Saturday, June 7, 2014

Movie Review: "Godzilla" (2014)

Godzilla 2014 movie poster
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Director: Gareth Edwards
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hour, 3 minutes

In 1999 during a mining operation in the Philippines, workers uncover the remains of an ancient creature along with several "eggs." Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) are called in to investigate, and they discover that one of the eggs has hatched. Whatever was inside it has already disappeared. Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche) and son Ford (CJ Adams) live in Japan. Joe and Sandra work at the Janjira nuclear power plant in Japan. Joe has noticed some recent seismic activity patterns that seem unusual and don't look to be caused naturally. It turns out, this activity leads to a meltdown at the plant and the death of his wife. 

15 years later in present-day San Francisco, Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), now a US Navy bomb specialist, has a wife Elle (Elizabeth "looks just like her sisters" Olsen) and son Sam (Carson Bolde) of his own but doesn't keep in touch with his father. When Joe gets arrested for being caught in the "quarantine zone" in Japan, Ford travels there to bail him out. Joe tries to convince Ford that there is a cover-up going on about what happened at Janjira 15 years ago. Turns out, Joe was right: the meltdown was caused by a creature referred to as a MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism), which feeds on nuclear energy. This MUTO is about to finish its feeding and hibernation and is ready to unleash its destruction on the world in search of more energy. Noises emitted by the MUTO draw the attention of another ancient being: GODZILLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Run, Walter White, RUN!!!!!

While the story in this movie is what suffers the most, it's still not bad. The human portion of the story can just be sort of boring. Pretty much every human character in this story is disposable, and it's really not the reason why people went to see this movie. You can interchange any of the characters with any other actor or actress and it would have been the same. The father/son dynamic doesn't really go anywhere other than the first 20 minutes of the movie. The beginning of the movie is quite compelling, but when Ford grows up and has a family of his own, it becomes a snoozefest. It feels like it wants to give a "War of the World" focus on one single family's plight during the terror, but filmmakers could have done fine with just the scientists and general military personnel without a grandiose storyline. We just want to see Godzilla kick some serious ass!!!

What makes up for this is the stunning graphics and special effects. When Godzilla opens up the MUTOs jaw and spits his fire breath into his mouth?! I WANTED TO CHEER!! YEAH!!! That was freakin' awesome! It seems like they spared no expense with the bitchin' CGI and special effects. Though Godzilla's screen time is shorter than it could have been, we found ourselves not minding too much because when he does fight the MUTOs, it's pretty spectacular. If a good half hour of the filler story would have been cut out of the film, we definitely would have rated it higher. Godzilla doesn't need to be in every scene, but a little more of him couldn't have hurt.

Overall, it's not as bad as people are saying if you go into it knowing that it does drag a little and it does have a sort of useless plotline, but we feel that the stellar graphics and special effects make up for it. We can't wait to see if there is a sequel!

My Rating: 7/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 73%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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