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Godzilla – Not Quite What I Hoped For But Good None The Less

 
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Overview
 

Genre: Science-Fiction/Kaiju Moive
 
Director: Gareth Edwards
 
Actor(s): Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, David Strathairn, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche
 
MPAA Rating: PG-13
 
Release Date: Friday May 16
 
Length: 123 Minutes
 
Story
C


 
Directing
B-


 
Acting
B-


 
Rewatchability
B+


 
Total Score
B-
9/ 14


User Rating
3 total ratings

 

Positives


Godzillia fighting monsters

Negatives


Not enough Godzilla fighting monsters


3
Posted May 14, 2014 by

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.

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Godzilla Fighting The Smog Monster

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.

Godzilla 2014 Movie Review

This. This is What I Wanted.

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.



Patrick Venturella

 
Patrick Venturella is a freelance writer living in Cincinnati, Ohio. His "nerdy" passions include, but are not limited to. table top games, general science (especially geology), and anything science fiction.


3 Comments


  1.  
    Jeremy
    A

    I couldn’t disagree more. If Godzilla had been fighting the whole movie, it would have been overkill. He was revealed little by little throughout the film. Having him only as a small part of the film built the anticipation for when he would truly become the star. The military jumping out of the plane from 30,000 feet into downtown!?!? One of the best scenes I’ve ever seen. Period. The music was great throughout because it modernized the feel of music from old Japanese cinema. I mean come on! MOTHRA MADE AN APPEARANCE?!?!?! Who saw that coming? And finally when the military asked what the beast was called, a zoom in on Ken Watanabe’s face. “We call him, Goad-zeela.” It was perfect. Please greenlight the sequel. NOW!




    •  
      Patrick Venturella

      I agree. That scene was awesome, the music and sound throughout the movie was awesome. It was a good movie. There really wasn’t a need to reveal Godzilla though. Everyone knows what he looks like and what he does.

      Overall the first two acts of the movie relied heavily on the audience making an emotion connection to Taylor-Johnson’s character and his story. It didn’t do it for me. That could be a symptom of his acting or the story but whatever it was it didn’t work for me. The only character I connected with emotionally was Godzilla so I wanted more of him and his story.

      If they wanted to do a character driven story where Godzilla is not the sole character, then I would have liked to see tighter, more focused non-Godzilla characters that I could connect with.

      Like I said I liked the movie, just thought it could have been better.




  2.  
    Dave Guenthner
    A+

    Ordnance, not ordinance.
    MSgt (ret) Dave Guenthner
    Explosive Ordnance Disposal





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