“Godzilla” begins as a character-based movie that quickly shifts to a plot-based one, with a far less compelling lead character representing human courage in the face of titanic calamity. But ultimately, this blockbuster's undoing is that the movie promises something different, at least at first. "Godzilla" asks you care about its characters, achieves that aspiration, earns your trust, and then not only pivots towards a far less interesting character, but abandons most of its absorbing emotional legwork for a fairly rote and straightforward rock ‘em, sock ‘em monster movie. [C+]
GODZILLA Review; the GODZILLA Reboot Stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson
For a movie that takes a serious approach to Godzilla, it’s unfortunate that the characters and plot should be an afterthought. Yes, this is traditional for the Godzilla franchise, but that doesn’t mean we should accept it. At some point, we have to hold Godzilla to the same standard as other blockbusters even if it doesn’t always play by the same rules. The scientists should do more than spout exposition (although Watanabe gets the coolest line in the movie), the hero should come off as heroic, and the plot should be more than serviceable, even if bringing us Godzilla in the best way possible is admittedly a noble service.
Despite these weaknesses, there’s really no stopping Godzilla when he’s done right. If a single good thing can be said about the 1998 version, it provided a template for what not to do, and the top of the list is “Don’t disrespect Godzilla”. The new Godzilla shows that with the right approach he can more than a cash-in. He can carry his decades of history and not collapse under the weight. When he has our attention, we can’t turn away even if he’s not on screen. There may be many “Godzillas”, but there’s no mistaking a roar that can give us chills, send our hearts racing, and get our blood pumping.
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My spoiler-free opinion:
Honestly, I loved Godzilla. I truly can't fault it at all. I didn't read the review quotes before, but I did skim them now that I've seen the film. To call the movie "rote and straightforward" is completely wrong. In terms of film technique, the movie has a definite and unique perspective that is extremely well executed. Is it deep? No, except in traditional Godzilla ways, which some might consider maybe a little deep. Are the characters and plot "rote and straightforward"? Yes, but the movie as a whole is far from it. I loved it enough to refute some of the other reviews points directly (even though they gave it a decent score).
Yes, it does, unless you don't want to watch a Godzilla movie.For a movie that takes a serious approach to Godzilla, it’s unfortunate that the characters and plot should be an afterthought. Yes, this is traditional for the Godzilla franchise, but that doesn’t mean we should accept it.
So, this is saying that other summer blockbusters are expected to have deep characters and plot? I call bull****.At some point, we have to hold Godzilla to the same standard as other blockbusters even if it doesn’t always play by the same rules.
Despite these weaknesses, there’s really no stopping Godzilla when he’s done right.Clearly, I concur with this.The new Godzilla shows that with the right approach he can more than a cash-in. He can carry his decades of history and not collapse under the weight. When he has our attention, we can’t turn away even if he’s not on screen. There may be many “Godzillas”, but there’s no mistaking a roar that can give us chills, send our hearts racing, and get our blood pumping.
Now, I will add that the film is likely not going to win any new fans who were expecting something more than a Godzilla movie or a mindless summer blockbuster, so in that way, that review is very fair despite my disagreement. At the end of the day, I was able to appreciate the film for what it is, and, as stated, I think it's adroitly executed.
The peculiar thing is that I do have some major gripes with the film, but they are gripes of preference — more of a wish list — and not necessarily valid critiques of what was presented.
Perhaps some of my good cheer comes from the film not being The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which I saw in the same theatre the day before, and perhaps some of it comes from the theatre itself. The renovated Chinese (now) IMAX is my new favorite theatre. They've taken full advantage of their space. The new seating is great, and the screen is freakin' enormous, but the best thing is they've fixed as much of the sound as possible without touching the historic decor. It's not perfect, but it's no longer a boomy bass nightmare either. I still miss the National in Westwood, but this IMAX Chinese will hopefully keep me happy for years to come.
Did I mention I love Godzilla? That goes for the 2014 movie and just in general.
Guarding the doors to the TCL Chinese IMAX Theatre…
Last edited by LetTigerIn; May 17th, 2014 at 03:49 PM.
Can't follow that, (nice work LTI). KINDA SPOILERY FOLLOWS
But I will say this...all the criticisms that point to this being a bad movie are all the things that made it asCloseTo an oldschool Godzilla flick as it could have been. You had Bryan Cranston trying to emote enough to distract from his wig, a 'hero' who had the Forrest Gumpian ability to continuously be in the thick of the action regardless of the continent, scientists scoffing and decrying 'you can't do that' in response to the military's genius plan to use nuclear weapons as a solution...well I could go on all day. NONE of these things were a detriment. Neither was the fact that Godzilla was not in a large part of the movie. NO...these are the precise things that put a smile on my face throughout. This is an old school Toho inspired flick. And when Godzilla does get down to business with the almost sympathetic other monsters there were moments where if I squinted a little bit it almost looked like an old fashioned man-in-suit donnybrook. Everything I could have wanted and more. Please get to work on the sequel RIGHTNOW.
and they will..
They're Making a Sequel to 'Godzilla'. Duh. -
A story so obvious even Godzilla himself would scoff (some blue fire).
After opening to $103M internationally — the biggest opening of 2014 so far — and grossing $93M domestic stateside this weekend, it should come as no surprise that Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros.‘ are already developing a sequel to the monster hit Godzilla, Deadline deduces. They allegedly confirmed the news this morning.