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Sunday, 18 May 2014

Godzilla. The review


It's rare I get to feel like a kid on Christmas morning while watching a movie. More often than not filmmakers have contempt for the audience or signpost everything so far in advance, you feel like an A level student in a kindergarten.

Thank heavens Monsters director Gareth Edwards has given us such a terrific movie inGodzilla, or to coin a phrase for the text generation: OMGzilla

This is the sort of film Steven Spielberg used to make with Close Encounters and War of the Worlds: personal stories set against epic backdrops.

It's got the feel of Cloverfield, but without the stomach-churning found footage angle, or the annoying characters, and rubbish dialogue.

The great cast is the first piece of the puzzle to get right in Godzilla 2014, and in Aaron Taylor Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen (wonderful) and the especially good Bryan Cranston, there's a solid foundation for the fantasy that unfolds.

The story gives us enough of the right material to believe the motivations of protagonists and antagonists - nuclear testing; heroes forged by loss; grown-up hero desperate to keep his family, and others together; smart scientists and military folk colouring in the grey areas and giving us enough exposition to carry things forward. Cue final smack down.

There are some terrific touches, such as the HALO jump (scarlet flares scoring the misty skies) and assorted shots of the eponymous beast emerging through the fog like Night of the Demon.

The score by Alexander Desplat is classical and thrilling, while the effects range from the special to the okay.

It's tightly paced, brilliantly directed, hugely satisfying and doesn't outstay its welcome.

Edwards has successfully made the leap from indie filmmaker to blockbuster director with ease.

I can't wait to see what he does next.


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