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Sunday, March 8, 2015

GODZILLA (2014)

What makes the latest GODZILLA iteration so depressing isn’t found in its all too convenient boneheaded story beats (‘Does that train with the nuclear warhead happen to be going to San Francisco?’) or in its lazy character development (everybody lets their kids drift off in the middle of a catastrophic event, right?). Nor does it follow from CGI monsters so dark & grey they’re either lost in the general visual murk or unable to interact with action occurring in front of the ‘blue screen.’ (Not that much is going on out there with inert leading-man Aaron Taylor-Johnson equally unable to interact, like some human ‘blue screen.’) And the problem isn’t the film’s ‘other’ monsters (the ones apparently hatched from the Chrysler Building) or even the laughable rugs on the head of poor Bryan Cranston. (A ‘youthful’ one in the film’s prologue is a wallapalooza.) Nope. What makes this GODZILLA so gosh darn depressing is that director Gareth Edwards has already been tapped to meg the sequel! And announced for some future STAR WARS project. That’s depressing.

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: The original Japanese cut of the first GODZILLA (GOJIRA/’54), man-in-a-monster-suit/model effects and all, remains far more interesting & effective. For something more up-to-date technically, WORLD WAR Z/’13 holds up about 2/3's of the way; while Joon-ho Bong’s THE HOST/’06 holds its place as the best monster pic of the new millennium.

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