Godzilla (2014) movie review. SPOILER FREE!

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“Up from the depths thirty stories high…!”

It’s been a while since we’ve grown a pair big enough to attempt another American film based on the King of all Monsters, Godzilla, yet here we are.  Let’s start off with the overall plot summary that Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. in participation with Toho published.

“The film retells the origins of Godzilla in contemporary times as a “terrifying force of nature”, depicted in a style faithful to the Toho series of Godzilla films. The film is directed by Gareth Edwards, written by Max Borenstein and stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, and Bryan Cranston.”

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The question most people have on their mind is whether or not this was an actual Godzilla film, and not another 1998 catastrophe directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich featuring Matthew Broderick. I called the ’98 movie a catastrophe because it was anything but a Godzilla film. This interpretation on the other hand, knew it’s roots and stayed within the mythos. The movie followed tropes that existed in the famous lore for all those who consider themselves Godzilla fans, or for the hardcore fans…. Gojira. Now understand this is a reboot AND a sequel in the same instance. The movie follows as a sequel to the original 1954 film, but erasing everything else afterwards. Hence, the term reboot. An interesting thing in the new franchise was the use of events in our history as occurrences in Gojira’s history, such as nuclear “testing”. By doing so, it grounded the story a little bit more in reality, creating a  believably realistic experience. One noticeable change with Big-G however, is his size. He is easily two, to maybe three times the size of the Godzilla we are used to. Yikes!

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By all means call this a disaster film, not a monster bash. There was more of a survival Cloverfield vibe than a fantastical Pacific Rim vibe going on. A story of people trying to cope this “natural disaster” that’s leaving cities uninhabitable.

Speaking of people, praise has to go to the human aspect of this 2014 kaiju (giant monster) blockbuster. For those who know the Godzilla franchise understand that usually the human subplot (or main plot depending on how you view Godzilla films) is so empty and at more times (than G-zilla fans want to admit) mind-numbingly boring. With the script and help of great actors such as Bryan Cranston and Ken Watanabe (who all did a fantastic job), the film kept you engaged with the fact that these are people surviving global devastation, while trying to keep their family together. Subplot in mind, you get teased moment after moment with flashes of Godzilla about to get “gangsta”, then it cuts away back to the various human subplots. Not annoying, but still a tease. Does it pay off in the end? Yes, and in a way surprise you. It’s guaranteed that there will be a point where you will yell out, “WHOA!! COOL!!” After seeing it multiple times, that was the overall reaction of the crowd. Just saying.

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Why does it seem that this review is a little vague? It’s because you should go in knowing what to expect from your classic Godzilla film without surprises being spoiled. This film is definitely worth seeing! Let’s all get excited for the future of Gojira! Don’t worry about waiting after the credits, the director Gareth Edwards wanted this movie to stand alone. Rumor has it that the success of the film has already gotten a few people thinking that a sequel will be in the works featuring Monster Island. Rating: 4 out of 5.

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