Gareth Edward's Godzilla: Review

24 September 2023
"Godzilla," released in 2014, marked a significant return of the iconic kaiju to the big screen. Directed by Gareth Edwards, this film aimed to reintroduce the world to the legendary monster in a modern context, while paying homage to its rich history. 

It stands as a pivotal entry in the modern era of kaiju films, setting the tone for subsequent movies in the MonsterVerse.

Godzilla, originally conceived in Japan, made its debut in 1954 as a metaphor for nuclear devastation. Over the decades, the creature has taken on various roles, from a villainous destroyer to a heroic savior. Gareth Edwards' "Godzilla" sought to capture the essence of the original while offering a fresh perspective. 

Unlike many of its predecessors, this film emphasizes the sheer scale and grandeur of Godzilla, positioning him as a force of nature.

godzilla film review gareth edwards

The film unfolds with Joe Brody, an engineer, investigating a nuclear plant's anomalies in Japan. Tragedy strikes, leading his son, Ford, on a quest years later to uncover the truth. As ancient titanic creatures rise, humanity grapples with their existence. 

Amidst the chaos, Godzilla emerges, not as a mere monster, but as nature's balancer. The narrative weaves human drama with colossal confrontations, culminating in a climactic battle in San Francisco.

Ford Brody played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson (future James Bond), serves as our human anchor. His journey from a naval officer to confronting his past and the titanic beasts offers a personal lens to the larger-than-life events.

Joe Brody portrayed by Bryan Cranston riding high on Breaking Bad fame, is the emotional core of the film. His relentless pursuit of the truth, driven by personal loss, adds depth and urgency to the unfolding mystery.

Dr. Serizawa played by Ken Watanabe (The Creator), offers a philosophical perspective. His reverence for Godzilla and belief in nature's balance contrasts with others' panic-driven responses.

The theme of Nature's Wrath is evident. The MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms) and Godzilla are nature's response to humanity's ecological and nuclear disruptions.

The classic Man vs. Giant Monster trope is revitalized, showcasing humanity's vulnerability against such colossal beings.

Edwards, known for his visual prowess, crafts a film that's both intimate and grand. The use of darkness and obscured shots, especially in the film's first half, builds anticipation for Godzilla's full reveal. The HALO jump sequence, with red flares piercing through the smoky San Francisco skyline, is both haunting and mesmerizing. The film's color palette, dominated by blues and grays, evokes a sense of awe and dread.

Alexandre Desplat's score is a masterclass in building tension and grandeur. The music, often punctuated by heavy brass and percussions, complements the narrative's scale. And of course, Godzilla's roar, a sound that has evolved since its 1954 inception, is chillingly realized here. Fun trivia: The roar in this film was crafted using a mix of various animal sounds and was played on a massive speaker array to capture its echo and resonance in real-world locations.

"Godzilla" was both a critical and commercial success, grossing over $500 million worldwide. It was praised for its visual effects, direction, and a fresh take on the iconic monster. Its success paved the way for the MonsterVerse, leading to sequels and crossovers with other legendary kaiju, like King Kong. A cool piece of trivia: Gareth Edwards and his team studied animal behavior and natural disasters to depict the kaiju movements and their impact realistically.

After the success of "Godzilla," Gareth Edwards' directorial prowess was further recognized, leading him to helm one of the most anticipated films in the "Star Wars" franchise, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."  This standalone film, set just before the events of the original 1977 "Star Wars," showcased Edwards' ability to blend personal stories with grand cinematic spectacles, much like he did with "Godzilla."

Furthermore, Edwards continued to showcase his versatility with "The Creator," a film that garnered attention for its unique storytelling and compelling performances. Starring a young Madeleine Yuna Voyles and David Washington, "The Creator" further solidified Edwards' reputation as a director who could seamlessly merge character-driven narratives with visually stunning cinema. Voyles and Washington's on-screen chemistry and depth added layers to Edwards' vision, making "The Creator" a testament to his evolving directorial style.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

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