Guess who woke up again after a 9-year sleep? Everybody's favorite over-sized lizard is back again to cause havoc in the 'modern world'. Is it a welcome return? Well, sure it's of course good to see him back again in movies, after a 9-year absence but it's hardly the best movie that he has ever starred in.
This movie often gets called a remake of the 1954 classic but how can it be a remake if it's constantly referring to events of the previous movies and it's following a completely different story? Guess that people at the time weren't really familiar with the term reboot yet, so they simply called it a remake instead. It's really just a sequel like all of the other Gojira sequels really, aside from the fact that it's made 9 years after the last entry and features a somewhat different and more modern style in it. In that regard it also definitely feels right to call this movie a reboot of the Gojira movie franchise, in which things are approached somewhat differently.
It definitely seems like they were going for a somewhat more serious approach again, rather than just providing some simple and silly entertainment, in which guys in rubber suits are fighting each other and aliens appear and try to destroy/takeover the world. No, this movie is actually going for a somewhat more realistic and subtle approach, which isn't always working out too well for the movie though.
First of all, it's of course hard to be completely serious with a movie that's about a giant lizard with a nuclear waste addiction. And indeed, the movie also definitely features plenty of odd- and even downright silly moments in it. It's in contrast with the approach of the movie and because of this, the silly and odd moments also mostly work out as just silly and odd moments and not always in a very good or entertaining way, as usually was the case with all of the earlier- and less serious, Gojira sequels.
What also seems weird to me is that they obviously decided to reboot- and breathe some new, fresh life into the series, yet the big guy himself is hardly given much of a makeover. He looks good from a distance and when he isn't moving too much but especially during all of the closeups, he's still as fake and silly looking as ever.
It also really felt weird to see Gojira physically injure and kill people in this movie. That's something that we never got to see before, in any of the previous movies. Sure, they talked a lot about people getting killed during one of Gojira's many rampages and I'm sure a whole bunch of soldiers were killed whenever Gojira fired his atomic breath at their takes and planes but the point is that we never saw anybody die on screen. It also felt right that way, seeing how the Gojira character in a lot of ways is a victim himself and in some of the movies he's even the good guy, who saves humanity from annihilation. In other words, he isn't just a simple movie monster, who destroys and kills for pleasure, however in this movie he's nothing but the main villain and threat though and the movie also makes sure of it that you can only look at him that way.
It's also kind of ironic how this was the most modern Gojira movie at the time, yet it's also one of the most slow and boring ones to watch. Something felt off about the pacing and it was like every scene went on for at least 15 seconds too long. Especially the start of the movie feels needlessly slow and not all that interesting, since it also isn't doing anything new and we of course all know what is going to happen anyway. It also definitely is a very simple and predictable movie, story-wise. It's weird and disappointing how this is a reboot but it's hardly doing anything new at all with its story, aside from taking a different approach.
I admit that the movie gets better and more entertaining to watch toward the end but it's not quite enough to wash away the bad taste left by the first half of the movie.
I prefer the older, more entertaining, Gojira sequels over this more modern and serious updated treatment any day!