Godzilla (2014) Movie Review

Godzilla wasn’t necessarily what I was expecting it to be, but I liked it anyway.

godzilla-movie-review-2014

Anticipation pocked with disappointment

For a while now, I have been overly excited about Godzilla. It was one of the movies that I’ve been waiting to see for over a year. I even opted to see this over the other major releases (Amazing Spider-Man 2, Captain America: Winter Soldier). And with all that excitement building, I had a few friends see the movie before me… and were disappointed.

…disappointed? In my baby? How? Why? Without giving me too many spoilers, they would just say that they felt it was not the “movie they were promised in the previews.” But hey, what movie is the movie they promise you in the previews, AMIRIGHT?! (Except Pacific Rim. That was exactly what I thought it would be and I am not disappoint.)

So, hopes a bit dashed on the rocks, I headed out to see the movie on Sunday. To behold the thing for myself.

Godzilla is like Twister, and that’s not a bad thing.

Godzilla is not Pacific Rim, although it does have giant monsters battling and blowing things up. Godzilla is more akin to the movie Twister (with Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt). You see, Twister is named for the major cause of destruction in the movie, but it is not the ultimate focus. Twister is about people dealing with emotional baggage and relationships AND some tornadoes. Twister teases you with a few run-ins with small tornadoes for a while and there is a ton of action, but it is all focused on our heroes… but eventually… there’s a huge F5 tornado that just dominates the screen. During that climactic finale, we are subjected to the beauty of the destructive force… but still while dealing with our protagonists.

Godzilla is like Twister. Godzilla is not the main character, although he has a major role to play. The human characters are the focus of this movie as they try to deal with the emergence of giant monsters into the world, much like Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt try to deal with tornadoes.

This is not an 80’s Godzilla movie

If you were hoping that this would be one of the Godzilla movies from the 1980’s, with Mechagodzilla and Mothra and Godzilla and they all just fight until the end of the movie until Godzilla Junior and Jet Jaguar show up to help him, then you will be disappointed, I guess.

However, if you are looking for a movie that is actually a fairly strong movie about humans dealing with the reality of giant monsters in their world with some pretty strong performances from Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen and Bryan Cranston, then you’re in for a treat.

This Godzilla is a terrific homage to the oldest order of Godzilla movies, and I believe it actually holds quite a bit of weight. The director, Gareth Edwards, was a great choice. I feel like you could really tell his love for the story, and the mythos. A while back, after watching his first movie, Monsters, I had a feeling he was the right one for the job. He’s got a great eye for giant monsters and the effects it takes to make them look spectacular.

Edwards did stick  in a bunch of Easter Eggs for the Godzilla fans in all of us, including but not limited to a children’s insect container labeled MOTH with another label below it partially covered so that only the RA is showing spelling out MOTHRA, and also the inclusion of a little Asian boy wearing bright colors and a little hat.

godzilla-vs-megalon-jet-jaguar-asian-boy

Source: Godzilla vs. Megalon. Can’t you just hear this kid? “Jet Jaguar! Jet Jaguar!”

In conclusion, Godzilla is a great movie.

Godzilla is a great movie. It’s probably not the movie that I wholly wanted, but it is a great foray back into the world of Godzilla movies. It’s significantly better than the 1998 version with Matthew Broderick in that it actually feels like a Godzilla movie still instead of a Jurassic Park spinoff. Plenty of eye candy, spectacular destruction, decent acting all around, and some Godzilla fighting action (which, although short, does not disappoint).

I would definitely recommend this movie.

Did you see the movie? What were your thoughts?

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3 thoughts on “Godzilla (2014) Movie Review”

  1. I will say you hit it on the nose. Those fans looking for non-stop monster battles are going to be disappointed. I saw the film twice over the weekend and not once did I get bored or say in my head “Hurry up and get to the next scene!”

    Your analogy with “Twister” is spot on and I’m going to start using that example when folks complain about “not enough Godzilla”. Good review, man!

  2. Pingback: 1977 the Comic - Godzilla at the Movies

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