Director: Gareth Edwards
Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, Bryan Cranston
It's easy to understand why so many people complained about Godzilla when it opened in May. Coming from the indie scene, director Gareth Edwards brought that mentality to a surefire Hollywood blockbuster with mixed results.
Hoping to make a character-powered drama that also featured a skyscraper-tall monster, Edwards hinged the movie's human narrative on young Army man Ford Brody, a harmful decision since actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson's leading-man game is robotic at best. But with that atypically heartfelt and emotional handle on summer spectacle, Edwards also harkened back to the more patient days of Steven Spielberg blockbuster cinema, particularly Jaws; though Godzilla's CGI design was, and still is, awe-inspiring, Edwards bravely kept the beast unseen, save for a few quick, well-timed glimpses, until Godzilla's monstrous final act.
For moviegoers who appreciate skillful direction and intelligence with their buckets of overpriced popcorn, the lack of Godzilla in Edwards' Godzilla was equally refreshing and reassuring. Yet, those admirers were mostly spoken over by people who don't have time for such thought and care in their blockbuster films—you know, the same people who turned Transformers: Age of Extinction into the year's biggest movie so far.
See what happens when we're given nice things? —Matt Barone