Read the Review, posted below the trailer.
Release Date: May 15, 2014
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures
Average Score: 7.8/10
Another new reboot to an iconic film monster ‘Godzilla’. This is my first ‘Godzilla’ film, so I basically knew nothing about it. The marketing had me all excited as a disaster movie featuring Godzilla as the monster that wreaks havoc. Maybe that’s why I was a little bit disappointed? ‘Godzilla’ has enough action sequences that will make audiences cheer and clap with delight, but the story on display is something else. The film has a great setup, and I was really on-board with it. With a great performance by Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad fame) who literally stole the show from giant monster Godzilla, I was really being invested into this world and the story, but before the second act begins, the film loses its appeal to me and the story gets lost and just becomes another standard action movie with monsters fighting. I got lost with the story, after a while, it’s just different locations with Godzilla fighting, and not enough story in its place. Still, there’s human drama concerning with Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen (newcomers to Avengers 2 next year) with some fine performances, by the problem I find with it is the main character isn’t as interesting or developed and could never cheer for the hero. While ‘Godzilla’ has some amazing visual effects, its more style over substance here, as it could have been so much better in terms of story and lack of explanations, which at times, gets a little too confusing for its own good. Still, there are some really good elements in ‘Godzilla’ that shine through, like I mentioned earlier in my review, but if you are a ‘Godzilla’ fan, you’ll probably like this so much more than I did, as audiences were having a blast applauding the film when the credits were rolling on the screen. If that’s not a reason to go, I don’t know what is.
Daniel's Score: 6.5/10
This review was published on May 19, 2014.
If you haven't seen 'Godzilla' yet, I highly recommend doing so, but first you need to know how deceivingly marketed this film is. First off, it is a MONSTER movie, not a disaster movie (They are similar genres, it's true, but not the same). Secondly, Godzilla is portrayed entirely differently in the trailers from in the finished film. Thirdly, the main protagonist is not who you think it is (this has more than one meaning when you see the film). So basically, go in with no expectations. Go into 'Godzilla' ready for surprises...Good, now that that's clear, we can discuss the film as it is. Of course there's no discussing this film without touching on the mixed reaction so far. To me, it is one of the most fascinating cases of divided opinion in recent memory. Disregard all of it, except this review, because 'Godzilla' is deeper and more complex than it looks on the surface, if not in terms of story and character, but instead in its cinematic style. 'Godzilla' is first and foremost, a blockbuster, and it knows it. The action scenes, while scarcer than you'd expect (See what I mean about expectations? This is not a bad thing), are magnificent and awe-inspiring, especially that final act. But most, if not all, blockbusters can deliver on this level these days. What makes 'Godzilla' unique is what it doesn't do. Just like the early Spielberg classics like 'Jaws' and 'E.T.', director Gareth Edwards, holds back on the spectacle to make the pay off all the more spectacular in the end. In fact, 'Godzilla' feels like the most Classic-Spielbergian film since 2011's 'Super 8', albeit in a much more subtle way than that film. The cues are almost all visual, from the way the film is cut together to bring the audience down to the human level rather than the monster level, to the aerial shots of Hawaii which immediately screams 'Jurassic Park'. Edwards also has great respect for the Japanese kaiju himself, honouring the original Tohu films in many ways, most notably in his portrayal of Godzilla and his focus on the human characters in the first act. If the only 'Godzilla' you've ever seen is Emmerich's 1998 critical train wreck, then prepare to see the monster in a whole new light. There is so much subtle complexity to Edwards' portrayal that it would be impossible to cover all of it in one review. I think the one mistake people have about 'Godzilla', and a problem inherent to blockbusters these days, is that they go in close-minded, expecting just another explosion-filled, trigger-happy movie. 'Godzilla' is more than that but you have to be prepared to think about it. And herein lies the problem; if you take 'Godzilla' on a purely superficial level, it is not a great blockbuster until the final act and by then you may have lost interest. But it is a great film, an excellent one in fact. At some points Edwards tries too hard to be artistic and clever in his portrayal of human reaction to catastrophe and he falls short with characterisation. Many characters don't have much to do and there is one character twist at the end of the first act that I was really disappointed with as it snuffs a lot of potential. But it's ultimately Godzilla himself that's in control of this film. I hope you can learn to love the monster like I did. When Godzilla roars, he roars. And so does his movie.
Nic's Score: 9.1/10
This review was published on May 23, 2014.