Scenario 1: If you are going to see this film because you really enjoy classic Godzilla movies and you hope the music and campy theme of those films are represented in this one, you absolutely should go see it. Godzilla here looks much more like the beloved behemoth than it did in the '98 movie, the music hearkens to the classic Japanese overtures of the old Gojira film era, and the camera work has the comically silly nature of Sam Rami's Spiderman series.Scenario 2: If you are really excited to see a deep, human film with camera angles and writing that really tell a story that is thematically transcendent such as "District 9" and the Korean film "The Host," this is not your film. The script is filled with overtly simplistic rhetoric and one dimensional characters (intentionally,) the scenes somehow manage to have very little tension (even for me, the pilot episodes for most sitcoms seem more tense than Gozilla,) and as stated above, the camera-work is intentionally hammy. It should also be noted that to add a human element, the director overuses children to the point that it ends up feeling very obvious, as though he did it to be intentionally campy.Scenario 3: If you are one of those people who really just want a fun popcorn flick such as Pacific Rim, with some solidly choreographed action like in the over-the-top bulletfest Battle:LA, I would say proceed with caution. The fight scenes are less intense and more majestic, like any classic monster movie, and as such the human aspect of the combat is relatively insignificant, less so than any other monster movie I've ever seen. There are no little monsters for anyone to shoot at, if that's your thing.Scenario 4: If you are interested in this film because you love the talented work of Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, and/or Aaron Taylor- Johnson (three of my favorite actors) and are excited to see what they bring to the table, you should probably sit this one out. Bryan Cranston's role in this film garners far less screen time than advertised, Ken Watanabe spends literally every second walking through the scenes with the pained expression of someone who just walked in on their parents, and all three of the actors give off the vibe that they are very much aware of how cheesy their lines are. Everyone else's performance was similarly forgettable.Honestly, I'm a stickler for deep, human storytelling, but I've also had a softspot for the classic, silly fun of many Godzilla movies, including my favorite, Godzilla vs. Destroyah. All told, depending on which camp you fall under, this will be an entirely different movie for you. As Godzilla movies go, I'd give it a B. As darker, more serious monster movies go, I'd give it a D+.
I wasn't going to review this film, however, after reading mostly negative reviews, I felt I needed to put in my two cents worth. I am definitely in the minority on this one. I loved this film. It captured my attention instantly and held it for the entire two hours. Sure, the plot is familiar, but anyone who expects a new plot for one of the oldest, most famous monsters ever, is nothing but kidding themselves. This is a new version of some of the old "Godzilla vs....." movies. Not similar to the 1998 film in which one monster stomps around and destroys the city. Sure, that also happens here, but not without an epic battle between Godzilla and other radioactive monsters. Yes, most reviewers are complaining that Godzilla only appears for 10 minutes in the movie. This is true, as the other monsters have more screen time, but most of the film is built on suspense, and in my opinion it works very well. There is still plenty of chaos and destruction for the action buffs. The human story (about Ford Brody and his family) is quite weak and almost non-existent. But that does not take anything away from this epic monster movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it, it is VERY entertaining. 10/10
For fans of monster movies, "Godzilla" was surely one of the most anticipated releases of the year. Therefore, the most surprising thing about Godzilla is not how empty the story is, but rather how little there is of the monster in the movie after which it is named.The plot in "Godzilla" is disposable. It only exists as an excuse to unleash the film's titular character. However, is it too much to ask for an original plot with characters we could care about? Here, the back story is cliché-ridden and the characters simply serve the function of moving the story forwards. As such, one would expect that Godzilla is at least given ample screen time. Surprisingly, this is not the case, and the majority of the film's focus seems to be on the military attempting to find out how to kill Godzilla and the MUTOs, which look like giant, angry cockroaches. Ultimately, it is left up to the score and the Michael Bay-esque dub-step reminiscent sound design to create tension.Its almost futile to talk about the performances in the film because despite the strong cast, the characters are so one-dimensional that nobody delivers a memorable performance. Bryan Cranston and Juliette Binoche do their best with the little screen time they are given, and the couple of Aaron-Taylor Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen are given the impossible task of creating interesting characters from the uninspired script. More worrying, however, is how unnecessary Sally Hawkins' character is and how the script manages to make Ken Watanabe look like a second-rate actor, as his character rarely changes expression from the looks of intense thought or surprise. Overall, "Godzilla" did not work for me at all. Not only is it a film without heart, but it a film meant to thrill that ends up just being tedious. I could have left halfway through the movie. I just didn't care how things would turn out.
This isn't the usual kind of disaster action movie. It's a bit more serious and the disaster scenes aren't rushed. It's better to see this on a big screen because some of it is in the dark or under dusky skies.Effects are good not dizzying or overdone. The assorted monsters move naturally and are relatively realistic. The various locations from Japan to Hawaii are nicely done too though SanFrancisco could have been a bit brighter during the destruction. The Golden Gate and other landmarks aren't that precise but I get that things had to be spread out to accommodate the monsters.The basic plot isn't needlessly complicated though I got a bit lost in the details with the tactics to kill the monsters and the nuclear link to the monsters. The story about the people is secondary to the monsters which is good as it doesn't intrude.The main character played by a sensitive looking Aaron Taylor Johnson isn't some superhero type saving the day. He is more a in the thick of things observer which is refreshing for a change. No way out bravado here.Elisabeth Olsen isn't a drop dead gorgeous love interest, more every day ordinary. Her screen time isn't that much. Bryan Cranston (why didn't he age?) and Juliette Binoche (who did her hair?) also lend solid support.Ken Watanabe looks right for his part but his diction isn't clear enough for relaying the plot through dialog.Overall it's a good solid and well made big screen action disaster monster movie that deserves a big screen watch.