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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Godzilla 2014: The New Beginning -- a perspective into the new film

I've been fighting a bad headache most of the day, but i'll try to keep this review on point.
please be aware that i'll be throwing out spoilers throughout the review, as well as my personal views about the movie.

SPOILER ALERTS (there, on to the bulk of the review)

we went into the movie theater today, knowing a lot about the general components of the movie, but personally i wasn't expecting a lot out of this film. i at least knew that we weren't going to end up with a godzilla 98 fiasco.

the events of the movie start in 1999 (effectively erasing 1998) with a quick setup of finding something that ends up screwing up another thing, a japanese power plant. obviously, this is the origin of the MUTO creature (Massive Unknown Terrestrial Organism).

now, in our Clash of the Kaiju facebook page, i had speculated that MUTO had developed a seismic/ tremor power. I was close.

when MUTO strikes with his first EMP attack, i almost smacked my forehead. similar, but just didn't see it i guess.

anyway, i was under the impression that Bryan Cranston was the main character in the movie. word of advice: Don't get too attached to him. his death seems a bit forced, like the movie needed a martyr, his 15 year crusade cut short.

Muto tears through Honolulu, where the first shots of G surface, but we only see a short battle via TV. another MUTO shows up in Vegas, and we barely see this monster tear up the city. we see it in review footage on a navy vessel.

OK. Question. if this is the same group of people who were responsible for PACIFIC RIM (Legendary and WB), the where the hell are the monster battles? i'll get back to this.

Godzilla and the MUTOs finally make landfall in San Francisco, but again we wait for the big fight, which we get as the final military mission begins. it really starts out lukewarm. appearing as two wrestlers pushing each other around, not really damaging anything or each other. plus, it's smokey, so you don't get good glimpses until later. finally the battle gets going as G takes on both monsters at the same time, and the MUTOs fight dirty. i saw one fish-hook G's jaw and pull him down as the other jumped on his back. looked a bit like a schoolyard beatdown.

in the end, G storms back, swatting one of the monster's like a fly into a building. he uses his atomic breath twice in the battle, hitting the larger female MUTO and eventually takes it down.

after the human element of the story wraps up, the film effectively pulls off the whole "Godzilla returns to the sea" scene.

Things i noticed:

easter eggs: as i watched as Ford and the Father (Cranston) return to the quarantine zone, they return home. in Ford's old room ,there is a old aquarium. there are two pieces of tape that line up perfectly, and though it's obvoiusly supposed to be two different words, the tape together reads "MothRa". when i saw that, i said it aloud, but my daughter was three seats away from me, so i had to keep it to myself. they also reference some kaiju culture with a few posters here and there in the setup parts of the movie. later, they reference a dragon like creature in a pooling puddle of gasoline which many say is Ghidorah, but it could be Manda as well.

Tease: the build up for the throwdown of godzilla was ridiculous. 
he's the star, but there wasn't enough time spent with him. the human element has always been key in the g movies in japan, but there's still plenty of G in their movies. this was way overboard on the human aspect, and i agree with friends that say "Godzilla 2014 needed more Godzilla in it."

the scale: godzilla is fat in this one. he needs to lay off the "quarter ton-ers". despite this, he is the most realistic looking Godzilla to date. everything about his appearance makes him alive and believable . He sneers, snarls, and always looks pissed before he unleashes his roar.

the best moment: godzilla gets pretty beat up, and the female MUTO turns her back on him. as she is distracted, a faint glow appears behind her in the smoke clouds. it grows and snakes up what we know to be godzilla's tail, which seems to emit some sort of sound as it crawls up his back. godzilla looks pissed as ever, striking a snarl that says "Aw, you done fxcked up now!". every muscle fiber ripples in his face and chest in the milliseconds before he blasts the hell out of the MUTO, which severely injures the creature but not enough to kill it. a few minutes later, it becomes a one on one match, with G sneaking behind the Lady MUTO. prying her jaws open, and making her swallow down a helping of atomic blast which ends up burning her head clean off.  unorthodox for G, but still effective.

the Verdict: the MUTOs are interesting, but really fail to stand out on their own. the battles act as a palate cleanser to Godzilla 98, but too much of a tease for too little content. Godzilla 2014 is not Toho's vision, but its a fresh start. it has that feeling of potential, that more could come from it. it gets a solid A for effort, but maybe a B for total overall experience. i would give it more money to see it again, which i may to better analyze next weekend.


  1. When G's tail plates began to spark up in the darkness, Ivy and I both let out an excited "Awwww shit..."

    1. i just love the way he puffed up just before he unleashed his atomic breath. really seemed that it was legit, as if he was a living breathing thing.

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