“Godzilla” suffers from
First, it tries too hard to pay homage to
predecessor films by miring itself in some generation-ago backstory.
They valiantly attempt to get the viewer
emotionally hooked by presenting a family saga, but unfortunately the
actors’ performances are not particularly compelling, with the exception
of veteran Juliette Binoche, whose cameo appearance limits her screen time.
Some of the casting decisions (such as David
Strathairn as a Navy Admiral) don’t further the cause, and others are
misplaced (Sally Hawkins, the recent Oscar winner, should have had more
screen time as the science advisor, and Ken Watanabe less, because he’s so
difficult to understand.)
But aside from the muddy audio, it’s the
script that’s the biggest problem.
The setup to the monsters’ grand entrance is
so arcane and convoluted that the viewer has to try to make connections that
the film doesn’t. The
good news is that “Godzilla” finishes well, not only with stunning
visuals, but with a plot twist that almost makes it charming.
The action takes place both in
, partly to pay homage to the original “Godzilla,”
But the premise that nuclear testing awakened
the sleeping dinosaur embryos beneath the earth gets a little muddled and
awkward when they bring up
(and don’t mention
it seems that there’s a winged creature, kind of like a giant grasshopper,
that feeds only on nuclear material, but also appears to have some authority
over electrical grids, as well.
It’s trying to find its mate so they can
re-populate the surface of the Earth, which the science “expert”
(Watanabe) says is like Mother Nature restoring balance.
As if the Age of the Humans is now coming to an
end, and we’re going back to the future with dinosaurs ruling the planet.
Of course, from a
Judeo/Christian point of view, we like to point to Genesis 1:2, where God
blesses the first humans and says, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the
earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the
birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
In “Godzilla,” the humans’ puny attempts
at trying to fight the giant creatures results in a lot of wasted bullets.
The military, in typical
fashion playing the over-aggressive idiots, wants to nuke
the monsters to oblivion, somehow oblivious to the scientists’ entreaties
that the monsters are feeding on nuclear material, and that would only make
the situation much worse.
Nevertheless, the undaunted military leaders,
citing “security concerns,” ignore any outside advice. (Yeah, we get the
Fortunately for the planet,
Godzilla actually comes to the rescue.
The fire-breathing Godzilla, like a giant
amphibious Tyrannosaurus Rex, combats the Pterodactyl-like giant winged
creatures, saving the poor stupid humans, either haplessly running away or
still trying to shoot all of them.
Finally, Puff the Magic Dragon, er, Godzilla,
slips sadly back into the sea, Leviathan-like (Psalm 104:26), presumably
awaiting the next sequel.
Well, if you don’t think about
it too much, and just put on your 3-D glasses and go with it, it’s kinda
like the Nephilim (Genesis 6:4) were presented in the movie “Noah,”
it’s comforting to think that we might have Guardian Monsters.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Minister,
St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church,