Movie Review: 'Godzilla'

(Photo: Warner Bros Pictures)

Movie Review: 'Godzilla'

Godzilla is a global icon but the franchise was never known for great filmmaking.

Published May 16, 2014

Godzilla is a global icon but the franchise was never known for great filmmaking. With roots in Japan, the whale-meets-gorilla monster is famous for cheap special effects and awful overacting. Nonetheless, the film Godzilla is nostalgia and the 2014 reboot attempts to capitalize on the legend's fan base while going for a Hollywood blockbuster. That said, from the 1998 version to 2014, Godzilla fails to translate to today's audience.

Directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Max Borenstein , the Warner Bros. film kicks off with the stellar acting chops of Bryan Cranston , who plays Joe Brody, a nuclear physicist. He loses his wife in 1999 in what people assume is an earthquake. By 2014, Brody is obsessed with the conspiracy theory that Japan's government is hiding the truth. His adult son (Aaron Taylor-Johnson ), frustrated with his father, doesn’t believe the conspiracies, until the truth is in front of him. It’s the basic characters we see every year in action films: a hero, his distraught wife, a lost child and random people who disappear as quickly as they appear on screen. The emotions between the characters felt as artificial as the CGI-zilla.

The first hour overflows with back-story, random monsters and asking the person next to you, "When will Godzilla show up?" As most will complain, it takes Mr. Zilla an hour to finally roar on screen. Yes, a full hour. Imagine if you went to see the latest movie starring Kevin Hart and he didn’t grace the screen until after the first hour. Clearly, the audience would be disappointed.  However, Edwards and Borenstein made a conscious decision for G-Zilla to be tardy for the destruction.  When he finally breathes fire and knocks down buildings, the wait sucked out the interest.  But Godzilla in 2014 doesn’t bomb because the king of monsters is fashionably late. With uninteresting characters, predictable scenarios and mediocre special effects, Godzilla would be a dud even if he showed up in the first ten minutes.

It’s been sixty years since Godzilla made its first appearance on film in 1954. Hollywood, it’s time to let Godzilla rest. His work here is done.

Godzilla is in theaters now.

Written by Clay Cane


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