Wednesday, 4 June 2014
Review: Godzilla (2014)
The plot invloves two parasites that fed on the blood of Godzilla's species millions of years ago that can emitt EMPs growing to gigantic proportions thanks to exposure to radioactive material, which they eat. At the same time Godzilla rises from the sea to do battle with the parasites named MUTO while humanity is caught in the cross fire. Suprisingly the film had a very good plot that was thought out and actually gripped the audience (at least at the beginning and end) however there was a plot hole with how the military planned to destroy the three monsters, (which I won't say to avoid spoilers) and how they constantly don't listen to Ken Watanabe's character who is throughout acknowledged to be an expert on Godzilla. Also the pacing of the middle act is very sloppy and at times dull. This is mainly attributed to the director giving Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen largely underwritten parts and bad dialogue so they struggled to keep the middle act as gripping as the first one. I believe Gareth Edwards tried to copy what he did with Monsters which was entertaining throughout but had good dialogue and character development which if used in Godzilla would make the film much better.
Now the main aspect: Godzilla and the MUTO. First off this is Godzilla. No question. He is just like he is from the Heisei and Millenium series where he is both savior and destroyer at the same time. His introduction though was amazing. A tsunami followed by his raw power emerging from the dust to deliver his roar. Everytime in the film when he roared I was awe struck. He even has his atomic breath! MUTO however is not as impressive. The flying one is well designed but the other one isn't. When they both appeared I thought they resembled Orga from Godzilla 2000: Millenium but when I saw them closely they resembled more like the Cloverfield monster. James Rolfe on Cinemassacre made a good comment that the monsters in Godzilla, Cloverfield and Super 8 aren't very inspiring and that they should copy the creativeness of Japanese kaiju like Gigan and Biollante which I fully agree with. Despite this the fighting was amazing. I was glad to see Godzilla fighting another giant monster and the fights had a realistic edge which made them even more enjoyable.
Ken Watanabe and Bryan Cranston were easily the two best actors in the film. All the time on screen it was engaged and transfixed. However I am disappointed that they got little screen time, especially as how much both actors excelled over Olsen and Taylor-Johnson. I just hope in Age of Ultron both Olsen and Taylor-Johnson manage to get into the role with better dialogue. Going back to dialogue Watanabe's and Cranston's dialogues were the best by far. The first and last acts were amazing despite the poor middle. It had good pacing, dialogue and suspense but what could be improved was the second city destruction scene. The first scene is partially shown but still gripping as it leaves it to your imagination but the second time was vastly underwhelming, especially it was a city full of iconic places.
In conclusion Godzilla is a must see for both Godzilla fans and non-Godzilla fans. The flaws that I've talked about have just as many pros than cons, especially with the opening sequence making it up for the poorly paced middle. The MUTO are interesting albietly uninspired and I think I'm only being harsh on Olsen and Taylor-Johnson as they are out performed by Cranston and Watanabe. I cannot stress how much we needed this film to bring the King back from his ten year slumber and although it is not a good as the likes of the 1954 original, Mothra vs Godzilla or Final Wars it is at least as good as Godzilla Returns, vs Spacegodzilla and 2000. I've heard there are sequels in the works to which I hope there will be pushing the bar even higher and hopefully bringing other monsters to the Western audience including Mothra, Rodan and my personal favourite Ghidorah. A must see.
Also check out from a little reference to Mothra around the 40 minute mark.
Please leave your opinions below, (no spoilers though), and hope you enjoyed it.