Film Review: Godzilla

Godzilla

The evolution of Godzilla films is one that spans over 30 full length films, the 2014 being the second American version.

Bryan Cranston is back on our screens, this time playing the bad-ass scientist in a more subtle way, as the misunderstood scientist that predicted the potential destruction of all human-kind.

Ostensibly a Hollywood blockbuster, Godzilla can never rid its origins. The deeper metaphorical weight to the idea of Godzilla plays out quietly behind the awe-inspiring visuals. Godzilla’s embodiment of the destruction caused by nuclear weapons is still relevant today, and is posed within the film’s story-line as the American government suggest the use of nuclear bombs to defend their country against the enemy.

But the allegorical nature of Godzilla as the US government has morphed, suggesting perhaps that the absolute destruction of modern science will be the saviour of human-kind and the only way to prevent events like the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

A headline in an American newspaper, after Godzilla’s attack on several states, flashes onto the screen asking whether the dinosaur-like creature is a destroyer or a hero. In the tradition of Godzilla playing the ‘hero by default,’ this version of the iconic story suggests Godzilla is a restoration of nature’s order.

The challenge of producing a classic such as Godzilla is not to be taken lightly, but this adaptation of such a powerful story gives the immensity and ferocity of the monster – and his two companions – a stage to become fully realised in all its striking dimensions. The portrayals of the physical characteristics, however, retain their origins and fuse the early illustrations of Godzilla with a fuller, richer Hollywood-style animation.

There are lots of typical thrashing and shooting and blasting, but this Godzilla is an epic cinematic feat, and a loaded commentary on modern warfare.

[Suzannah Helena]

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