An air of unfamiliarity, strangeness, and gloom hangs over this sci-fi blockbuster, rare for any summer special-effects pic and especially for kaiju giant-monster flicks, which tend toward campy laughs. The King of the Monsters is back, to wreck Tokyo, Honolulu, Las Vegas, and San Francisco on his way to “restoring the balance of nature,” while naval officer Aaron Taylor-Johnson, his nurse wife Elizabeth Olsen, and sagacious scientist Ken Watanabe look on helplessly. Moral of the story: Abuse the Earth and she will send Gojira to abuse you. The big guy’s epic tussle with Mr. and Mrs. Muto (winged pterodactyl-like beasties) in downtown SF is the most efficient way ever devised to clear real estate for development. Directed with a keen eye by English TV move-over Gareth Edwards, from a script by Max Borenstein and a story by Dave Callaham. Bryan Cranston, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, and David Strathairn costar, with little enough to do (123 min.).
Director: Gareth Edwards
Producer: Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent, Brian Rogers, Patricia Whitcher, Alex Garcia, Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston