Yes, it was pretty fun. There are flaws but nothing so major that it will detract from the enjoyment of that movie. You will have few serious thoughts about it, but that's okay, because having a serious thought about a Godzilla movie that isn't the original Godzilla is probably real dumb.
Alright guys that was fun, glad we had this discussion.
Oh. Oh you want more? Oh. Okay, I can try.
Godzilla (2014) is the newest installment in the Godzilla franchise. It is also the only American attempt at Godzilla ever. I found it very strange that people kept comparing it to a previous Godzilla movie made by Americans, when this is clearly the only one of it's kind. They must be confusing it with The Producers, a movie staring Matthew Brodrick and a 120 foot tall Lizard monster who is pregnant and wants to eat fish.
I do not like Godzilla movies, and I am not a huge fan of most Japanese movies in general. They aren't terrible films by any means, but something about the lighting and the way that they almost don't blend the CGI in to the environment at all really bothers me. It creates a very distracting difference between the too that takes me out of the movie. Maybe there are some Japanese films that don't do it, but most of the modern ones I've seen have had special effects that just rub me the wrong way.
I tell you this because I don't know what is supposed to make a good Godzilla movie, or even a good giant monster movie. I liked Pacific Rim because it was a gigantic, dumb, completely artificial spectacle with my second favorite thing in it: giant awesome robots. My first favorite thing is movies directed by people who are trying to either bang one of the actors/actresses or are clearly blackout drunk while shooting, which is why Samurai Cop is still my favorite movie. So I am the least qualified person to tell a Godzilla fan if they should go see it or not.
What's good about that is that if you are a fan of Godzilla you have already seen it and formulated your own opinion on the subject because of course you have. I have zero expectations for the new Star Wars movies, but I'll still go see them. I have to, it's fucking Star Wars. It could be 2 hours of Jar Jar shitting on a physical representation of the audience and I'd still see it. What I will try to do instead is take a look at this movie as a regular human being who just wanted to go see a movie, and not a person who was up until 3 am eating frozen fruit and watching "Maury."
I guess we'll start with the plot. Godzilla follows the plot of the guy that should've played Spiderman in The Amazing Spiderman franchise as he goes to visit his dad and then go back to the respectable Olsen sister. It is unfortunately not about Bryan Cranston being clearly the best actor in the film the entire time. He plays a role in the film but the role is not as large as I would've liked because he's a very good actor. Then they find a new monster that looks like a weird monster thing, and they also find Godzilla, and then the monsters fight. Then Godzilla wins.
This is not a plot heavy film, not really. They set up some interesting subplots but they really don't go anywhere. Unfortunately I can't talk about them without getting in to spoilers, so I'm just going to warn people here and now, we will have spoilers in the rest of the review. Godzilla winning isn't a spoiler.
Alright, so the big subplot is that Brian Cranston's wife died in the first of the monster attacks 15 years before the movie starts, and he's desperately trying to figure out what the fuck happened because it made no sense. Monsters aren't real and if real people had to deal with them they would be confused and upset. The problem is that this entire subplot just becomes a way for us to be introduced to the monsters, rather than as a means for characters to solve any sort of problems. It is also resolved about halfway through the movie, and the whole "military cover-up" angle could've been replaced by Brian Cranston just getting picked up to go look at a monster.
In Pacific Rim the plots involving Mako and the...the general dude with the nosebleed, that guy, they all came up at certain points. They were hurdles in the story that needed to be overcome, and they had direct consequences that mattered to the audience. In Godzilla, the consequences go out the door once the monsters arrive.
I'm being a little bit unfair here, because I'm sure it's actually incredibly hard to write these movies. Godzilla is not really a character so much as a force of nature, all of the monsters are, and turning what is essentially a hurricane in to an element of the plot is probably really hard, especially if you're trying to have characters and emotions in it at all. Maybe it was the wrong direction to take the plot in then. I think so. I would've preferred if the movie had just been sort of several point-of-view scenes of characters or groups of characters that gave us humanity's reaction to the monster. Have some people start worshiping it as a god, people start fleeing, things like that.
That was the biggest negative that I care about. The positives do far outweigh it. Godzilla is looks good, there's a pleasant artifice to the CGI. Everything fits a dark, red and black color scheme except for the nuclear breath thing. That was blue. Why was it blue? I dunno, it has to be blue. The acting is fine, the characters are flat but likeable, and the music is solid. The trailer entirely ruins the HALO drop scene, but I guess movie companies just hate people having suspense in movies or something.
There's not a lot to say in way of praise because nothing is actually all that outstanding. It's all very good, a solid B+, but it's not really as amazing. The fights are incredibly short, the actual hits from the monsters don't carry a whole lot of weight, and you don't really get a feel for the effect of Godzilla on his opponents. The final scene, Godzilla breathes down the other monsters throat to kill it. There's no build up, it just punks them, which is fine I guess, it's just sort of a pretty dull way to end it. I was expecting this big fight scene in the harbor but really didn't get it. Maybe they ran out of money, I don't know.
That's kind of it. This review is pretty short because the movie is actually pretty short in terms of content. You won't regret watching it, but it's not Pacific Rim.
I should just watching Pacific Rim again.