Godzilla Terrorizes… the Box Office: Some Thoughts on the Flick

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Godzilla on the big screen again is a dream come true, so it was with great excitement than nerds rushed to the theaters to check out the 2014 version of Godzilla. Many reported back disappointment in the lack of Godzilla in the film. This put me off a bit, but I knew if I didn’t go to Godzilla I’d regret it the rest of my life. I missed Godzilla 2000 when it was in theaters and I’ve hated myself ever since. Anyway, I realize you’re all sitting on the edge of your seats wondering what I thought about the flick.

I’m not the world’s biggest Godzilla fan, but I have carried a torch for him for many years. Like many I hated the 1998 Godzilla film with a passion. And like many I loved seeing that version of the monster getting his ass handed to him by the “real” Godzilla in Godzilla: Final Wars. I wondered if an American studio was capable of creating a good Godzilla film and if audiences would accept it after the wake of the 1998 film.

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It seems like American audiences have to have a big dose of realism in their bat shit crazy movies. The stories of the humans in Japanese Godzilla films are usually forgettable or just plain insane and are just padding for the monster battles. I don’t think a studio would go out on a limb and have a crazy anime like story featuring super powered mutants like in Final Wars or an alien invasion story like in many Godzilla flicks for the first outing. And furthermore, like in the 1998 version one could have expected the studio to play it extra safe by having Godzilla appear alone. In 2014 that’s not the case. While there’s no alien invasion with aliens bringing monsters like King Ghidorah (sadly), Godzilla battles a couple of other monsters.

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Warning: Spoilers

  • One of the biggest complaints about Godzilla is that it actually doesn’t feature a ton of Godzilla. That is true. Unlike many critics of the film, I found the human story to be compelling, albeit nonsensical at times, to carry me through to the major Godzilla action. However, it did get a bit wearing at times when the monsters are just about to go at it, then the scene cuts away. It was like… how do I put this delicately… the movie is just about to stick it in and then pulls out right away.
  • I love 3D so I saw Godzilla in Imax 3D. The 3D conversion wasn’t that hot for most of the human story, but really shined in the moments monsters were on screen.
  • There were some moments that were particularly cheesy, like when our human hero (I already forgot his name) falls down at the same time Godzilla does.
  • Character actions are fairly questionable. The wife’s decision to stay behind because her husband was coming to get her was foolish. If I’m looking to reuinte with my wife, I’d think she’d have enough sense to go to the nearest public evacuation center, not stay in the heart of the danger.
  • Maybe I stopped paying attention, but I got where the Mutos came from, but missed where Godzilla had been chilling out all these years. Someone want to explain that to me?
  • ZIP disks! I used to think those were the coolest. They have amazing longevity in adverse conditions, apparently.
  • I didn’t see Bryan Cranston going out like that.
  • Get that bus driver a raise!
  • Lamar the Revenger

    Yes. That bus driver was trained well.