Do not waste your time.

It is a strange coincidence that I’ve actually seen the original 1954 black and white film, which I maintain is far superior to any of the attempts to revive the monster – including this one. I think the lesson here is that back in 1954, special effects technology wasn’t so great so film makers had to rely more on writing good stories with complex characters. Despite a pretty decent bunch of actors, and a story that wasn’t terrible, the action sequences and special effects took centre stage and ultimately doomed this film to be quickly forgotten.

If loud noises, flashing lights, and burning things are your thing, then I suppose this film will at least keep you entertained. What is sad is that there was actually some potential and some real acting talent on screen. However, what really falls apart is the emotional connection that is (not) made with the audience. I’m a bit of a movie snob, but I’m not so much of a snob that I insist on holding all film to some ridiculous standard of high art. For me, a film is good if it captivates viewers and tells a good story. I can forgive bad physics and plot inconsistencies as long as the storytelling is good, and unfortunately in this case it was not.

Everything feels rushed. There’s a disaster, then there’s a monster, then there’s the big reveal scene, then there’s another monster, etc. Throughout the film I felt like I was being taken through a very expensive special effects shopping list and that there was some kind of time limit on everything. As a result of this, the audience isn’t given the time (or the lines) to be able to really connect with a character before he or she dies. Contrary to popular belief (thanks Michael Bay), a film plot isn’t a device to string special effects sequences together. Perhaps this is some kind of allegory for the failings of modern people in developed countries who behave like children and buy more and more things to fill emotional holes in their lives rather than growing as people – if we put more explosions and dying into the movie, maybe it will be better. I suppose in the universe of cynical film making where the success of an investment in special effects is tied to its ticket receipts, this makes financial sense but seriously film producers, take a look at X-men, The Dark Knight, and Mission Impossible – great films can be commercially successful too.

There’s really not much left to say other than watch the original 1954 film. Perhaps the monster is cursed, as I recall another attempt to revive him in 1998 which was also terrible. But until monster-film makers decide to make grown-up movies, we’ll be stuck with what are basically loony tunes chase and fight scenes with darker lighting and more death.

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