'Godzilla' reboot is exciting on the surface, lacks depth

New movie hits theaters on May 16


DETROIT – Its been more than a decade since a Godzilla movie was released, the last being in 1998, starring Matthew Broderick. Of course, that meant we were due for another reboot, which after watching, feels like exactly what it is -- another reboot.

"Godzilla," that giant green, tail-swinging menace is back, and with friends!

The movie begins in 1999, when scientist Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) watches a seismic tremor destroy a nuclear facility in the Philippines, which ultimately leads to the death of his wife (Juliette Binoche). We then fast forward 15 years, when Joe's son, Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor Johnson), is a military explosives expert.

Over the last fifteen years, Joe Brody has been trying to uncover what he thinks is a cover up. Sure enough, they return to the nuclear plant to find a giant egg! (Ooo, what could it be!?)

It takes a solid hour for the star of the movie, Godzilla himself, to show up -- and what an entrance he makes.

The trailer leads you to believe this reboot is a dark, apocalyptic movie, but it really only impacts a small portion of the world (really, only San Francisco and Las Vegas).

The thing is, Godzilla, as in the 1960s version of the movie, has no beef with humanity. He's only trying to "restore balance" -- as they say.

Godzilla's battle with the M.U.T.O.'s is exciting to a point, and destructive beyond belief (who is cleaning this up) but it eventually becomes dull.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, so likeable in the Kick-Ass movies, is slow-moving and overly dramatic. And really, there is just not enough Godzilla in "Godzilla" -- yes, that is possible! I will say this -- the special effects in the movie are amazing, especially on an IMAX screen. The score is phenomenal, as well.

The film hopes to combine B-level star power with explosive CGI work, and although the film has good moments, it doesn't seem to combine into a larger effective story. The character development is sub-par, and the plot, at times, seems rushed and messy.

On the other hand, perhaps monster-movie fans will appreciate it for what it is -- a classic take on a movie that will probably be rebooted again in 2027.

"Godzilla" hits theaters May 16th.

RATING: 3.6 out of 5



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