With the cult success of 2008's Cloverfield, and last year's hit Pacific Rim, it seems like the monster film genre is making a comeback. Now, the grandpops of all monsters is back, in the latest Godzilla.
The film starts in a Japanese nuclear plant, where American scientist Joe Brody (Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston) detects unusual seismic activity. Suddenly, a huge earthquake levels the plant, killing Joe's wife right in front of him … but was it a quake?
Fast-forward 15 years. Joe still wants answers. His son, Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), returns to Japan to bail Joe out of jail. He'd trespassed near the plant after noting more odd seismic readings; this time, he knows it's no quake.
The film reuses the original nuclear setting, and restores the "King of the Monsters" title, to return the story to its humble origins, but obviously updating it, notably in terms of effects. Godzilla himself is a sight to behold.
The film feels a bit long in places, and cruelly teases the audience by not showing full-on fights until the very end. And while the talented cast includes Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins and Elizabeth Olsen, most of the screen time is given to the overly stoic Taylor-Johnson.
From its believable storyline to the great sound effects, everything pays homage to the original, while representing the new direction monster movies are heading.