Anthony's Film Review

Godzilla (2014)

Six decades after its creation, Godzilla is reimagined in a fantastic remake...

Besides the giant ape King Kong, Godzilla the giant bipedal dinosaur-like reptile is an iconic movie monster. The character, which is of Japanese origin, was first brought to the movie screen in 1954 and would spawn numerous sequels. In 2014, an American version of Godzilla would bring the beast into the new age of computer-generated imagery and advanced special effects. The result is an exciting science-fiction movie that I'm sure some Godzilla fans will love and that anyone who has never seen any Godzilla movie would become more interested in what the franchise is all about.

Let me first make one important note about the film's title. It's somewhat misleading. If you know nothing about the plot, you would think that Godzilla is the only giant monster in the movie and, therefore, is the villain that must be destroyed. If you want a more accurate title, call it "Godzilla vs. MUTO," because the other kind of massive monster in this movie is a Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism that is a cross between a bat and a spider. After all, older Godzilla titles that feature two monsters usually mention both of them in the title. But I digress.

The beginning of this movie focuses on two scientists. One is Ken Watanabe as Ichiro Serizawa, who discovers a giant skeleton and signs of a recently hatched egg in a Philippine mine. The other is Bryan Cranston as Joe Brody, who witnesses his wife dying during a nuclear plant disaster and possesses data suggesting that the disaster was not from a random natural event like an earthquake. There may not be any monster sightings yet, but these two characters set the stage, launch the story, and build suspense. Even so, they are secondary characters at best. The real main character is Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Brody's son Ford, who is an officer for the U.S. Navy involved in some heavy-duty action.

While the characters are not developed fully, they aren't exactly dull either. Still, the real heart of the movie is the plot. The monsters make their way across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to the San Francisco Bay Area. Every time they cross a human settlement on land, they leave behind massive destruction. Meanwhile, Brody and the U.S. Navy are working on a plan to destroy the monsters once and for all. No matter what is happening, there is plenty of suspense as we wonder what will happen next.

One thing I love about this movie is how there is much focus on the human characters and the build-up to the monsters' climactic duel. If you're the kind of person who wants to be mostly monster action, you might be a bit disappointed. But for those who want just enough of a dose of it, I think you'll like it. It's eye candy that is sufficient and definitely far from overdone. As you may expect, the special effects here are quite impressive.

This review is from someone who is unfamiliar with any of the previous Godzilla movies. Chances are that you might get a different perspective from someone who has seen every single Godzilla movie made over the past 60 years. If you want that kind of review, you can look elsewhere. But if you're a Godzilla initiate and want a newcomer's take, I can definitely say that this Godzilla movie is an enjoyable one. It's practically on the same playing field as the 2013 sci-fi film Pacific Rim, another great movie with giant monsters. Whatever your final thoughts on the film will be, one thing is clear. Godzilla is here to stay, and we'll likely see more of the big reptile in the years to come.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Godzilla, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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