What 2014's "Godzilla" Movie Brings to the Table

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American nuclear weapons testing results in the creation of a giant radioactive monster called Godzilla, a seemingly unstoppable, dinosaur-like beast awakened from its slumber to wreak destruction on its creators. How can this monster be stopped?
Godzilla - Official Trailer 3 UK International HD
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
May 12th, 2014

Since 1954, the giant Japanese monster Godzilla has been thrilling moviegoers as it terrorizes Tokyo and other large cities, toppling buildings in its wake. In 2004, Godzilla creators Toho Co., Ltd. announced that no "Godzilla" films would be released for the next 10 years, and fans desperately awaited the next installment of the monster franchise. In the year 2014, the 60th anniversary of the beloved monster, the Hollywood reboot of "Godzilla" is set to be released on May 16. Details of the film itself are being kept relatively hidden, but the following list features some of the elements that moviegoers can expect from the highly anticipated monster flick.

A Monstrous Godzilla Like Audiences Have Never Seen Before

Much thought and preparation went into creating the CG masterpiece embodying the classic monster. The filmmaking team reviewed all previous incarnations of the monster, desiring to create Godzilla in the way that Toho envisioned him 60 years earlier. The design of the creature was heavily influenced by bears and Komodo dragons, and creators went for a terrifying but noble look. Like the 1954 incarnation, the monster is covered in keloid scars resulting from radiation. From early glimpses of the 2014 beast, it is clear that audiences are in for a wild ride when the massive monster takes to the screen in May.

A Standout Cast of Hollywood's Best

The characters for "Godzilla" were cast very carefully based on their acting ability rather than their popularity, and the result is a series of standout performances. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, best known for films like "The Illusionist" and "Kick-Ass," plays the lead character Ford Brody. Elizabeth Olsen, sister of the famed Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, plays the role of Elle Brody. This duo has unstoppable on-screen chemistry, and the two actors are also collaborating on the upcoming "Avengers: Age of Ultron" film. The role of Ford's father is filled by Bryan Cranston, an actor who recently showed the world his incredible talent on the hit series "Breaking Bad." These three actors create an engaging, dynamic film, and supporting actors like Sally Hawkins and Ken Watanabe are just as interesting to watch.

Amazing Visuals

The filmmakers of the 2014 reboot make good use of modern technology to create an immersive, believable universe. The film reportedly used more than 950 visual effects from beginning to end, and roughly 325 of these belong to the CG monster. To put things in perspective, the detailed computer graphics used in "Godzilla" would take roughly 450 years to render on a lone computer. The cinematography and shooting locations also promise to be breathtaking. With "The Avengers" cinematographer Seamus McGarvey in charge of this part of the production, fans are expecting the film to be visually stunning in nearly every aspect.

A Style Faithful to the Original Toho Films

The film, which is a collaboration between Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros, tries to embody the elements and values introduced in the 1954 "Godzilla" and its subsequent sequels by Toho. Director Gareth Edwards has expressed his desire to infuse in his film the seriousness and themes from the original, which was a clear metaphor for the scars and destruction left after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As a result, the story includes heavy use of symbolism as Godzilla, the anti-hero, wreaks havoc on humanity while fighting the destructive creatures that humans have created. The filmmakers also tried to bring similar visuals, designs and other original aspects into the reboot. Even Akira Takarada, an actor from the original "Godzilla" movie, makes a cameo appearance in this film.

A Definitive Story

The long-awaited reboot of "Godzilla" has led many fans to question whether a sequel is in the works. According to Edwards, this is not the case. The director expressed his desire to create a definitive Godzilla story that has a beginning and an end, leaving moviegoers with a sense of closure. Although this style is not highly utilized in Hollywood due to the lucrative nature of a prospective sequel, the well-built storytelling arc is sure to deliver a much stronger impact on audiences, leaving no loose strings to bother viewers once the credits begin to roll.

The 2014 "Godzilla" movie clearly has a lot to offer, and audiences can expect a one-of-a-kind experience when the highly anticipated film hits theaters in the spring. The film may be a Hollywood remake of a Japanese classic, but it embodies enough of the visuals and values of the original to make it a must-see for even the most selective Godzilla fan.