Excuse us for coming over all movie-nerdish, but The Sloth was super-excited about Godzilla. Mainly because it’s directed by Gareth Edwards who made the stupendous Monsters basically on a laptop in his bedroom. So we were salivating with anticipation at what he would achieve with a squillion dollar Hollywood budget.
Godzilla, fact fans, is a creature of Japanese legend. So fittingly, we find ourselves in Japan where Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and Sandra Brody (Juliette Binoche) are US engineers working in a nuclear power station. Unfortunately, their day goes horribly wrong when strange, unexplained power surges trigger an accident that kills Sandra and blows up the entire plant, leaving their son Ford motherless and Joe devastated.
Fast forward several years and grown up Ford (Aaron Taylor Johnson) is married to Elle (Elizabeth Olsen) with a family of his own. But granddad Joe is still obsessed with discovering what caused the accident that killed his wife. And guess what? Those same, strange power surges are starting to appear again. Joe ropes Ford in to investigate, trespassing on the wrecked site of the old power station where they are soon caught, leaving Joe to convince the authorities and scientists Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) and Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) that something REALLY BAD is about to happen. Fortunately, Ichiro is well versed in the mythology that deems Goh-zee-lah (told you it sounds better with a Japanese accent), a god-like creature, will rise when natural order is threatened. And sure enough, rise he does.
The genius of Godzilla is it puts the viewer bang smack in the middle of the action. We gawp with the characters through car windows dwarved by shadowy hints of approaching monstrous creature, sharing their fear like when we hid behind the sofa watching Doctor Who age 6. Harking back to good old-fashioned suspense, it teases you with just enough visuals to set your imagination and heart racing. It’s no coincidence that analogue, mechanical tech is eventually called on to save mankind. In a movie age where flash bang CGI set pieces no longer shock or awe, Godzilla ironically uses computer graphics to recreate old skool, edge-of-your-seat filmmaking to stonkingly good effect. Look out, he’s behiiiiind you!
UK release 16 May.UK DVD release 27 October.
Fancy another bumpy ride? Try the world’s most unsuitable in-flight movie, Non-Stop.