Vic’s Review – “Godzilla” (2014)

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What’s it About?

The world’s most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

Godzilla”

Directed by Gareth Edwards

By Vic

Hey Densters! Vic here with a brief review of director Gareth Edward’s (Monsters) new sci fi monster flick, “Godzilla.” I am going to keep this one kind of short and simple, though, gang (I hope). Not going to go into every aspect of it this go around. Just about every smart and astute blogger out there has already reviewed this bad boy in great and eloquent detail and I am a bit late to the picnic with this review.

We all just about know the story (by Max Borenstein and Dave Callaham), which is, that the irradiated and pre-historic big G returns from hibernation to go after not one, but two radiation consuming beasties called “Mutos” that threaten the very existence of civilization. Yeah, the story is more complex but I won’t go into all of that right now for the sake of brevity. We also know the well rounded cast (all of which I enjoyed thoroughly especially Cranston): Aaron Taylor Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Bryan Cranston, David Strathairn and the ever cool Ken Watanabe as Dr. Serizawa.

The film, for the most part is getting very good reviews and positive buzz and despite all of that the movie does have it’s fair share of detractors but I am going to admit that I am in the majority, here. For those expecting “Pacific Rim: Redux” then look elsewhere. This Godzilla movie is a different albeit refreshing animal.

My son, Christian, his friend Zack and I went to see “Godzilla” yesterday and we accidentally went into the wrong theater. After some time we noticed we were in 3D theater. Duh. Yeah, we’re boneheads, to be sure. After we griped a little at first we settled in and enjoyed the show. Thank the Godzilla Gods there were some spare 3D glasses laying around.

What I liked about “Godzilla” is that Edwards gave the film his own stamp and feel even though some of the routine machinations (kids in peril, shots of people in awe, panic scenes, etc) resembled the works of other sci fi directors like Spielberg and even James Cameron, it still all worked well for me. But, in my opinion, that was all to be expected.

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Edwards is delivering a blockbuster and he is sticking to what works. I actually liked the slow build up and methodical approach to the material and even though this film lacks the deep symbolism, gravitas and metaphor that Honda’s 1954 outing has, it still has a respect and reverence for the mythos that I admired. Even though the re-working of the entire purpose and re-creation of the origins of Godzilla were changed, I adjusted to the re-interpretation pretty quickly and without much protest.

Also, the CGI is incredibly impressive and yes, it’s “massive” in scope and scale. G and the “Mutos” (as well as cityscapes, landscapes, battleships and jets) are all rendered with amazing detail and depth.

Impressive as well is the imagery and photography (some of which is very reminiscent of Spielberg’s JP, like shots of individuals through rain soaked windshields) that Edwards provokes in this movie. His DP Seamus McGarvey, who shot “The Avengers” does a fantastic job in maintaining realism and verity with his monster styled palette.

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Well, I did say this was going to be short so in closing, I loved Alexandre Desplat’s score as well. It was nuanced, heroic (more so for the monsters than the humans) and had some levels of tonality that is rarely found in sci fi films. The track playing during the parachuting sequence was a cerebral piece that harkens back to Kubrick’s cosmic bedroom in “2001: A Space Odyssey.” (More specifically Gyorgy Ligeti’s “Requiem”) It was an inspired choice for the “HALO” jump sequence.

The action, CGI, heroics and pacing all work well for me and the movie surely brought out the inner kid in me and granted the film is not perfect (and I am not going to pick it apart to the point of sounding overly critical) and it is just mindless sci fi monster fun in the grand scheme of things. Even though the human element and drama that Edwards builds upon is not quite sustained and interesting throughout, it still somewhat heartfelt (Once Cranston is off screen, the drama becomes a bit remote and trite).

The teases of Godzilla as well can be a bit frustrating but the payoff makes up for that and it is resolved to become a grand and epic monster flick. that is why I enjoyed it so much and it meant so much to me that my son, Christian, was with me enjoying the heck out of it as well. It was a big deal for his old man to have him watch a Godzilla film that was enjoyable, witty, big, loud and diverting. Go see it, kaiju fans!

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I did say that “Godzilla” was reviewed with much more depth, detail and specification by some really great bloggers out there. Here are some stand-outs. Check them out please!

Keith and the Movies

http://keithandthemovies.com/2014/05/22/review-godzilla-2014/

Tim’s Film Reviews

http://timsfilmreviews.com/2014/05/18/godzilla-2014-review/

Mike’s Parlor of Horror

http://parlorofhorror.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/godzilla-2014-movie-review/

Dan The Man’s Movie Reviews

http://dtmmr.com/2014/05/16/godzilla-2014/

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30 comments

    • Yeah, I read that recently. Perhaps an origin story. We’ll see. He seems to be a promising choice for a Star Wars film.

      Thanks for checking in, Brian.

    • Thank you, Paul! Not much of a write up but I wanted to let some know that I enjoyed it. I guess, I liked it a bit more than you did but your review was spot on for many readers as well. I suppose we are on the flip side of this one, lol 🙂

      Also, I recently e mailed ya, man! Hope to catch up soon, bro. 😉 Thanks for checking in!

  1. This is a great time and it breaks my heart seeing all the bad reviews. I would have personally scored it a perfect five if Cranston avenging the death of his wife was the focus or if his son was capable of making us care more about his fate! However, the writing from Max spoiled it a bit while the great directing of Edwards picked things up!

    • Yeah, I get you! Ford was kind of blase about just everything wasn’t he? Taylor-Johnson didn’t sell it enough for me but his stoic demeanor was understandable, I guess, since he was the “hero” of this piece but I would have LOVED to see less of Ford and more of, say, Watanabe and Cranston together tackling the monsters instead.

      Thanks for checking in, Louie! Much appreciated, man 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed the review! I wasn’t very in depth or detailed since, like I said, so many other bloggers have covered it already with much greater complexity. I am glad you enjoyed it as well. My son had a blast with it and I loved just peeking over at him and watching him have so much fun.

      Thanks for stopping in and checking out the post. It’s always great to hear from you. Much appreciated! 😉

  2. Great to hear your opinion. I know you are a fan of the Toho films, as I am, so I wanted to compare notes to someone who saw Godzilla thru his history with all the ups and downs of the franchise. Thanks for the link, too!

    • My pleasure, Mike! I really enjoyed your take on it. We saw pretty much eye to eye on everything, man. Down the line I may do a more intricate review or add some more details to this one but for now I just wanted to let folks know the basics and that I had a blast with it.

      It actually made me feel pretty nostalgic in parts and when I got home my kid and I wanted to watch some of the classic heisei G films, lol.

      Thanks for checking in, Mike! I appreciate it, bro 🙂

  3. In my opinion, Gareth Edwards was the perfect choice as the director for this movie. I quite enjoyed Monsters, in which he perfectly combined human drama and monsters. In spite of liking this Godzilla reboot, human drama was lacking in the movie as I found the characters to be boring. I even think that Pacific Rim has better human characters.

    Anyway, great review Vic!

    Dorian

    • Hey Dorian! Yeah, I totally get you about the human characters. With the exception of Watanabe and Cranston, everyone else was kind of blah. Taylor-Johnson was a bit too stoic and unemotional for me at times and he didn’t quite sell it for me most of the movie. Even the Admiral dude, Stenz showed more emotion, lol.

      I would have preferred to see Watanabe and Cranston tackle the monsters instead of the whole bomb delivery and retrieval plot but anyway, I’m nit picking. Edwards delivered the goods for me and I also enjoyed “Monsters.” I have a review of it lined up to post soon. I appreciate you stopping by and checking out the post. Glad you liked the review. Sorry it wasn’t too detailed or in depth. Thanks!

      • Hey Vic, I actually kind of liked what the movie did with Cranston’s character (it was very unexpected and it takes a pair of balls to do something like that to one of the most popular actors in the world right now), although I would have enjoyed it even more if he stayed in the movie.

        I will be definitely checking out your Monsters review once you post it. I actually don’t remember the movie quite well, and might re-watch it one of these days.

        There’s no need to apologize for your review not being ‘too detailed or in depth’ – it’s not like that didn’t do a movie like Godzilla justice or that it hurt my reading pleasure in any way!

        Dorian

      • I thought it was a bold move as well and if I had enough emotional investment in Taylor Johnson as his son, then I may not have minded so much but I totally agree that Cranston’s presence through out would have been a major plus.

        I appreciate your kind words, too, Dorian. Means a lot. Glad to have the great feedback! I will be giving “Monsters” a re-watch as well since the draft I have is a few months old and I want it to feel fresh when i post it. Stay tuned. Thanks again, Dorian!

  4. I really enjoyed Godzilla, heard mixed things about it. Yes, the build up is a bit slow, but when the action happens, its awesome to final see Godzilla fighting! Great film and really good review as well 😀

    • Thanks Paul! I’m glad you enjoyed it buddy. Once the story began to move along and when the the last act kicked into full gear the movie just became so much fun and G was very impressive to behold, wasn’t he? And, yeah, the fight scenes between G and the MUTO’s was epic all the way. I had a blast.

      Glad you enjoyed the review, Paul and thanks for checking in like always my friend 🙂

    • Yeah, I had a blast with it. Just read your review, too! Nice job. It was a very good read and you made some valid observations and pretty solid points. Good work 🙂

      Thanks for checking in and I’m glad you enjoyed my post!

    • Thanks Michael! It isn’t the most in depth piece but I just wanted to let everyone know that we all had a blast during the show and it met my expectations. I’m glad you enjoyed the write up, man!

      Thanks for checking in. It’s always appreciated my friend!

      • You’ve seen it twice? Cool! I’m already looking forward to that second viewing, lol! i know my son and his friends are already counting the days until the blu ray release!

  5. Great review and thanks for the mention, I am among the greats. I liked the film and thought the majority of the film was good, which is a nice change from the 98 version which was mostly bad.

    The visuals and tone worked really well but the characters where lifeless, except Cranston.

    Still bring on MechaGodzilla! 😀

  6. Good review Vic. What worked for me was how the build-up just made everything so damn tense, just about the whole time. The characters were a bit of a bore, but at least the cast made each of them work.

    • Yeah, I agree there, Dan. The human drama kind of went south after Cranston was gone but there was no doubting that suspenseful tension that, imo, paid off very well. Glad you liked the review! Thanks for checking in. Always appreciated!

    • Glad you liked it, Bill! Hope you enjoy the movie. Let me know your thoughts after you’ve watched it, bro! Thanks for checking in!

  7. Enjoyed reading your review Vic. I guess it’s a good thing people don’t return their 3D glasses ;). Though I have some issues with the movie, Edwards is a really promising director.

    • Haha! Yeah, we panicked a bit since we don’t really do 3D movies. There was a bin nearby with a few from the last showing so everything turned out well.

      I, too, think that Edwards has much promise. I’m looking forward to watching what he has in store for Star Wars. I admire his style and respect for the genre. He is one to watch for sure. Thanks for checking in and the great feedback! 🙂

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