The King of Monsters makes his long awaited return under the direction of Gareth Edwards, who breathes epic new life into a roaring Godzilla like we’ve never seen before. It raised a few eyebrows when Edwards took the helm behind one of cinema’s most iconic monsters because quite frankly, no one had ever heard of him. With just one film under his belt, Edwards had a lot to prove when his vision of Godzilla came stomping into our lives once again.
Let’s just jump straight into it, shall we? Godzilla is a great film, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that Edwards urges the audience to be patient and trust that he knows exactly what he’s doing. He teases the titular monster in brilliant fashion, much like Spielberg did with Jaws because even though we all know exactly what Godzilla looks like, we’re glued to the edge our seats waiting for the big reveal—and what a reveal it is. The first time you hear that mighty roar will send chills down your spine as you hear the sound rattle off the theater walls. It was such a powerful moment, and I loved that Edwards lets it linger and soak into the bones of the audience.
Edwards likes to dangle the cinematic goods right in front of our eyes as he often cuts away just before something big happens, leaving the rest up to our imagination. It’s a bold move—especially for a Godzilla film—because we all showed up to watch the King of Monsters lay waste to anything that gets in his way, so denying those moments throughout the film can truly make or break it. Thankfully, all the teasing and a patience pays off in the end because the final act of Godzilla is as loud and destructive as you could ever hope for.
I also think Edwards did a great job of balancing the human element of the film with a story that, at its core, is about monsters. Let’s face it, at the end of the day when Godzilla steps into the frame we stop caring about everything else that came before it. And I can certainly see where some folks would have an issue with that, but for me I kind of liked the fact that Godzilla and the other monsters make the humans look so insignificant. It’s important to feel small in a Godzilla movie, that just means that Edwards did his job and delivered a monster that actually feels like, you know… a monster.
But beyond the sheer destruction and the greatness of Godzilla lumbering through a city while fighting off other monsters is a film that is often times stunning and filled with gorgeous imagery. Edwards’ style and vision is one of beauty and there’s something special to be said about that because not many people had faith in his ability to steer this film in the right direction with only one other feature film credit to his name; and one that was shot on a shoe-string budget no less.
I couldn’t be happier with the way Godzilla turned out. It’s monstrous and bold, and shines an undeniable cool light on one of horror’s greatest monsters. We never see Godzilla too much, only just enough. And for that I think Edwards did a phenomenal job and delivered a movie that will both surprise and leave the audience in awe.