Godzilla (2014)

As you are aware, there are a lot of Godzilla movies. Every few years they release a new one, so it is not exactly surprising. Each film, while different, especially if made for a Japanese audience by a Japanese director, hold true to a basic tenant: overgrown creatures fighting each other to the death. Classic.

And so it is the same for the 2014 rendition of Godzilla. Mastered for an American audience, this film will not hold any awkward voiceovers or subtitling (as fans of the original films will be aware), and will contain the typical multi-million dollar special effects and convenient eye-rolling dialogue and events. Likewise, the plot remains the same: monster duking it out. This time they are hyper-evolved “alpha hunters” from time immemorial which grow to obscene sizes because they feed on radiation. This rationale is more believable then some other versions of the tale, but I think, by and large, if you find yourself trying to explain in a realistic manner why an overgrown lizard is stomping around the Pacific, you are stuck in a no win situation.

At any rate, the action is prodigious. The story is simple: a scientist (played by the actor who played Walter White) is obsessed with discovering the truth behind a reactor collapse which killed his wife years ago. He rants and raves about the dangers but is not listened to until-uh oh!- the monstrosity which the Japanese government has been keeping in stasis, the one which caused the meltdown, escapes and wreaks havoc on innocent cities. Godzilla promptly follows in an attempt to kill it and its revived mate. Destruction, drama, irrelevant sub-plots- action! And you have your Godzilla movie.

It is predictable as it is clichéd. Brilliant scientist whose theories are considered absurd? Check! Sullen child turn adult solider over the atrocities he witnessed as a child? Check! Cheap melodramatic death scene early on to reinforce the pair’s sense of mission in stopping the rampaging monsters? Check! And of course my personal favorite: a grossly disproportioned sense of the value of the protagonists lives over those of millions of other people, not including the many thousands killed by the monsters? You bet your ass check! Everything else is trivial as well: suitably epic music abounds, the iconic scenes which make Godzilla are scattered about, and the acting is sufficiently to the task of eking out blasé moralism regarding the value of human life from people (the military) which, in actuality, couldn’t give a flying fuck. So as I said, there may not be anything wrong with the film if you are a fan of the average Hollywood blockbuster, but if you expect anything more, then prepare to be sorely disappointed.


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