Entertainment

Does Godzilla still have that monster charm?

MONSTER MAYHEM: Godzilla’s Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Ford Brody.
MONSTER MAYHEM: Godzilla’s Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Ford Brody. Kimberley French

THE original Godzilla made his big screen debut 60 years ago, but does this rampaging behemoth still have star power?

While the Japanese have continued to make Godzilla films on a regular basis since 1954, US studios have only on occasion dipped their hands back into the pot.

The last attempt was the disastrous and rather cartoonish Roland Emmerich version in 1998.

Thankfully the 2014 version directed by Gareth Edwards pays homage to what has come before it while updating the premise for a modern audience.

The famous monster is pitted against two malevolent creatures that feed off nuclear energy and wreak havoc upon the human populace.

If the 1954 version was made in response to the dropping of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima then Edwards' take could be viewed as a response to the Fukishima disaster.

More importantly Edwards understands he is making a monster movie and plays with those tropes successfully.

This cross between Jaws and Jurassic Park takes its time to introduce the titular character and spends the opening hour of the film with the human characters.

Tortured nuclear engineer Joe Brody played by Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston searches obsessively for what is happening at the Japanese nuclear power plant where he used to work. His son Ford, played as an adult by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, grows up to join the US Navy and serves as the human protagonist of the film trying to rejoin his family in San Francisco as disaster looms.

The rest of the cast - Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, Juliette Binoche and Elizabeth Olsen - serve the plot amicably and deliver the required exposition.

This is not to play down their contribution to the film but to simply address the fact the human characters play second fiddle to the star attraction.

Godzilla is beautifully rendered by Edwards and his team of digital artists and the detail is extraordinary.

Edwards deliberately gives the audience a true sense of scale as Godzilla does battle with his enemies tearing down cities and making humanity's military seem paltry in comparison.

This is old-fashioned monster mayhem is an enjoyable film to spend a couple of hours.

Godzilla

Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, David Strathairn, Juliette Binoche.

Director: Gareth Edwards

Rating: M

Reviewer: Jim Alouat

Topics:  movies




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

The mystery of the blood and the handbag

Police search an area off Woongarra St In Bundaberg. Photo: Craig Warhurst/News mail

Police working to figure out what happened

UPDATE: Woman charged following attack at Bundy business

Bundaberg Police Station Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail

Facial lacerations and injuries sustained in fight

Latest deals and offers

Billy Slater talks Origin Team

Queensland Origin great Billy Slater.

Queensland Origin great Billy Slater talks about this years team and his return to...

Rescue operation at Burnett Bridge

Emergency crews carry out a drill on the Burnett Traffic Bridge.

Crews reacted to an emergency type scenario at the Burnett Traffic Bridge.

Emergency drill footage

Emergency crews carry out a drill on the Burnett Traffic Bridge.

Footage of an emergency drill at the Burnett Traffic Bridge.

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked