Dave’s 3-Word Review:
For the nostalgic.
Let’s talk about Godzilla. This guy has been around forever, but I was never a fan…at least not of classic Godzilla. I was one of the few that loved the 1998 Godzilla. That opinion has changed some, but I still have mad respect for the ‘90s version and wouldn’t mind watching it again and again. When it comes to Gozilla nostalgia – that’s where mine lays. But people hate that movie, why? Because it does its own thing and pays little attention to the classic version – and it changed the Gozilla model. So what? I liked the new model better. Anyways, we’re not here to talk about 1998, we’re here to talk about 2014 – and so…how did the new Godzilla do?
Okay, so way back when, there was this beast named Gozilla that people always tried to kill, but just…couldn’t for whatever reason. Years later, a bunch of monster eggs show up around the globe feeding off of nuclear energy, eventually hatching into monstrous beings. Out of the depth of the ocean comes Godzilla to once again battle the beasts of the world. Meanwhile, a few humans scramble around trying to find alternate ways to kill the monsters. Once again, never learning that you can’t.
So this was clearly based off of the original franchise – even a sequel of sorts. It’s the movie that people pretty much wanted in 1998. Now, let me try to explain why I couldn’t care less in that regard. Before 1998 came around, I never cared for Godzilla because 1. It was an old series. 2. Godzilla looked fake 3. The city looked fake 4. The people were horrible actors 5. If you watched it dubbed, no one knew how to edit the voices properly 6. If you watched it with subtitles, you had the misfortune of reading what people were saying while trying to focus on what was actually happening. Then 1998 happened and in all honesty – epicness. I don’t even care if they got the idea completely wrong, I liked the movie on its own, which is more than I can say for any of the classics.
This movie, I’m sorry to say, was seemingly made just to make fans happy. To keep people’s nostalgia in check. They took the whole idea of creative freedom and kind of ignored it just to make people happy. A part of me liked that, a part of me didn’t. The part of me that liked it enjoyed the classic monster vs. monster aspects and actually making the thing look real for once. This is not what I wanted from 1998, this is what I wanted from the ‘50s movies. The part of me that didn’t like it was a little more complicated.
The problem with the classic series is that human characters always seem rather insiginicant in the long run. I’ve always thought of them as…observers in the old series. They ran around and screamed before they just watched Godzilla fight monsters. In this version, they tried to have a lot more focus on the humans to fight that fact, but I still felt it’s presence. Yes, 80% of the movie is actually focused on the people, not on the monsters, but in the end, they can’t really do anything but take up screen space. They can’t kill the monsters, that’s Godzilla’s job. Judging the classic series, they can never kill Godzilla either because he always comes back.
Couple of other pointers – on the acting, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Ford. He was so boring. He looked the part, but that voice watered down his character so much…oh and Elizabeth Olsen is a wonderful actress, but she was so underused in the movie. She just stood around and worried about Ford. Finally if I can nitpick one last thing – I just wished we would see more of Godzilla then we did. Once we really got a good glimpse of him, that’s when the movie is kicked into high gear – and it just turns into a spectacle of brilliant visuals, music, and action. That’s when the movie is suddenly really good.
If you are a fan of the older series, this movie will rock your world.
If you are a fan of the 1998 Godzilla, like me, you won’t be uber impressed. Basically, there will be a few really, really cool scenes, but the rest is basically pretty typical.
I’m pretty sure Short Round from Indiana Jones makes an appearance in the movie. The character, not the actor.