Movie Review: Godzilla (2014)

Posted: May 4, 2015 in Action
Tags: , ,


A Philippine mining company has inadvertently awoken a long dormant ancient giant arthropod, long considered extinct.  In Jinjiro Japan, an earthquake causes the nuclear reactors there to collapse.  A nuclear engineer named Joe Brady (Bryan Cranston) loses his wife, Sandra (Juliette Binoche) in the collapse.  Fifteen years later, Joe Brady is sure that an earthquake did not kill his wife.  Joe has been studying echolocation, and is convinced that creatures are talking to each other, and he enlists his son, Ford (Aaron Taylor Johnson) now an ordinance disposal specialist to find out what happened to his mother?

There are three problems with the 2014 Godzilla. First, there’s nothing new in it.  Godzillla’s nemesis the MUTA looks like a cross between Rodan, Mothra and the creature in Cloverfield.   Godzilla looks the same and basically has the same powers.  The writers want the human characters to nuke these creatures, who came into being as a result of nuclear radiation, gee that’s smart.  Don’t the writers know we have bunker busting conventional warheads that could have killed these insect creatures before they ever hatched?  Obviously not.  The only smart thing the writers did was not reveal Godzilla too soon, just like the shark in Jaws.  The second problem with the latest Godzilla is it takes itself way too seriously, the only current movie I can compare it to is Pacific Rim, and Pacific Rim is a movie that succeeded because it didn’t take itself too seriously.  It had all the familiar archetypes, the washed up fighter pilot, the eager trainee, the monsters, the love interest, but it was funny.  Charlie Day was hilarious as a kaiju fanboy and scientist, Burn Gorman was hilarious as another scientist who battled with Day, Ron Perlman was also hilarious as a black market kaiju body parts dealer complete with golden shoes.  Godzilla lacked that sense of fun, if someone thinks about what made Godzilla a movie that was fun to watch in the old days it  was the fact that the special effects were so cheesy, update the special effects, give it a super-serious storyline, and the result is…boredom.

The third problem is that the writers expect Aaron Taylor Johnson to carry a large part of the film, and he couldn’t even carry Kick Ass.  Chloe Grace Moretz carried the Kick Ass movies, Johnson was little more than a spectator in movies where he played the title role.  So despite a stellar cast including Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, and the best efforts of Bryan Cranston, this movie fails.

The pacing is slow and ponderous, the director gets nothing from Aaron Taylor Johnson or any of the lesser known actors, and the movie is far too long at nearly two hours long.  And there’s going to be a sequel, because Hollywood has run out of new ideas.

Godzilla:  Dino-snore.


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