'Godzilla' is a disappointing monster movie

( PG-13 ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

'Godzilla': It turns out all the best parts of the film were in the trailers. 'Godzilla' stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

Warner Bros. Pictures/AP
'Godzilla' is directed by Gareth Edwards.

I must say that, despite my better instincts, I was looking forward to “Godzilla” because it had such a bang-up trailer. But beware falling into the Trailer Trap. Sometimes, oftentimes, trailers showcase only the good stuff. The actual movie is a pale substitute. 

Such is the case here. It’s a tad better than the 1998 “Godzilla,” perhaps, but that’s not saying much. A lot of name actors, including Juliette Binoche, Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, and a particularly uncomfortable-looking David Strathairn, turn up. Who, if any, will end up as dino-fodder?

Director Gareth Edwards and his screenwriter Max Borenstein have made the humorless, boneheaded decision to make Godzilla a good guy. The bad guys, actually a guy and a girl, are a pair of MUTOs – “Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms” – that have been roused from their slumber, or whatever, by Filipino miners. San Francisco and Honolulu are among the places that get stomped. Godzilla faces off against the MUTOs, who resemble gigantic Jaguar hood ornaments, and is proclaimed by the grateful public as the “King of the Monsters.” You didn’t think Warner Bros. was going to kill off its new franchise right away, did you? Grade: C+ (Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence.)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to 'Godzilla' is a disappointing monster movie
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today