By Ryan Milowicki
When you’re dealing with a big-budget monster movie, it’s easy (and often understandable) for the human element to get lost in the shuffle.
After all, it’s the visual spectacle which draws audiences to these films in the first place. Perhaps in an effort to make it stand apart from all its identically-named predecessors, the 2014 incarnation of Godzilla makes about eight too many attempts to affirm humanity’s place in the narrative. Regrettably, each try to make the characters seem relevant falls increasingly shorter as the creatures battle on.
Unfortunately for director Gareth Edwards, noble intentions and extraordinary production values do not add up by themselves to make a good movie. One of the worst screenplays of the year demotes Godzilla to the role of summer blockbuster eye candy. The lack of stakes stemming from the uncomfortably austere writing of the human characters is a massive roadblock in the way of granting Godzilla any deeper meaning than watching gigantic monsters lay waste to large buildings.
The mythical monster of Japanese lore is joined this time by “MUTOs”, large spindly beasts that look reasonably similar to the monster from Cloverfield. As the monsters migrate from Japan to California, the US military and a team of scientists race to figure out the best way to alleviate the monsters’ threat to the human populations standing in their path. Predictably, conventional human weapons are no match for the creatures, leaving the humans baffled and short on options.
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