So we start off the summer blockbusters of 2014 (or at least for this site) with the legendary Tokyo destroying lizard monster himself, Godzilla. Last week I reviewed the 1998 version of Godzilla as a sort of precursor to this review. After watching that and then checking out the most recent incarnation of the gigantic reptile… I have to say that I see very little difference between the two… Well if you also combined it with Godzilla vs. Mothra. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in my book. As I mentioned in my review, I did enjoy the Emmerich movie as a popcorn watch a lizard tear apart New York type of movie and Godzilla vs. Mothra is arguably the best film in the franchise… But when you release a movie that was supposed to reignite the franchise that was killed by the Emmerich film and combine what is considered to be one of the worst Godzilla movies with one of the best… Well then you have a bit of a problem on your hands in this critics opinion.
The movie opens at the 1954 Bikini Atoll nuclear bomb test site with a huge figure with spikes rising from the water just after a nuclear device is detonated. We flash forward to 1999 where a gigantic skeleton and two eggs are found in a strip mine in the Philippines with one of the eggs already hatched and ready to cause havoc on the world. We then jump to Japan where a nuclear power plant run by Breaking Bad’s own Bryan Cranston. The plant begins to go critical after some strange seismic activities. An explosion occurs (oh not cool) and the ensuing radiation results in the quarantine of the Janira district for fifteen years.
Jump ahead once more and we find ourselves with our protagonist Ford Brody (of the Godzilla fighting Brodys not the shark hunting Brodys) played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. He works for the US Navy and is sent to Japan to collect his father Joe (Cranston) after he tries to break into the quarantine zone. It is after this that the movie gets going as the group is taken to a secret facility where they are studying MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisisms) gigantic creatures that feed off of radiation. They have a gigantic chrysalis that eventually hatches into our evil monster and the new sleek version of Mothra as it begins to raise all kinds of hell. The film then follows the US Navy, Ford and his family, as well as our MUTOs and Godzilla as they fight their battles across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to San Fransisco and all points in between.
It Will Hold Your Attention
I will give it this, it will hold your attention. It is entertaining and it did what it planned to do. It created a movie that featured a bunch of monsters beating the shit out of each other, using cities as their personal fighting grounds. You really cannot fault a movie like this for doing what it set out to do. It did not do anything that was overtly offensive or mean-spirited. It kept itself in the realm of possibility, thus keeping you at that right level of suspension of disbelief, and it was a loud popcorn let’s destroy the town type of movie. I cannot fault a movie for doing what it intended to do, so for that it gets a thumbs up in my book.
While I will not hold too much against it. This trope is getting old, it is getting very old. What the Transformers series started back in 2007 has now become the go to when it comes to summer Hollywood blockbusters (besides Super Hero movies) and it is beginning to wear out its welcome. Transformers, Battleship, Pacific Rim, and now Godzilla can all be wrangled into this genre. Luckily Godzilla falls into the positive category with the aforementioned Pacific Rim when it comes to the idea of watchable movies versus mind numbing schlock. But considering that every movie fits the formula of ‘big thing destroys city, other big thing intervenes, the US Military has to be involved some how with some cool new military like fighting device’ it gets really old really fast. I can give a pass to G0dzilla because it was entertaining and did not do irritating things like Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon or was just utter shit like Battleship… But man I do not want to see another one of these movies.
A Strange Amalgamation of Two Movies into One Mediocre Movie
So you take Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla, which is debatable as the worst incarnation of Godzilla and then you take Godzilla vs. Mothra which is debatable as the best movie featuring Godzilla. You splice them together and you create… A mediocre movie. So in other words, this makes complete total sense. Great Movie + Crappy Movie = Mediocre Movie, I suppose it can be that plain and simple. So why do I bring this up as a con? Well because there is very little that was original that they brought to the table. Though granted, what do you expect from a Godzilla movie? Well I would like to see them bring something new to a franchise that has been dormant for the better part of a decade and several years before that. I was hoping for a little bit more than just a splicing of other movies with some over used current tropes to create what is by all accounts a passable and forgettable Summer Blockbuster.
So you have a group of monsters known as MUTOs that feed off of radiation which makes them stronger and your solution to this problem is to attempt to blow them up with a nuclear missile… Am I the only one who sees the flaw in this logic? Hell even in the movie these things get a hold of one of them and use it as a midnight snack. The US Military had no other ideas? No other arsenals at their disposal then to use food for them?! This is like trying to fight off a tiger by covering yourself from head to toe with raw steaks. Kind of a silly way to misjudge something. But Godzilla showed up to save the day so I guess we can say that everything is cool.
This movie is okay for what it tried to do. It is a summer blockbuster popcorn movie, plain and simple. It wanted monsters to destroy Waikiki and San Francisco and it got it. Other than that, this thing will eventually be deemed as forgettable. There isn’t a lot of star power in this movie and it certainly didn’t jump-start any careers. It runs on the now tiring military vs. large thing vs. large thing premise and will quickly be overshadowed by other Summer Block Busters like The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, and so forth.
Final Score 2/5
Thank you for reading, and as always if you enjoyed this review then please like and subscribe for more. Also you can check out more from me and my fellow critics at The Nerd Realm. Please return Tuesday for the finale of Marriage Month. Oh and HEY this was my 200th review! WOOT! Not so much on the celebration as the first 100, but hey I keep on trucking along right?! Thank you to everyone who has been following me and reading my reviews. I truly appreciate your support.