Released : May 16th, 2014
3D Film Version Reviewed
Godzilla is one of summers first big action blockbusters but does it return the monster to it’s former glory or fall short into the realm of bad remakes? I hate to say it, but prepare for disappointment.
I guess the best place to start off with on what is wrong with this film would be the story. For the majority of the story Godzilla takes a backseat to a movie character emotion driven story focusing on a family’s history and times dealing with the events that transpire. You see a father and son lose their mother in a freak accident with the father diving deep into insanity of sorts making it seem like a conspiracy while the son goes up and joins the military. Fast forward years and when a monster rises and starts terrorizing the country what really happened many years ago starts to come out for all to see.
On top of this story involving the conspiracy and monsters though is a seriously tacked on love story. You watch a family go through everyone and try to continue to have hope and strive for each other. Not a single moment though works in any sense it should. No characters mix well together so while the film makers were trying for serious and heartfelt scenes you get way too many moments that drag on.
Some will make the statement that in a film such as Godzilla that story isn’t the main point and that you can’t put such a grade and merit on it. Here however when Godzilla himself is rarely seen or the main focus until at least 3/4ths of the way through while during that time story is pushed you can judge it on that. Directer Gareth Edwards made the story and relationships be more of a priority it seems more than the monsters.
Speaking of monsters however it should be best to talk about them. Godzilla himself is about as amazing as you can get. He is huge and the size really shows, he is menacing at times, he’s loud, aggressive, but most of all he is adorable. Yes you heard me right, Godzilla is adorable. For some reason when Godzilla is just standing there and you can see his face he isn’t as menacing as you would hope but instead you just want to hug the creature. You do get two other monsters in the film as well because just Godzilla wouldn’t be much fun (I’m looking at you 2001 Godzilla film). While though creatures are visually impressive it is just sad that they look so generic. It is almost as if they were pulled out of any dark gritty game (I got a Gears Of War vibe from them). Thankfully Godzilla saves it by far. It has to be noted as well that the Godzilla scream is chill inducing. It’s loud, high pitched, and just all around done to a perfection.
If only the human actors could hit the same mark Godzilla does. Bryan Cranston unsurprising to anyone has the best acting chops in the film. Even with not a great deal to go with he makes his scenes easier to deal with (even when you forgive the entire films awful dialog). Cranston though. Aaron Taylor-Johnson (still going off his film from Kick-Ass) and Elizabeth Olsen (still going off being the only Olsen to still be relevant) might go down for one of the most awkward and generally unlikeable on screen couples of 2014. They have no on screen chemistry together and instead just cause scenes together to go on longer they should.
Speaking of scenes going on longer than they should of they film itself to too long for it’s own good. Clocking in at over 2 hours a good chunk of this film could have been taken out and had nothing change. This sparks one of the main concerns that goes back to the film focusing mainly on the human aspect of the film instead of the monsters. It just isn’t interesting or exciting in the least. This is a prime example of trying to tack on or change something that they shouldn’t of.
Thankfully every now and then the film decides to allow us viewers to see what we actually wanted to see, monster on monster action. It is a rare sight to see that only really happens till the end and while it is awesome for a few slight moments it still suffers from problems. The fights themselves are too short. Just as it is getting good it is over. They also decided to cut most of the fights out instead you see the humans again and what they are doing during it or you’ll see the fight happening in the background or on a TV news station. The final fight does leave you happy based off one scene alone that I won’t spoil but you’ll still feel as if the scene is about 4 times too short.
It should be noted this was viewed in the 3D version as well. I wouldn’t waste your money on it at all. Several times I took the glasses off and was able to view the film fine. I didn’t notice any pop out effects or even the more standard rounded image used to make the film appear larger. This is the worst attempt at digitally adding 3D into a film I’ve seen in a long time.
Overall with the invertible Godzilla 2 already being made one can only hope the next one focuses on more Godzilla and less bad story telling and unlikeable characters. Save for a few scenes and our new favorite adorable city destroyer Godzilla and there isn’t much going for this film. This will be a contender for the most disappointing film of 2014.