Friday 16 May 2014

Dark Review - Godzilla (2014)

Review of Godzilla (2014)

By Casey Douglass


I must admit to not having seen any other Godzilla film besides the 1998 version with Matthew Broderick. I quite liked it but it left me unimpressed. Roll on to this 2014 Godzilla and I came away feeling a bit better.

I could give a basic outline of the early story without spoilers but my brain is rebelling today so I will just comment on what I want, still hopefully spoiler free. Suffice to say that the story is the usual human arrogance plus massive forces equals mass destruction. 

Godzilla (2014) Pic 1
Image ©Warner Bros. Pictures

The characters that steal the show are Bryan Cranston’s Joe Brody and Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s Ford Brody. The father and son duo certainly have their issues but they are the two characters that stick well in my mind. The rest of the cast were pretty disposable and whose only job was to run around looking startled. Except the kids that is. My god. I saw the 3D version of Godzilla but even those 3D glasses couldn’t hide the 2D acting of the kids. Ford Brody’s son was the most unemotional kid I have ever seen. He managed a smile once near the end of the film. There was also a little girl about a third of the way into the film that watches something amazing unfold. She was like a mannequin, no emotion or response whatsoever, even when being bundled along in a hysterical crowd. I thought the kids in Everybody Loves Raymond were shit but these two can join that club now.

I was impressed with how the film handled the reveal of Godzilla and his adversaries. I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to say that there is some monster on monster action. The film takes awhile to build up to seeing anything of Godzilla and even when it does appear, the first few fights are teasingly closed off by doors shutting or other things obstructing the view. I appreciated this and it all felt quite well done. I think it fell down a little at the end though, where I felt we see Godzilla too closely and can begin to read its expressions.

Godzilla (2014) Pic 2
Image ©Warner Bros. Pictures

The 3D was okay, it did the job but was forgotten about within five minutes of the film starting. The film delighted in shadowy silhouettes rising from dark places so maybe 3D was always at a bit of a disadvantage in those respects.

Godzilla (2014) Pic 3
Image ©Warner Bros. Pictures

What Godzilla is, is a competent mega-monster movie with oodles of destruction and escalation. It runs to around 2 hours and that felt just about right. There are twists to the story and interesting things to see, but don’t expect to really care what happens to the characters by the end.

Rating: 3.5/5

Godzilla on IMDb