With Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn
Written by Max Borenstein & Dave Callaham
So, does it boil down to enough time elapsing to cash in on a new generation and add some 3D flair? Even if this is the case, thankfully they pulled a more impressive rabbit from the hat.
The impetus for this one kicks off in the late-'90s when scientists find a gigantic chrysalis-like pod in a Philippine quarry. This coincides with a Japanese nuclear plant meltdown and an American nuclear tech losing his wife in the process. Jumping to present day, the guy is obsessed with finding what he believes points to something more mysterious, landing him on the wrong side of the law. His now grown (estranged) son is a military man with a family, and has to go to Japan to get his dad out of the hot water. But, this places him in the middle of a seismic global event with ancient gargantuan creatures that feed on radiation and causing havoc in the process (helpless humans and their cities simply in their path). And yes, the governments have known about these creatures for half a century. The main culprit here is known as a Muto (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism - in many ways reminiscent of the Cloverfield monster). Godzilla has been lured out of its deep earth hibernation by the emergence of these creatures, drawn to them as a natural equalizer having to restore the natural balance, by kicking ass!
Naturally the separation factor / family break-up in the midst of the chaos has to be included, but in the greater scheme of things doesn't sap it up too much. Let's face it, it's all about the monsters - humans are mere dramatic devices and collateral damage!
On the whole this is huge, spectacular and thoroughly enjoyable, and not an empty re-take.
In hindsight, many are ripping into Emmerich's '98 version, but for all of its flaws, it was a large scale entertainment spectacle building on the new form of story-telling re-introduced by movies like Jurassic Park, thanks to new digital advances.
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished