What can contaminate a cinema screen for 122 minutes (including credits) without saying anything useful ?
Surprisingly, the answer is not Gareth Edwards’s fresh-from-the-effects-suite update of Ishiro Honda’s 1954 film about a monster from the deep that surfaces to feed on its sole diet – radioactivity. Edwards’s sequel takes aim at humankind’s scientific arrogance about dangerous things without which we may be better off.
But the film’s message, which may easily float over the heads of a significant audience cohort, is not what drags Edwards’s film down to the depths of boredom. Its repetitive delivery does that.
Once the gigantic subterranean submarine and atmospheric beasts emerge, more above-surface destruction than, say, 40 minutes can depict serves no useful purpose. Edwards’s film intersperses urban destruction and intra-group monster conflicts with fatuous notions of military attempts to destroy the beasts and a lightweight domestic drama involving the wife (Elizabeth Olsen) and son (Carson Bolde) of US Army NCO Joe (Bryan Cranston) whose nuclear engineer father, when Joe was a little tad, warned his Japanese employers of potential dangers. Admirals, in fiction never known for gentle forebearance in crisis, kowtow to Joe’s suggestions!
I resisted the temptation to go for a coffee soon after the pattern of same-old-same-old had established itself. But I persevered because of curiosity about how it would end. Telling you that a sequel is not impossible is not a spoiler. I leave you with something to ponder. What will humankind use after it exhausts Earth’s carbon fuels? Renewables cannot fully replace it. The long term answer has to be nuclear.
At Dendy; Hoyts; Limelight