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.)