And man, are they doozies. Unlike so many effects-laden extravaganzas in which the battles are just noisy, indiscernible blurs of slamming and destruction (we’re looking at you, “Transformers”), you can actually tell who is doing what to whom here. The results are visceral, thrilling, frightening. There’s texture and perspective, a sense of both intimacy and enormity. And the impeccable sound design does wonders to heighten the feeling of dread. “Godzilla” is full of ominous creaks and clicks, moans and groans. Waiting for these creatures to arrive is as delicious as witnessing the full brunt of their power.
Yes, creatures plural, ones with ancient roots and a legacy to consider. This is not a spoiler, folks.
“Godzilla” begins in 1999 with a pair of startling events: the discovery of a massive crater full of radioactive, fossilized remnants in the Philippines and a meltdown at a Japanese nuclear power plant, where seismic activity appears to be the culprit. Surely, this cannot be a coincidence — and sure enough, skeptical scientist Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston), who had worked at the plant, drives himself to obsession in search of the truth.