562. Godzilla (2014)

6.4 Slow and formulaic
  • Acting 6.3
  • Directing 7.0
  • Story 5.8
  • User Ratings (2 Votes) 3.6

Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen

Director: Gareth Edwards

Running Time: 123 mins

Godzilla is an American film about the origins of the famous reptile-monster, and his relentless battle against increasingly powerful unknown creatures, who are strengthened by the growing nuclear output of the human race.

To be honest, I was really looking forward to this film, thinking it would be the chance for the franchise to return to the golden style of the 1954 film, however, with its terrible pacing, largely poor acting and illogical storyline, this was actually quite a big disappointment.

But before I get into what I didn’t like about this film, I have to admit that the opening stages were absolutely stunning. From the off, there’s heart-pounding drama at every second, with unpredictable and thrilling twists throughout the first 40 minutes that make it incredibly engrossing and intriguing to watch.

Also, the fact that this film chose to touch upon the nuclear element that is in fact the foundation of the Godzilla franchise really pleased me, as it stayed very faithful to the original, while also bringing an intriguing and modern perspective on the dangers of nuclear energy nowadays, acting as, what seemed to me, a sort of commentary on the disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant in 2011, which was fascinating.

However, after the nail-biting, emotional and exciting start to the film, everything seems to quickly go downhill after one major change in the make-up of the film about 40 minutes in.

The first part was relentlessly exciting, it had no mercy for its characters and relationships, and created a dark atmosphere akin to that in the original. However, from then on, it becomes an overly Hollywood-ified blockbuster that begins to completely disregard its main characters, and focusses entirely on a totally over the top, large-scale action story.

Not to say that the action wasn’t good when it popped up every now and then, with brilliant visual effects and chaos being shown, however when it got to the final fight scene, the only significant one throughout, it became quite long-winded and repetitive, which bored me even then.

But probably the worst thing about this film is the lack of Godzilla. When you watch a film called ‘Godzilla’, you expect to see a lot of Godzilla, and although the tease of Godzilla in the first stages is a common theme in the Toho films, but here, you have to wait a full hour before you get the first glimpse of the beast for about 5 seconds, and then another 45 minutes until he becomes a principal part of the movie.

Instead of Godzilla, though, there are various other enemies that the humans must battle, but I felt they were unoriginal and boring to watch, unlike the classic reptile, meaning that this film had a similar fate to Godzilla 2000, where, somehow, Godzilla becomes the good guy in the story in defending Earth against the baddies, which was seriously disappointing to see.

Beyond that, little else happened in the other parts of the film. There were goings-on that were made to appear important, but with little explanation, it was almost impossible to understand what was actually going on, especially when all you’re focussed on is waiting for Godzilla to turn up, so because of that, amongst other problems, this gets a 6.4.


About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com