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Join Date: Aug 2003
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Re: Godzilla (2014) - - - Part 12
I just got back from this movie.
Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
The original Gojira is a monster movie classic. The human characters had great stories, and they worked into the theme of atomophobia very well. It is truly a classic that should be held in high esteem. That being said, the new Godzilla film isn't that type of movie. I would go as far to say it isn't a true monster. This is a disaster movie featuring monsters, in this case, the Japanese icon Godzilla. That will no doubt be a disappointment to many, but that wasn't a disappointment to me.
I've seen several complaints about the human characters outside of Bryan Cranston. Bryan Cranston is outstanding in this film. Every scene he is in is great. The rest of the cast are not given the type of material he was. This film was less character focused, and more situationally focused. I think that is the difference. While the human characters are not interesting exactly as people, the way the film is shot and the situations are engaging. This made up for this disadvantage for me.
Everyone is correct on the monsters not being in the movie a lot. The film instead decides to slowly work its way to the monster mash, while giving us mostly teases and spectacle of the destruction. While many expecting monster mash might be disappointed that the monster fight is secluded basically to the climax, I love the way the movie was shot. By only seeing bits of the monsters, looking up at them, and filming mostly from a human perspective, it gave this film more spectacle and visual flare. Add the tremendous sound design, and the action scenes are awesome. They build suspense very well, and create a chaotic environment. Also, the fact you don't really see the monsters much isn't exactly new for a Godzilla film. Plenty of Godzilla films don't feature him until 40mins-1hr into the movie. Thus, the slow burn method I found building suspense as opposed to hurting the film. I am sure many will disagree.
The film also decides not to use Godzilla as an antagonist, like many thought he would be. While Godzilla was more nature's revenge against humanity for their sins in the original Godzilla, Godzilla more represents the balance of nature in this movie. Instead of knocking mankind down a peg for their hubrous, Godzilla is a hunter trying to destroy these MUTOs, who are creating an imbalance in nature. While this perhaps conflicts with the way the film is marketed, this route is a fair representation of Godzilla. In the early films, Godzilla was a bad monster we should fear, but he evolved in the Japanese films into more of a protector and mascot for Japan. This movie tries to showcase his destructive power, brilliantly displayed in several scenes such as the Golden Gate Bridge sequence, but at the same time, they want to use him in the protector role many are used to seeing him in. It is a delicate balance for sure, but I think Gareth Edwards did a fine job.
This 2014 Godzilla is a great disaster film, and a solid addition to the Godzilla mythos. While it does many things traditional Godzilla fans may not expect or be turned off by, I enjoyed the style the film strived for. The human characters could maybe have used more tweaking and character material (outside the brilliant Bryan Cranston), but I do think they do a good enough job to help build suspense for the audience and to keep us entertained and interested the whole way through. I'll be curious to see what direction they take the series in the next installment, which is sure to come given the solid buzz and the solid opening weekend numbers we're seeing. No matter what they do, a solid foundation for a new series of Godzilla films has been forged!
Overal rating - 4/5
Rating MCU films: Iron Man - 4/5, The Incredible Hulk - 4/5, Iron Man 2 - 3/5, Thor - 4.5/5, Captain America: The First Avenger - 5/5, The Avengers - 5/5, Iron Man 3 - 4/5, Thor: The Dark World - 4/5, Captain America: The Winter Soldier - 5/5
My review of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
, X-Men: Days of Future Past