Godzilla – Not Quite What I Hoped For But Good None The Less
This review will contain spoilers. So if you don’t want anything spoiled here’s the short version. Should you see this movie? Yes.
Now for the long version.
I am by no means a Godzilla/ Kaiju movie expert. Like most guys my age, I watched Godzilla as a kid and loved it because I was a 7 year old boy and that’s what 7 year old boys like. Gigantic dinosauresque monsters wreaking havoc. However, besides the original Godzilla, the only movie I can recall with any kind of accuracy is Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster. So ultimately there might be some nods and winks I missed in the new Godzilla movie.
Directed by Gareth Edwards, who’s other notable contribution to film includes Monsters , Godzilla wasn’t quite what I wanted. I really, really wanted to love this movie. After the 2 ½ hour Quaalude that was The Amazing Spider-Man 2, I was ready to love any movie and I hoped Godzilla would be it. I wanted it to be my rebound relationship with blockbusters – the movie that knew it wasn’t going to last but wanted to have fun anyway.
Don’t get me wrong, I liked the movie. It’s entertaining, visually awesome and the monster fights were incredible. What left me disappointed was everything else. As I left the movie and started thinking about this review I realized I had no idea what the plot was. In fact I can’t even remember the names of the main characters.
It had something to do with nuclear power and monsters with EMP blasts (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms or MUTOS) and I think there was something to do with the balance of nature and Godzilla exists to restore this balance but they tried to kill Godzilla in the 1950’s with nuclear bomb tests in the Pacific and there’s an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) guy whose relationship with his father is strained because his mother died in a nuclear power plant accident and then the EOD guy’s dad dies and the EOD guy has to get back to San Francisco to disarm a nuclear bomb they were going to use to lure the MUTOS out to sea because the MUTOS eat radiation and then Godzilla fights the MUTOS. That’s roughly it. I think. Honestly, I just don’t know.
The more I thought about the plot the more frustrated I became.
My problem with the plot, and by association the movie, is not so much that it’s convoluted and silly. I don’t mind convoluted and silly. It’s the fact there was so much of it. It’s the fact there are main characters not named Godzilla. It’s the fact that the movie spent so much time on the stories of people I didn’t care about and so little time showing me Godzilla.
I just wanted monsters destroying things. In fact, the very first time the monsters fight you only get to see it on a television being recapped by the news. Which I thought was interesting but I just wanted fighting monsters. That’s it.
Again, I didn’t hate the movie. There are some great scenes like when the US Navy is essentially escorting Godzilla to San Francisco so he can fight the MUTOS. Hell yeah USS Godzilla.
Or the scene when the military is HALO jumping into San Fran. Or when Godzilla finally unleashes his Atomic Breath on the MUTOS. Or when Godzilla finishes off the last MUTO in spectacular fashion (I was almost out of my seat cheering at that point). Or, at the end, when our hero lumbers off into the sea like a 355 ft. tall lizard monster version of Batman. I loved those parts.
I really did like this movie and you should definitely see it. It’s paced well, visually stunning and when you finally get Godzilla, you get him in a big way. However, when it comes down to it I wanted more Pacific Rim and less Cloverfield.
Also if you want to see Godzilla because you’re a huge fan of Brian Cranston, don’t get your hopes up. He’s out of the movie within the first 30 minutes.