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Monday, June 2, 2014

Movie Review - Godzilla

Godzilla  $$$

123 Minutes
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, and Ken Watanabe.
Director: Gareth Edwards. 

            With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound
            He pulls the spitting high tension wires down 

            Oh no, they say he’s got to go - go go Godzilla
            Oh no, there goes Tokyo - go go Godzilla 

            * Godzilla lyrics by Blue Oyster Cult. 

            I guess it’s time for another reboot of the Big Green franchise. I’m a fan of the original 1954 film that introduced the atomic dinosaur. As far as I’m concerned it is the king of the monster B-movies. Maybe that is why they keep remaking it.  

            In this version Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) is working in a nuclear power plant when he is asked to investigate strange seismic readings that have been detected and could be the precursor to disaster.  They are.  The plant is ruined and the Brody family is forever scarred by the event.
            Fast forward 12 years and young Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johson) returns home from his latest military assignment just in time to bail his father out of jail—in Japan. Joe is obsessed with the disaster that ruined his family and believes that something strange is going on.
            All of this leads to the hatching of a monster that feeds off radiation. Once loosed upon the world it wreaks havoc as it pursues yet another meal. And as if that isn’t bad enough it turns out that there is a second one. If the two of them meet they will be able to spawn thousands more and humanity can kiss their reign as Lords of the Planet goodbye.
            There is only one hope—Godzilla.  

            I found Godzilla surprisingly good. Here is how I rated it.  

            1. Fun – This reboot had the feel of the old Godzilla movies. Of all the reboots this was the most true to the spirit of the original movie that I’ve seen. Its weak point is that it didn’t have enough Godzilla in it. There are plenty of stories about people dealing with the problem, but not enough city-stomping scenes with the big guy.
            Godzilla gets half a MB for fun.  

            2. Story – Well, this is Godzilla. It’s not going to win an Oscar or a Nobel Peace Prize for the storyline. That being said, I think they did a great job with the subject matter. I especially enjoyed how they explained the early atomic testing in the Pacific. While I dinged them in the fun department for not having enough Godzilla I want to praise them here for taking a story about a giant monster and showcasing the humans. Ford Brody is the hero of the story and I really liked how the writers handled that character. 
            Godzilla gets a Full MB for not letting the CGI monster steal the show.  

            3. Technical – Big monsters. Wholesale destruction of cities. Lots of explosions. Wooo-Heee. And it all looked good.
            Godzilla gets a Full MB for the technical aspects of the film.   

            4. Acting – The vast bulk of the acting falls on the shoulders of Aaron Taylor-Johnson and I think he did a good job of it. He was believable and I liked him. Otherwise, only Bryan Cranston has enough lines to keep him out of the minor character category. His performance was decent, but failed to grab my sympathies.
            Godzilla earns only half a MB for acting. 

            Add them all up and you get a final rating of 3 Movie Bucks for Godzilla. This is definitely a big screen adventure, but I strongly recommend catching it as a matinee or other discount showing. If you are not a Godzilla fan and are taking the children you might even want to wait until it reaches the discount theaters.
            However, lest you think otherwise, I enjoyed the movie and plan to pick it up on DVD when it is released. This is an excellent addition to my limited collection of Godzilla movies.

                        Randy’s Rating System 

$$$$   = Full Price    See this movie right away and pay full price, it’s worth it.
$$$     = Matinee      Catch this as a matinee or other discounted showing.
$$        = Discount     Wait until this movie reaches a discount theater near you.
$          = Rental         Wait until this movie reaches your local video rental outlet.
0          = No Sale       Don’t see this movie at any price.



  1. I'm kind of annoyed with myself for not having seen it yet.

    1. Well, you should be. Just kidding. I wasn't going to see it but a friend of mine told me that it was pretty good so I decided to give it a try.

  2. I really have to rectify this bad pattern of missing worthwhile movies while they are in the theater lol! Godzilla is one I hope to catch before it funnels to my tiny tv screen at home.

    1. Keep in mind that if you are not a Godzilla fan in the first place this probably isn't the movie for you. But if you don't mind the illogical concept of big dinosaurs tearing apart a city then you should enjoy it.