Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Lieutenant Ford Brody, USN, an EOD technician.
Ken Watanabe as Dr. Ishiro Serizawa, a scientist with Monarch.
Bryan Cranston as Joe Brody, Ford’s father, a nuclear physicist and former engineer at the Janjira nuclear plant.
Elizabeth Olsen as Elle Brody, Ford’s wife, a nurse.
Sally Hawkins as Dr. Vivienne Graham, a scientist with Monarch.
Juliette Binoche as Sandra Brody, Ford’s mother, a nuclear regulations consultant at the Janjira nuclear plant.
David Strathairn as Rear Admiral William Stenz, USN.
Richard T. Jones as Captain Russell Hampton, USN.
Director Gareth Edwards made this movie.
Wait, that’s redundant.
If anyone else made this movie, it would have been a ham sandwich. With Edwards at the helm, it was a super fancy ham sandwich.
It goes like this: Hero. Problem. Hero’s people. Monster problem. EMOTION. Effing monster. People. Problem. More people. Monster problem. Plot is great. People problem. Monster fight. Ending.
A lot of reviews are saying that it’s too people-ey. I agree. Ken Watanabe should have been the lone lead. Everything could have revolved around him. Cranston was there to blast the movie off, and he did. But, the movie would have been a half hour shorter and twice as good.
Edwards’ visually masterful grandeur and Watanabe’s straight forward acting would have made a B- a B+. Edwards did a hell of a job. Thus the B- in the F+. I’m not a fan of lowest common denominator scripts, which Godzilla has elements of.
Take out the love story and the pandering and the hero bullshit. Toss that aside. You could still have the soldier’s perspective without all the banal plot work. The world they were in was enough, you didn’t need some nitwit (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) with a soupy name (Ford) , who didn’t even get to do what he was trained to do (dodging a spoiler) as a necessary reason for him to be in the obviously dire situations. Just have it from any soldiers perspective and you could still have the sky dive, you could still have the perspective from the ground, you could still have Watanabe pushing the plot forward. Plot. Plod. Meh.
Edwards’ Monsters was wonderful and full of thematic deliciousness, as was Godzilla. Thank the director, a bit of Cranston’s blast acting, Binoche’s honesty and Watanabe’s all encapsulating abilities for that.
With all that said, I found myself with my mouth hanging slack on several occasions. Some scenes were wondrous. Vast. Rich. And the monster fights? If I were a monster, that is how I would kill a monster. I’ll leave it at that.