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home : features : reel watchers July 23, 2016

5/18/2014 5:59:00 AM
At 60, Godzilla has never been better
F.W. Brock
Kingman resident

Lights! Camera! And plenty of action await audiences as Godzilla rises from the smoke and ash to greet moviegoers with its classic roar and atomic plasma breath! Sixty looks great on this CGI beast who debuted on the silver screen in 1954.  

The action starts immediately when a government cover-up goes wrong, leading to unexplained seismic activity and electromagnetic pulses (EMPs). Epic devastation follows as Godzilla battles two monsters.     

Seamless action unfolds as the beasts search out radioactive food sources. Planes fall from the sky, a submarine is plucked from the ocean, and monsters trample Caesars Palace in Vegas - how come that was never in the Miner?

In short, it's everything one could hope for in a monster feature! 

Fans of the classic films will appreciate the homage paid to previous versions, such as a news flash hailing Godzilla as the "King of Monsters," a winged monster, and the little boy in the blue hat and red shirt.   

Even those who have tired of CGI-based action movies should enjoy Godzilla's organic appearance and plod through devastated streets. Director Gareth Edwards demonstrates a remarkable knack for detail by inserting allusions to fallout from atomic bombs, showing monsters greeting before mating, providing considerable ethnic diversity, and remembering the victims of Pearl Harbor, Nagasaki, and Hiroshima.

Such particulars provide a considerable human element which prevent "Godzilla" from plummeting into a runaway monster movie. 

However, the acting leaves much to be desired. Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe and Emmy award-winner Bryan Cranston are wasted stars: Watanabe is reduced to a frowning scientist who is in awe of the monsters and Cranston's passionate pleas fall on deaf ears. As the lead actor, Aaron Taylor-Johnson fades into a cliché - the monster movie action hero.

Luckily, the real actors are the 300-foot beasts stomping their way across the West Coast.    

 I give this movie 4 enthusiastic Miners!

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