I just got out of the theater after seeing Godzilla, and I enjoyed it a lot - I'm glad that it's doing so well. There are a couple of "buts" that go along with that, though, which I'll go into after the break. SPOILERS.
Some random thoughts that only look organized because they happen to be in bullet points:
- Way to punch me right in the feels within the first ten minutes of the movie, people. I was totally safety-geeking out about the fact that Bryan Cranston and his movie wife were both super-important people who worked in a nuclear power plant, but then my heart was ripped out and stomped on because I had to watch Bryan Crantson watch his wife die on his birthday. Does it count as fridging when it's death by nuclear meltdown? Also, this makes me want to see a movie about the Fukushima plant disaster, and the Fukushima 50. Get on that, movie-makers.
- WASTED OPPORTUNITY. The closer I was getting to the movie's release date, the more excited I was about the implications of the casting, and that excitement was increased during Ken Watanabe's inspection of the giant skeleton and spore sacs, as well as the plant disaster and the revelation that Bryan Cranston had become obsessed with figuring out what really happened. Right up until Cranston was smashed off of that catwalk by Muto 1, I was anticipating a SCIENCE BROS relationship the likes of which we've not seen since Stark/Banner, or Newt/Gottlieb. But no - I was robbed. They raised my hopes a bit when they managed to get Cranston out still alive, and then dashed them yet again after his utterly forgettable son validates the last 15 years by acknowledging that he was right all along. I WANTED MY CRANSTON/WATANABE SCIENCE BROS, DAMMIT!!!
- Speaking of the utterly forgettable son, the only reason I can think of that they had the movie basically follow him around was so we could get a close-up view of the action. This dude was like a bland Jonah - everywhere he went there were monsters right there as well. It might have made a bit more goddamn sense if he'd actually been able to ultimately disarm the last warhead, because he kept saying and saying that he knew how to do it, that he was in bomb disposal, blah blah blah. About the most that can be said for him was that he had the sense to burn up the Muto nest, and that's it. The camera was on him more than it was on the monsters.
- Along with Bland Blanderson, there was Mrs. Blanderson and Bland Jr. I kind of get that there was some sort of family-connection-to-terrible-events-surrounding-these-giant-creatures narrative, but they were so boring. Yes, we get it. There's only so many shots of them staring slightly to the left of the camera with huge, limpid eyes that I can take. If you're going to focus so much on humans in a freaking Godzilla movie, at least focus on the interesting ones.
- Also, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU SWITCH OUT THE DETONATION SYSTEM ON A NUCLEAR WARHEAD ON A MOVING TRAIN?! WHY WOULDN'T YOU HAVE TAKEN CARE OF THAT ON SOLID FUCKING GROUND?!
- I actually teared up when Watanabe showed that Navy Commander his father's pocket watch. I knew instantly when it was clear that it was a stopped watch, what must have stopped it, and where it was when that happened. I don't know how other people feel, but I don't think that was a cheap or unimportant reference, particularly not within the context of this kind of film. The reason we have a giant monster genre in the first place is largely because we, as a species, were trying to come to terms with what it meant to live in an age with nuclear power and more specifically nuclear weapons. That was a sobering reminder of the why behind a genre which doesn't necessarily betray its serious origins on the surface - what could be more simple than giant monsters smashing each other?
- Speaking of giant monsters smashing each other, I could have done with more of that! Those fight sequences could easily have been twice as long and I would have loved every minute of them. There were several times I had to consciously close my mouth because my jaw was hanging open at the scale of what was happening on screen. I was happy that Godzilla only needed to sleep it off, even though he probably killed a few hundred more people on his way out to sea. Those are big feet, man. And I liked his design - don't pay attention to the haters who think he's too "fat." He's a mostly water-dwelling behemoth. Cut him some slack.
In conclusion, RIP Bryan Cranston's Godzilla character. You'll always be Science Bros with Ken Watanabe's character in my heart, even though you didn't even actually get to talk to each other.