Godzilla Returns: Friend Or Foe?

Author: Bill Dudley

There have been 28 films about the monster ‘Godzilla’, dating back to 1954.  The foreboding giant was a Japanese post nuclear hybrid of ancient dinosaur, ‘Moby Dick’ and  ‘King Kong’. Over the years, ‘Godzilla’ was sometimes a very badly behaved monster, and once in awhile actually a hero of sorts as he destroyed even more evil creatures.

The original ‘Godzilla’ became such a pop culture icon, he actually has his own star on ‘The Hollywood Walk Of Fame’. Now, on the 60th anniversary of this giant behemoth, a new ‘Godzilla’ movie opens this weekend starring Bryan Cranston. The star of ‘Breaking Bad’ is at the pinnacle of his career, but disappears way too quickly in the new film. Cranston plays a nuclear scientist who knows “something is happening” underground, yet no-one believes him. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is his doubting son (Ford), who is forced into becoming a hero. Taylor-Johnson was a standout as John Lennon in 2009’s ‘Nowhere Boy’. He is not in this film. I guess there are only so many facial expressions you can have when three giant monsters are destroying the world in front of you.

‘Godzilla’ shares screen time with two other destructive airborne nuclear created devils who slightly resemble many other monsters we have seen on the big screen since the early 50’s. It is hard to root for ‘Godzilla’ after he destroys parts of Hawaii and San Francisco, but you must do so,as the others are worse. The anti-nuke message rings thru loud and clear. Ken Watanabe (‘The Last Samurai’, ‘Inception’) adds credibility as a concerned scientist, who helps the audience to focus on ‘Godzilla’ as a hero. Director Gareth Edwards (‘Monsters’) wove a compelling case for the good monster vs. bad monster plot. I predict the new ‘Godzilla’ film will do much better than the 2004 release starring Matthew Broderick, and will restore ‘Godzilla’ to the top of the movie monster chart.The inconsistencies of the storyline will probably not bother the young male audience that this film is intended to attract. The trailer for ‘Godzilla’ is one of the most watched on YouTube currently, and will hit theaters this weekend. Monsters rock!

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