Godzilla [2014] ★★½

Godzilla-Teaser-Poster-2-570x844Now that the fanboy hype has cleared (or has it?), we can see “Godzilla” for what it truly is: borrowed inspiration coupled with impressive CGI, all in the service of a ballsy idea that a monster movie could maybe, just maybe, have a soul. As it turns out, Godzilla’s virtues are mainly mechanical, except for one tremendous scene involving Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad’s MVP) and Juliette Binoche (You’ll know it when you see it). The 1954 original, no matter how dated it looks, had an important message for its audience about the dangers of nuclear technology (the monster itself was a metaphor for nuclear weapons and it rang true post-World War II). The new one, directed by Gareth Ewards, is amazing to look at, but it lacks heart. On the bright side, every character in the movie is played by a talented actor, so there is pleasure to be had just watching Bryan Cranston (who plays the brilliant/mad scientist who warns everyone that whatever out there is “going to send us back to the stone age”), Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, David Strathairn, Sally Hawkins and Elizabeth Olsen go through their paces. So what went wrong? Look, “Godzilla” looked good on paper, and for much of its breathlessly running time it looks mighty good onscreen. The tech boys really know their stuff. The monster, seen in glimpses at first, looms menacingly. And most of the action scenes are well crafted and very exciting to watch. But the movie keeps hinting at profundity, a core of feeling that never comes. And ultimately, that’s my problem with it. I’ve heard the excuse that director Gareth Edwards went the “Jaws” route for a reason. Duly noted. But I’m not ready to believe that it’s impossible to make a monster movie with a meaning that cuts deep and characters we can see ourselves in. In 2010, Edwards himself did just that with “Monsters”, an independent film about two lost souls trying to make their way through harsh terrain with some giant creatures thrown in. It’s on DVD. Check it out. As for “Godzilla”, it’s visually dazzling and will probably satisfy fans of the genre. But as far as I’m concerned, it ranks as a disappointment.

Rating: 2.5/4

6 replies »

  1. I believe that your wrong about this movie and that your review Is flawed.
    The amount of energy is shown (it doesn’t lack heart)
    And it’s structure and pacing is similar to the original 1954 Godzilla.
    With the jaws route and the pacific rim combination works.
    Also for a person who reviewed pacific rim as 3.5 out of 4 doesn’t qualify in reviewing this as less than good
    Pacific rim is great ill admit
    But the human element has multiple cliche and it just doesn’t work.
    We don’t get invested in most of the characters.
    Battles pack a punch but it is weighed down by human element of the story.

  2. Ya I agree with the notion that pacific rim has elaborate effects that are sometimes obscured such as the rain sequence. Much of the human element doesn’t work.
    And it got 3 out of 4 and I too disagree with that score.
    But all in all it’s going to be divided by the fans of the genre and the newcomers.
    I’m a fan and hopefully it deems brilliant.

  3. This is a godzilla page not a pacific rim page
    Omg the movie didn’t come out yet
    Just take this opinion wait for the movie
    Watch the movie and lastly judge whether its good or not

  4. I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else experiencing issues with your blog.
    It seems like some of the written text on your content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if
    this is happening to them too? This may be a
    issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen before.

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