The new GODZILLA movie took in more than 90 million dollars this weekend. In spite of a week script, it's worth seeing just for its top notch cinematography and special effects.
In fact, I've never seen a better looking monster movie. When Godzilla and the monsters he fights are on the screen, the visuals are dazzling. But the screenplay is formulaic, overly complicated, and full of stereotypical characters.
The monsters in this movie are prehistoric creatures awakened by atomic bomb testing. In fact, a regular diet of radiation is what keeps them alive.
Japanese scientists try to keep that fact a secret which infuriates Bryan Cranston's character, whose wife, played by Juliette Binoche, is killed when monsters breach the nuclear power plant where they both work.
Cranston: You're lying (he says to officials). It was not an earthquake. It wasn't a typhoon. And it is gonna send us back to the stone age.
Cranston gives the film's only strong performance, so it's too bad that his son, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, is the hero, a soldier who dismantles bombs. His wife, played by Elizabeth Olsen, has little to do but look scared and upset.
While the film's storyline is disappointing, it was a treat to see the footage shot in Waikiki as a monster generated tsunami chases people up Lewers Street. Your jaw may drop as you survey the mass destruction of Waikiki after the monsters get through with it.
David Strathairn as an American general: "MUTO, massive unidentified terrestrial organism. The world still thinks this was an earth quake and it would be preferable that remain so."
The first monster we see is a flying MUTO that is looking for more nuclear materials to consume. When Godzilla finally appears, officials hope that he will help them fight the MUTO and he does, but Warner Brothers has not released for TV any of the stunning shots of their battles. And that's a shame because those are by far the best parts of this movie.
A worried scientist played by Ken Watanabe gets to utter the movie's one philosophical line: The arrogance of man is thinking that nature is in our control ….. and not the other way around.
Bottom line: you should watch this movie if you want to see mayhem and destruction in vivid detail and you're willing to overlook a very weak storyline.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now.