There are two kinds of Godzilla movies (ignoring the previous US fiasco wherein the big G-man was some kind of T-Rex mutant). The first kind is where Godzilla is a beast who (whether on purpose or by accident) ravages a city (usually Tokyo) and leaves thousands dead. In the second kind, Godzilla is a friendly beast who finds himself on the side of humanity (whom he barely notices) while establishing that he is the only King of Monsters.
The 2014 version of Godzilla is the second type, although the trailers would lead one to believe otherwise. Why, you may ask, should movie producers make the Big G Unit a hero? Simple: merchandising. If he’s a big, fluffy, ass-chewing toy, kids all over the world will want a Godzilla playset (plush toy, action figure, video game?) for their next birthday. Now, I’m not a cynic … scratch that. I’m as cynical as fuck. So, not surprisingly, U.S. movie producers fucked this movie up in the names of 1) crass commercialization and 2) making all blockbusters using the same stupid formula.
You can probably tell by now I didn’t like the movie. What bothers me is that it sucks for precisely the same reasons as the last one sucked. Godzilla is not the star of this movie. The star is What’s-his-name, the actor who played the human hero. In the interest of not giving anything away, I won’t tell the plot. Instead, suffice it to say this is a movie with extraordinary special effects wherein for the most part we watch people watching monsters stalking about. I was bored.
Let me break it down:
Visual Effects: A+ — Not surprisingly, this was the movie’s strength. If you’re a big fan of believable destruction, this is the movie for you.
Sound Effects: A- — I’d have given them an A+, but they only got the Godzilla sound right a couple of times, with the metallic resonance at the end. There was one roaring moment that put the old T-Rex cry from Jurassic Park to shame. Well done.
Script: Z- — Here’s what we want. Godzilla awakens. There are tense moments of anticipation before he arises. They last 15 FUCKING MINUTES, not a FUCKING hour! Then, Godzilla. Kicks. Ass. He wins or gets bored, and goes back under the ocean. How bloody hard is that? I kept re-writing the script in my head the whole movie.
Acting: WHO GIVES A SHIT?? Why are there so many people in this movie? Why is this just another Hollywood hero movie? The star is the beast, stupid director person. Was Spielberg or Emmerich not available? Sheesh.
Blockbuster Test: Fail — Here’s my simple Blockbuster Test. I wait until I’m in a shitty mood, then go to a blockbuster. If I end up in a good mood, it’s a win. If I end up in the same mood, it’s “Meh.” If my mood worsens, it’s a fail. As I said, I was bored through most of the movie, as the rest of the audience seemed to be.
Final Grade: C — but only because they finally made a believable-looking Godzilla. It reminds me of the 1st Star Trek movie where nothing happened. It’s like that, except a lot of stuff happened in this movie, just not stuff I cared about.