Godzilla: A movie about a giant lizard. Brought to you by the U.S. Navy and Warner Bros.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the giant monster, let me catch you up: Godzilla is a giant lizard, who’s been tearin’ s*#t up in movies since 1954.
If this sounds like a ridiculous concept for a movie, you’d be right. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a damn good time.
The screening, attended by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), and director of the film Gareth Edwards, began with some “educational” and super-boss speeches from the Secretary and the director. Several months ago, Edwards showed a scene to Secretary Mabus in which service members skydive into a ravaged city with red flares on their feet. Edwards was embarrassed and worried it took too much artistic licensing. After showing him the scene, Edwards went to apologize to Secretary Mabus, but before he could, the Secretary took out his phone and showed the director a video of himself skydiving from an aircraft—with almost exactly the same red flares on his feet. One of the coolest spectacles in the film, to the surprise of even the director, is in fact a reality! ‘Merica.
After probably the most patriotic pre-movie speeches I’ve ever heard, the lights went down, and the film began trailer-free. The film starts off in the Pacific in the late 90s, and follows father and nuclear physist, Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston, the badass from Breaking Bad) and son Lieutenant Ford Brody, USN, (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) as they join forces with Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe, love this guy, he’s basically in every movie where they need someone to speak Japanese) to uncover a massive government cover-up, protect the people they love, and save the world from a potential nuclear disaster and a giant monster. So totally casual, no pressure on the characters at all.
Side note: Although it took me a little too long to notice, the hero’s wife is played by Elizabeth Olsen, the younger sister of the famous twin-duo of the 90s, Mary-Kate and Ashley. Once I realized this, I was vaguely distracted imagining solving crimes by dinner time. However, this was a brief and unfair distraction since she did a great job in the role, and, you know, there were monsters on the screen that were monopolizing my time and attention.
Overall, the movie was a great time—fantastic special effects, great cast, and a good story that didn’t let the awesome special effects overpower the story, a refreshing change from many other action films out there. To paraphrase Secretary Mabus, with help from the U.S. Navy (filming locations, ships, etc.) this movie shows the hard work our military does protecting our nation both in reality, and fictionally, from a giant lizard.
My recommendation: Go into the movie remembering that you’re seeing a movie about a giant lizard tearing s*#t up, don’t take yourself too seriously, and enjoy watching the American military take on a giant monster in the first Hollywood blockbuster of the summer.