Movie Review: Godzilla

Directed by Gareth Edwards 

5 Stars 

2014 Godzilla, a brilliant reimagining of an old story, takes its cues from a great scene from the 1954 original's Hiroshima-and-Nagasaki-inspired tracking shot past a row of bloodied hospital patients; the camcorder immediacy of Cloverfield; the gas station sequence in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds; and the Do Lung Bridge sequence of Apocalypse Now, in which American soldiers' enemies are distant silhouettes, shooting flares and shouting obscenities. These are all about perspective and point-of-view—not just what you're seeing, but how much and under what conditions you're viewing it. Godzilla does not simply appear. It reveals itself. It gradually constructs sequences, delaying vital information until the end of a scene or sequence. Edwards's style is confident enough to throw off shots that lesser films would highlight on their posters. The journey of a newborn creature from a deep egg chamber to the ocean is depicted in a gradual tilt-up that displays a zigzag ditch connecting mountains to the sea. A rolling blackout that turns off a city's lights one neighbourhood at a time foreshadows an oncoming battle with nuke-eating, electrically charged kaiju. The camera follows the arcs of commandos on a city rooftop fire until the flames expose Godzilla's midsection, which is framed from neck to solar plexus. In these and other instances, Edwards contrasts the smallness of humans with the enormousness of the monsters. Overall, I think the 2014 Godzilla was a good rebirth for the franchise and a good way to cover up the 1998 film's failure.   

Reviewed by Yusuf 

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