Godzilla

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(2014) ★★★

Sky Movies Action/Adventure: Saturday 23 May, 9pm

Aaron Taylor-Johnson thinks dad Bryan Cranston is barmy for believing something bigger than a nuclear plant meltdown in Japan killed his mom, Juliette Binoche. Just don’t go blaming Godzilla. He’s here to help. The culprit is Muto (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism) – Mothra in disguise. While not a rare breed, Gareth Edwards’ sci-fi take on the Atomic Age’s featured creatures is unconventional, not least in killing off two of its main stars inside the first hour. But for all the staggering scenes of destruction it’s still a lesser film than his bracing debut, Monsters. It doesn’t help that the big climax, already fairly chaotic, takes place at night amid murky clouds of smoke and rubble dust. Although there’s little in composer Alexandre Desplat’s back catalogue to suggest he would want to handle a project like this, it’s not a bad job. Even if the most impressive piece of music is lifted directly from Gyorgy Ligeti’s Requiem, as heard in 2001: A Space Odyssey. And more of the heavy lifting should surely have been left to the big guy, who’s virtually a bystander in his own own movie. Still, everything makes more sense than Pacific Rim. The first Godzilla since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 was received more warmly than Roland Emmerich’s 1998 revamp of the crude Japanese man-in-rubber-monster-suit movies of the 60s. As Independence Day drew inspiration from War of the Worlds and other 50s sci-fi scare pictures, so Emmerich’s Godzilla (Watch, Sunday at 7pm) is both a remake of the 1953 Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and a grandiose modern version of the 1933 King Kong – a blameless behemoth taking big bites out of the Big Apple. Like me, Nobel Prize winning mathematician Richard Borcherds thought the critics got Godzilla all wrong, because “it delivered exactly what it promised – a 200-foot monster stomping all over New York.” Cult film-maker Tim Burton stomped on it too: “I’d rather see the guy in the suit.”

Certificate: 12
Duration: 123min

Other Showings Date & Time
Watch Sunday, 24 May at 7:00PM
Sky Movies Showcase Monday, 25 May at 2:20PM
Watch Monday, 25 May at 6:10PM
Sky Movies Showcase Monday, 25 May at 9:00PM
Sky Movies Sci-Fi/Horror Thursday, 28 May at 2:45PM
Sky Movies Sci-Fi/Horror Thursday, 28 May at 9:00PM
Sky Movies Showcase Wednesday, 3 June at 1:45PM
Sky Movies Showcase Wednesday, 3 June at 8:00PM