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Godzilla: Shows Us the King of the Monsters Cannot Die

May 18, 2014

GOdzilla-2014-wallpaperTitle: Godzilla

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Stars: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe

Runtime: 123 mins

Rating: PG-13

Note: I apologize ahead of time for the amount of swearing in this article…I was…uhhh…really excited when I wrote this….

You know how when a kid gets too energetic, parents turn on the TV to calm the little guys down?  My parents used to do that to me…except instead of cartoons they turned on Godzilla movies.  You see, Godzilla was my childhood hero (actually he still is my hero, screw all you guys) and in 2004 the last Godzilla movie was filmed (Final Wars it was appropriately called).  So when this movie was announced, I was so confunklargerer I could barely function.  Finally, the day I got to see Godzilla again was here, after a long 10 year wait.  Yes it was a reboot, and yes it was made by Americans who previously gave us that god awful rendition in 1998.  But the King of the Monsters was back and I’ll be damned if anything was going to stop from getting to the theatre.

I may or may not have caused this...

I may or may not have caused this…

After his power plant in Japan gets utterly destroyed by what is assumed to be an Earthquake, killing his wife in the process, Joe Brody (Cranston) is unable to shake the feeling that there is some sort of coverup occurring.  Cut to 15 years later when he and his son Ford (Taylor-Johnson) return to their old Japanese home, which is now in a Quarantine zone, to find Joe’s data from that faithful day.  However, while there, they discover a team of scientists, led by Dr. Serizawa (Watanabe) have actually been harboring a sort of huge life form.  Suddenly, it escapes and begins to make a trip over the Pacific towards the nearest source of radiation to feed off of: San Fransisco.

However, while preoccupied with this large creature, another gigantic beast, sensing its prey has shown itself, has surfaced from the ocean and is also making a beeline for America, to engage in a battle of enormous proportions

Spoiler: It’s Godzilla.

Awwww yis, mother fukin' Godzilla!

Awwww yis, mother fukin’ Godzilla!

So….was this movie worth a 10 year wait?  Not really, hardly anything is worth that kind of wait.  However, did this movie deliver a kick-as Godzilla experience?  You’re goddamned right it did!

I’ll start by discussing the acting. Why?  Because Godzilla films are notorious for poor or half-assed acting (perhaps with the exception of the original 1954 film).  So while I can say this was the best acted Godzilla film ever, that’s not exactly putting the bar very high.  However, the cast did do a decent job, enough that I didn’t have to sit their scoffing through the human scenes because of unbelievability.  Cranston, of course, did a fantastic job whenever he was on screen, but despite what the trailer implies, he’s not the central human character…at all.  So his amazing performance was stunted by his lack of presence.  Now, Taylor-Johnson didn’t do a bad job at all, in fact he did fairly well, but his character wasn’t very interesting, just another army man, so his role didn’t require much in the way of stretching any acting muscles.  Olsen did a decent job as Ford’s wife, but that may just be because I was comparing her to the other Olsens…

The plot was, as expected, fairly basic.  Radiation is bad, big monsters threaten us, blah blah blah, can we see the things fight now?  However, anyone who goes to see ANY Godzilla film with the expectations of seeing a riveting plot is fooling themselves (again except the original…damn I love that movie).  The human scenes were basically inserted to move the movie along from monster scene to monster scene, and a no point does it attempt to break the Godzilla formula and do something new.

This would have caused more jaws to drop than when the Undertaker lost at Wrestlemania

This would have caused more jaws to drop than when the Undertaker lost at Wrestlemania!

The lack of any real plot did make the human scenes rather boring at points.  There’s only so many ways you can watch the humans try to kill the monsters themselves before you just kinda yell “JUST LET THE MONSTERS FIGHT…GODDAMN!”  Now, I don’t want you to think it was all bad.  This film does change perspective a bit by showing you what the monsters look like from the ground, through the humans eyes, something that’s hard to shoot when Godzilla is a man in a rubber suit.  This actually made for some unique and tense moments involving the monsters.  There was a particular scene where the humans were transporting a bomb across a bridge that really stuck out as a great scene.  It was awesome to see that if the plot itself wasn’t going to change, that the scenes themselves took on a new perspective

But from what I read on message boards, people are arguing that Godzilla himself wasn’t in the movie long enough.  After seeing the film, I do agree, Godzilla should have been present more.  But not to the extent that others seem to have wanted.  I had no problem with him not showing himself fully until about the one hour mark.  The brief glimpses beforehand were tantalizing and created this great buildup, so when he finally showed himself, it was an epic moment, shot perfectly, letting you know you are in the presence of a God.

A God's whose had some questionable friends in the past, but we won't hold that against him...too much

A God’s whose had some questionable friends in the past, but we won’t hold that against him…too much

However, after the great reveal I did expect to see the big guy more than I did and it kinda ruined the pacing for me.  For example, when Godzilla first shows, he confronts one of the evil monsters, called a MUTO.  So I figured there would be a quick skirmish to give the audience a taste of the fight to come.  However, the MUTO instead fucked right off and flew away.  Great, now I have to be subjected to some more boring human scenes while Godzilla gives chase off screen.

This may sound like I’m bashing the movie a bit, contrary to my excitement earlier.  However, these problems are rendered moot by the awesomeness that is film.  The Americans really tried to pay homage to the original monster and film, and do that very well.  Dr. Serizawa is a throwback to the tortured scientist in the 1954 film, there is a fish tank with the word Mothra clearly visible on it and Serizawa pronounces Godzilla’s name as Gojira exactly the same way as in the 1954 film. Also, despite the fact this Godzilla is new, they remained faithful to the Japanese beast.  His look is definitely different, but his basic characteristics clearly show love towards the old Godzilla and, despite both films using computer animation, they don’t attempt to give us an awful looking iguana that the last American Godzilla film gave us.

Goddamn it I hate you...

Goddamn it I hate you…

But the moment I was waiting for, the final battle between Godzilla and the MUTOs, easily makes up for everything including the 1998 film (seriously!).  It was shot so well, rendered so beautifully, I was in awe.  The first time Godzilla blew his atomic breath in the film was so damn epic I shit all my pants, including the pairs I wasn’t wearing.  Even while fighting multiple enemies, Godzilla lets them know he is sick of their shit, and lays a smackdown so hard on one of them the whole theatre shook.  I was a little kid again, watching my childhood hero show that when it comes to fighting other monsters, you could fill a dump truck with all the fucks he doesn’t give about mercy.  My girlfriend was with me when I saw this movie, and she’s never been a Godzilla fan, but even she couldn’t help getting excited by the asskicking that we witnessed.

"You think this will stop me?!  Fuck this bridge and everything on it!"

“You think this will stop me?! Fuck this bridge and everything on it!”

So despite the poor pacing choices, the slight lack of Godzilla at points and the cookie cutter Monster Movie plot, this film was so much fun.  While it wasn’t exactly worth a 10 year wait, I certainly didn’t leave disappointed.  Godzilla will always be my childhood hero and it almost makes me cry with happiness to know that nothing, not even time, can kill the King of the Monsters.  Judging by how well it’s doing at the Box Office, I’m not the only one who missed the big guy.

It’s not often I say this but, thank you Legendary Pictures, for bringing Godzilla back to me :’)

See you at the theatres!

Rating: 8 atomic breaths out of 10….actually you know what?  Fuck objective and impartial convention.  This movie gets 10 out of fucking 10.  What?  You can’t stop me!  This is my damn blog and I say that this was a perfect damn Godzilla film! 

As Brad Pittman’s editor I must apologize for his crazy behaviour, and rest assured I have gotten him to take his meds again.  Hopefully he will be back next week, as sane as can be.  Oh damn it he found his old Godzilla Toys…and he just jumped out the window with them…(sigh) better get out the electric scooter and go after him…

From → Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, despite the slow pace. I like its premise more than the original 1954 movie, which made Godzilla manmade. This Godzilla’s natural, and I like it better. It’s beyond man’s capability to touch, whatever technology they use.

    • Godzilla being man made really worked for the 1954 film because of how fresh the bombings in Japan were in everyone’s mind.

      I’d say if they tried that today people would grown and be like “Been there, done that”. A more natural Godzilla was certainly a better decision.

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