Godzilla (2014) Review
Godzilla is a disaster film that also features Godzilla, this is both a strength and a weakness of the film. I liked the tone and serious nature of the film and how it portrayed the title monster but it had problems. The human element was strong to start with but quickly became bland and lifeless. The story whilst for the most was fresh in its delivery did at times revisit monster franchises that it clearly wanted to be and came very close. The visuals are great and from the creature designs to the environment everything looked real, if this happened this is how it would look. Gareth Edwards clearly has talent and for a first big budget outing he has accomplished a really entertaining film. I look forward to his future work. I’ll go into much more detail below but for now bookmark this if you are waiting to see the film, leave any comments below, if you have seen the film then check out the spoiler sections and I will look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts.
“The arrogance of men is thinking nature is in their control and not the other way around. Let them fight.” – ‘Let Them Fight’ should have been the title.
In Summer 2014, the world’s most revered monster is reborn as Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures unleash the epic action adventure “Godzilla.” From visionary new director Gareth Edwards (“Monsters”) comes a powerful story of human courage and reconciliation in the face of titanic forces of nature, when the awe-inspiring Godzilla rises to restore balance as humanity stands defenseless.
Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended
Story: 80% Acting: 70% Characters: 60% Dialogue: 75%
Action/Monsters: 90% Style/Sound: 85% Visuals: 100%
The story is well set up and they have clearly created a very detailed world. However when watching the film I couldn’t help thinking that I had seen a lot of it before, I’ll go more into that in the spoilers section. The origins of the monsters and the background to the films events was really well done, Edwards can really make his own history in a film. I will say that the pacing of how the human and the monster elements played was done really well; sadly the human element for the most part was weak. I say it’s the script others say it’s the acting, what do you think?
The acting from Bryan Cranston is great, I mean really excellent. Ken Watanabe acting was good but his character was really one dimensional. And everyone else was so dull and lifeless; I mean the characters floating around for the majority of the film where just reading scripts, and not good scripts. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen disappointed me or as I suspect it was the direction of the smaller more intimate scenes by the very new director, but he handled that pretty well in his other film so it’s hard to pin point why the characters where so dull.
The science fiction of this film is pretty simple and its more the made up history of where the films monsters come from that bring any science fiction into play. I will say that whilst the film takes a very serious realistic tone there are parts that I struggled to believe, not that I’d let it affect my experience. I do feel like the military should have been a little more emotive in their discovery of 300ft monsters that consume radioactive material. Haha they just seem to instantly accept the situation as it is and go on the hunt. More in the spoiler section.
The visuals in this film are excellent and I have no complaints. The creature designs where excellent and very diverse between them. They did keep it to dark tones and mostly at night because it is much easier to make good CGI without the horrible difficult shadows that the daylight bring. It wasn’t just the monsters though, Edwards knows how to build a used world. The after maths, the cities, the military manoeuvres all crafted really well. Lastly the music, I’d have hoped it would have been better. The music in the trailers where brilliant, very atmospheric and built to moments with excitement and awe. However the film just didn’t have anything special, was still good though.
Seriously guys turn away now to avoid spoilers. In the last scene Roland Emmerich jumps onto Godzilla’s back and screams profanities as he aimlessly stabs the beast with a Katana! I told you not to read this section. There is a lot to talk about here so I’ll keep it brief and talk more in the comments. When your best character is killed within the first 30 minutes of the film you have a problem, mainly because Bryan Cranston set a bar that no one else in the film can reach. Next we have Gareth Edwards clear love for Jurassic Park seeping into the film; The helicopter entering over what looks exactly like Isla Nublar, the monster claw coming over the wire fencing that looks and sounds exactly like the T-Rex pen scene. Don’t get me wrong inspiration from great films never hurts but it was a little obvious and took me out of the film a bit. Also why did they establish Godzilla as the predator and then not have him eat the other monsters he kills. He just hunted them and killed them for what appears to be no reason than he just likes killing things, it doesn’t make sense. On the good side of the spoilers I love how they implemented the radioactive heat beam that Godzilla uses, the way the tail and plates on its back light up in so damn cool!
The best reviews I found would be these:
“Godzilla is a flawed piece of work. At the same time, it stands quite apart from most contemporary blockbusters, hits on some interesting ideas and feels like a genuine attempt to do justice to a classic movie monster. Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla isn’t a resounding success, but it’s an interesting and nostalgic – and imperfect -blockbuster.” The Movie Blog. Full Review
“Overall I enjoyed the film. The serious tone and personal stories are more gripping than most Kaiju films. Godzilla is huge like the Titans of Greek mythology, supporting his namesake. And there’s massive monster destruction and violence. It’s a respectable entry into the franchise and this Godzilla would eat that 1998 Iguana-zilla for lunch…with room left over for dessert.” Parlor of Horror. Full Review
“As an anti-blockbuster, a film that cruelly swipes at the audience’s attempts at identifying with its characters and presents immense tragedy instead of fleeting fun, I’m uncertain if Godzilla will be embraced by audiences. My own opinions are mixed. As a piece of entertainment, it’s not entirely successful, but its frequent feints towards entertainment muddle its strongest element: a clear-eyed evocation of the enormity of disaster. But that goal, to aim for something more than empty spectacle and sparkling special effects, marks Godzilla as a different kind of beast to the modern blockbuster.” CC Pop Culture. Full Review
“hough we don’t get to see too much of the title-character, Godzilla still benefits from exciting action set-pieces, an engaging story that feels slightly believable, despite being about monsters fighting one another, and enough good performances from the cast, to make this a summer blockbuster you must see to get the bad taste of the 1998-version out of your mouth.” Dan the Man’s Movie Reviews. Full Review
My favourite scene has to be the big monster show down near the end. It was teased and teased to death but when it came it was damn epic with plenty of classic Godzilla action. Including the radioactive heat beam of which I haven’t seen in a big budget.