callaham; Cinematography by Seamus McGarvey; Edited by Bob Ducsay; and Music by Alexandre Desplat.

Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston.