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THE 2014 MOTION PICTURE OF GODZILLA

year: 2014 rating: ***
In the original 1954 Japanese film and the 1998 American reboot, GODZILLA was a giant city-stomping lizard that had to be defeated...

Other adventures pitted the creature against way more sinister adversaries, and director Gareth Edwards begins a new chapter as if it were a second movie: Godzilla is no longer waltzing across heavily populated cities, turning humans into pancake… Like Arnold in TERMINATOR 2, the beast is now bodyguard. 

The first act is like an overly-dramatized conspiracy film, and Bryan Cranston's Joe Brody has the right amount of intense melodrama... As an American scientist living in Japan who lost his wife to a nuclear plant catastrophe, and using his signature BREAKING BAD growl, he makes us believe there’s something rumbling underground, and it's no earthquake! 

Meanwhile, the introduction of another formidable (and downright villainous) monster is like meeting a Raptor when you know T-Rex is on the way – a snack before the main course. Much of the military buildup that follows plays out like today’s extensive news coverage: Everything they see, we see, as if the movie itself were endless reels of hi-def footage till we get a bit closer to the action, witnessing first hand the rising of gigantic limbs while hearing the sound of shrieking war cries: This edgy perspective, even when Joe’s paratrooper son, Ford, becomes the central figure, gets a bit tiresome, especially since there aren’t many human characters to root for… Making Godzilla, in the midst of a somewhat evacuated Bay Area as if it were an immense boxing ring, that much more the essential hero – not only must he gain the upper claw against two nuclear-strapped adversaries (and eventually acquires the power to breath fire) but he’s the only thing in the movie that really works.

With a title like GODZILLA, that’s a given… And since the smack-down final act is well worth the price of a ticket, there’s limitless sequel potential: Whatever form of eclectic menace threatens mankind, Godzilla, more of a reptilian badger than the iconic dinosaur from hell, surely has our back.

Thankfully, we won't suffer through a prolonged barrage of unanswered questions before getting to the good stuff next time, since most of the exposition stuff is behind us now... Let's hope. 
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