Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Godzilla (2014, First Impressions) (Movie Review)

     It’s about time Godzilla had a proper American movie, sure there was that one movie that came out in 1998, but that was largely dismissed by viewers and has gotten a reputation for being one of the worst movie blockbusters of all time. I always felt that American audiences could never fully appreciate Godzilla as one of the greatest movie monsters of all time, but now he finally has a fighting chance and the result is one of the best monster movies I’ve seen in years.  

     Honestly, I think this film gets everything just right, Godzilla’s battles are big spectacles, with some awesome new monsters, a refreshing tone and the movie is very smart by giving us just enough monster action, without getting to over blown. There’s actually just enough human drama to help balance everything out. It may annoy some people that the humans get a lot more attention than the big G, but I thought it helped to the films advantage. The performances are all really good and they help offset seeing monsters in action. It’s also a nice treat to see Godzilla as more of a hero instead of the primary threat. He’s still dangerous but he’s not out to destroy the world, instead he’s determined to defeat other giant monsters that are wreaking havoc across the globe in order to restore things to their natural balance.  

     There’s actually quiet a lot going on in the story, including a subplot that’s very reminiscent of the 1998 American “Godzilla” movie. One of the giant monsters lays eggs in a condemned building, a small team of solders have to go in to destroy them. I was surprised how similar the two films were in this regard, there’s even a moment in which the monster singles out the humans responsible for destroying the nest. This will either make or break the film for some viewers, personally, I thought it was done fairly well.   

      Godzilla’s new design looks great and every time he was on screen was electrifying. It’s just a fast paced thrill ride that American Godzilla fans deserve. There may not be much more to it than just a fun, destructive monster movie, but it’s done well, with an excellent tone, strong cast, top notch visual effects and a surprisingly sharp atmosphere. Personally, this is my favorite Godzilla movie to date, which is no small accomplishment, especially considering that I’ve seen and enjoyed all 30 of his movies. I give the 2014 motion picture “Godzilla” 4 stars out of 5.      

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