wed 12/05/2021

DVD: Godzilla | reviews, news & interviews

DVD: Godzilla

DVD: Godzilla

Spectacular effects but little human interest in monster mash-up

Godzilla: scary, but this time he's on our side

Never mind Alien vs Predator. Gareth Edwards's rumbustious earth-in-peril spectacular restores Godzilla to the top of the über-monster food chain. He's an indestructible force called from his sub-oceanic lair to combat hideous opponents fuelled by mankind's reckless abuse of Mother Nature.

Never mind Alien vs Predator. Gareth Edwards's rumbustious earth-in-peril spectacular restores Godzilla to the top of the über-monster food chain. He's an indestructible force called from his sub-oceanic lair to combat hideous opponents fuelled by mankind's reckless abuse of Mother Nature.

Edwards makes token efforts to give his story some human-scaled interest, though frankly it's futile. Bryan Cranston emotes doggedly as a scientist at a Tokyo nuclear plant, where the first signs of impending planetary catastrophe are felt, but Juliette Binoche as his wife lasts about five minutes before she's engulfed in a poisonous cloud. High Wycombe's own Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays their son, Ford, but his action-hero potential is difficult to detect. David Strathairn looks as if they forgot to tell him he was supposed to be an admiral commanding an American battle fleet.

But never mind all that. Edwards and his team can't wait to get stuck into vast panoramas of chaos and disaster, which are provoked by the arrrival of two monstrosities which are, apparently, giant parasites – or "parasitic kaiju" – fuelled by nuclear energy. One of them looks like a hybrid of a Stealth bomber and a giant cockroach, and the other one's just hideous. Working out where these things came from isn't easy, given that the dialogue is frequently blotted out by explosions or warning sirens, and the DVD release allows you to do some studious replaying and rewinding. These additional creatures, absurdly dubbed MUTOs – Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms – by the military, are the natural enemies of Godzilla, and he strides across the Pacific to give them a good kicking. En route, cities are trampled underfoot, the Golden Gate bridge is nonchalantly trashed and ships are flung from the ocean. Echoes of real-life tsunamis and the collapsing towers of 9/11 are none too subtly evoked. 

DVD extras include a pair of short behind-the-scenes films whose titles are self-explanatory. A Whole New Level of Destruction revels in the catastrophic mayhem wrought by the film's army of special effects experts, while Ancient Enemy: the MUTOS explains how these unsightly creatures were created.

Overleaf: watch trailer for Godzilla

One of the MUTOs looks like a hybrid of a Stealth bomber and a giant cockroach, and the other one's just hideous

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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