In Steven Spielberg’s box-office behemoth Jurassic Park, geneticists arrogantly believe they can tame Mother Nature with cutting-edge science.
“Life finds a way,” warns Jeff Goldblum’s fatalistic chaos mathematician.
These wise words and Spielberg’s entire 1993 blockbuster provide the guiding light for Gareth Edwards’ bombastic resurrection of cinema’s iconic reptile.
The Warwickshire-born director harks back to Ishiro Honda’s groundbreaking 1954 film Gojira, which reflected Japanese society’s fears in the aftermath of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In Edwards’s film, the titular 355-feet tall creature boasts familiar dorsal fins, lumbering gait and fiery radioactive breath, and is securely tethered to timely concerns about the environmental consequences of nuclear power.
Godzilla is a technically accomplished hunk of large-scale monster-mashing.
You can see every cent of the rumoured $160m budget and the director makes good use of the 3D format by reflecting carnage in mirrors and glass.
Chilling images of Cranston and Taylor-Johnson entering a Japanese quarantine zone and a tender moment between the two M.U.T.O.s (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms) explicitly reference Edwards’ low budget debut, Monsters, while the director manages to convey the titular reptile’s feelings in the midst of battle.
But human emotions are much harder to unearth.