Like a lot of the cast the plot in Godzilla is pretty much irrelevant, indeed Ken Watanabe only seems to be there to provide some much needed gravitas, the titular beast has risen along with some other prehistoric terrors and it is up to Bryan Cranston (Joe) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Ford) to save the day.
Nothing original but then there is very little original about Director Gareth Edwards monster movie; the opening shot of a helicopter traversing a jungle, searching for the landing site looks like it is straight out of Jurassic Park, the quarantine zone that Ford and Joe enter has startling similarities to The Last of Us, at one stage a bus full of children is even placed in harm’s way!
For a movie entitled Godzilla the gigantic lizard spends very little time on screen, the build up to the kaiju’s exposure is handled basically; most of the film is spent teasing the audience with a limb here an eyeball there as the camera zooms in for close ups, panning along the gigantic beasts body to give a fuller sense of his massive proportions or when seen completely it is via paltry TV news footage. This helps make the gargantuan lizards first full showing all the more exciting, unfortunately by the time it does happen detachment will have set in.
That does not mean that the film is a complete let down; an exhilarating skydive into the epicentre of the duelling titans is beautifully shot. With red smoke spiralling out behind the military personal like streamers lost in the wind, then the 3D kicks in and a real sense of vertigo is achieved as they plummet towards the destroyed city. Indeed all the special effects are impressive enough, a submarine perched precariously does not look out of place even though it really should! Explosions engulf the screen, though disappointingly the fiery spectacles are few and far between.
Shots of the destruction are viewed from a distance to emphasise the devastation as the monsters tear great swathes through the landscape, though you never see them causing the havoc just the aftermath. That is until the final showdown that is the films saving grace, when eventually the behemoths go toe to toe, reigning destruction on the scenery and each other. However it is far too little far too late.
Verdict: Not quite Pacific Rim and not quite Monsters, Godzilla is neither full throttle action nor a character driven story. Save yourself the money and sneak in for the last twenty minutes.