Godzilla, Godzuki and Mothra have a special place in my heart. Those old movies were corny and cheaply made, but they were great fun.
Watching the brilliant Gareth Edwards 2010 film “Monsters” came close to recreating that feeling, while providing an entertaining and meaningful story that made the creatures more effective.
If you’re a big fan of those movies, you’ll adore this. Even if you’re not into that genre, you’ll find much to love here.
The opening credits offer homage to the old Godzilla films. Key shots from those are lingered on.
We are then whooshed to the Philippines and on to Japan. You care about the people at the heart of this and the visuals are simply stunning.
3D adds an enormous amount to the depth of the big scenes here.
There is a British sensibility in this Japanese and American story. Bad stuff happens to good people. Medical machines fail to work. Somehow, Edwards keeps the feeling of a small film with interesting stories in this big-budget blockbuster.
The creatures are magnificent. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is terrific as our lead and everyman representative, Ford Brody and CJ Adams is impressive as the much younger Ford.
Bryan Cranston is a revelation as the bonkers daddy of Ford and Ken Watanabe is superb as a scientist seeking the truth.
Curiously, on some levels, it’s very much a classic war movie, although it hasn’t been advertised as that.
The women characters have fewer interesting lines and plots, although Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche and Sally Hawkins have their moments.
But it’s the creatures, the journeys, the visuals and the understated sense of compelling threat to humanity that will rivet your attention. Whatever you think of the genre, you’ll be impressed by what you are seeing and the music enhances that sense of fear.
All 123 minutes zoom by and the very-packed Stratford East Picturehouse oohed and aahed a great deal. As did I.