The very striking Imax 3D poster for Gareth Edward's kaiju spectacle!
NO SPOILER ZONE: This past Monday, I attended a press/advance 3D screening of the highly-anticipated return of the King: Edwards' GODZILLA (2014), produced by Legendary Pictures. Until the film is released this coming weekend, I will be holding off on my full-blown review, which will discuss the film in far more detail. So, there will be no spoilers this time around — I will just state that GODZILLA is a must-see spectacle, which is light-years beyond the Roland Emmerich film, from the opening titles to the end credits. The crowd gasped, cheered, and pumped their fists into the air numerous times, and enthusiastic applause and thunderous hoots exploded as the screen faded to black.
Without giving away anything, Edwards' interpretation of the monster is also largely atypical of similar, braindead blockbuster Hollywood productions, and doesn't pander to the lowest common denominator in its execution. Fiercely character driven, GODZILLA's narrative and drama unfold in the tradition of the best of director Shusuke Kaneko's benchmark kaiju eiga, GAMERA 3 (1999) and GMK (2001). The visual effects are gorgeous and dynamic, and sometimes truly frightening — but it never veers into Michael Bay territory. The source of much pre-release debate, the pair of enemy monsters, designated "Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms" (MUTOs), are highly evocative of Japanese kaiju design, and are one of the film's many highlights.
With some minor — I repeat, minor — reservations, Gareth Edwards' GODZILLA is a certified champion of modern monster movies. In the words of the legendary "Creature Features" host, Bob Wilkins, "I think you're gonna like it."