Alan Dee’s movie preview: Godzilla needs to be a monster hit to justify this mega makeover
You may not realise that Godzilla is one of the most durable monsters in the history of cinema, first striding out of the sea 60 years ago to kick off a slew of successful Japanese features.
History doesn’t weigh heavily with the bigwigs in Hollywood, though – they reckon that you won’t even remember the 1998 blockbuster from Roland ‘Independence Day’ Emmerich, which was widely considered to be a turkey of the first order.
That film had the unlikely figure of Matthew Broderick in a leading role. This time around the best-known name is probably Bryan Cranston, fresh from his success in Breaking Bad.
But really it’s all about the monster – the director at the helm of this big budget blather hasn’t got a marquee name either.
Gareth Edwards made his reputation with the much-admired Monsters, when he conjured up an unsettling sci-fi story with a budget of buttons, a tiny cast and a lot of imagination.
Now he’s been given the whole gold-plated toy box to play with, and the result is a two-hour headache – all the showpiece shouty special effects are in your face, it’s slick and silly and you won’t remember a minute of it 10 minutes after the credits roll.
But the Warner Brothers machine is right behind it, so it’s sure to be a hit.
Godzilla is the big beast this week but worth seeking out is In Secret, which stars Elizabeth Olsen – also in the monster movie – in a period tale of romantic obsession, adultery and tragedy which will familiar to fans of classic French literature.
The story is based on Emile Zola’s Therese Raquin, and if a woman trapped in a loveless marriage and working behind the counter in her mother-in-law’s cramped shop before falling for a dashing artist floats your boat, it’s got great date movie credentials. And it’s all about people, with not a mutant monster in sight.