30 Days of Godzilla – Day 30: Story of How I Got Into Godzilla and Godzilla (2014) Review
30 Days of Godzilla: Day 30: Tell Us Your Story of What Got You Into Big-G: Where do we begin on that? Like I don’t even know what to bring up and what not, because it’s really a long story of why I love Godzilla, the movies and everything about the franchise and still do to this day. I guess to put it simply, Godzilla came into my life when I needed it. When I saw Godzilla, King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Megalon there was something about Godzilla that appealed to me instantly. He just seemed so cool in action, whether he was destroying cities or fighting another monster. He became my favorite character with his awesome dragon presence, his destructiveness, his awe and glory. To kid me, Godzilla was everything, he was a cathartic being that that helped me a lot. Now current me still feels the same way and more, the more I grew up the more I connected with this strange, radioactive monster. So much so that I saw a lot of myself in Godzilla, which is why I guess I’m still a fan. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I got into Godzilla because I guess I saw a little of me in him, if that makes sense. He also got me into other nerdy things, so there is that.
I love Godzilla, I love this franchise, I love everything about it. Sure it has ups and downs and I know it isn’t for everybody, but I still enjoy it and love it all. If you asked me what is the only franchise you could watch for the rest of your life, it’s Godzilla, no matter how old I get, those movies still mean a lot to me, they still appeal to me and probably bring me the most joy from any form of entertainment.
So not really a story but just kind of the raw thoughts of how and why I still love this franchise…I also made it to 30 days of Godzilla…I’m retired now, see you when humanity messes up again…oh crap too late.
30 Days of Godzilla- Review: Godzilla 2014 aka Let Them Fight:
You can’t just double dip the Godzilla chip in the Hollywood sauce and hope for a better outcome can you? Kind of? What began as a short IMAX 3D Godzilla movie by Godzilla vs. Hedorah director, Yoshimitsu Banno called Godzilla 3D to the Max, eventually became something else.
To make a long story short, financial troubles and issues with getting additional funding eventually lead the team involved to approach Legendary Pictures for the backing, which the company eventually green-lit and turned it into the film we have today.
Now to make a review super short, so you can drink all the coffee and whatnot you young people do, it’s alright or decent. As opposed to the 1998 film, Godzilla is seen with awe and as this mysterious almost mythological being, the will of nature almost. I don’t however love it, I like it, it’s fun and enjoyable, but not better than some of the previous entries in the franchise.
Godzilla is an ancient, alpha predator monster that fed on radiation during a time period the Earth had ten times more radiation, eventually retreating to the deep depths of the ocean after the radiation levels started to decline feeding on the radiation from the Earth’s core. In 1954 after a nuclear sub reached the lower depths, it awakened Godzilla. The nuclear tests in the 1950’s being an attempt to kill Godzilla. In 1999 parasitic spores were discovered in the Philippines, these spores are revealed to be called MUTOs and Godzilla is after them. The military tries it’s best to counteract the monster threat but can’t do much. Ishiro Serizawa believes that Godzilla can help humanity, as he sees the monster as natures balance or equalizer.
First I just want to say I don’t hate CGI, I appreciate the time and effort it does take, it’s a nice special effect, and the special effects of the CGI are nice in this film. However they aren’t for me, what I mean by that is, that I’m just a practical effects person, it’s what I grew up with, it’s what I love about Godzilla, it’s my thing I guess. The issue I have with CGI, especially in Hollywood films is the over reliance of it. I like seeing something that looks organic and natural but when I see CGI, I see it as just that, CGI, digital. But I kind of accepted that would be the case for this movie, so I guess if I had to judge it, the film special effects wise, while not for me personally, are nice and could be palpable to newer fans or those who can’t get into the Japanese films.
So aside from that the directing, writing, casting and character, music, etc. are all fine for what they are but they aren’t really spectacular either.
Bryan Cranston was probably one of the stronger points in the human drama department but sadly he isn’t in the film long enough, instead the focus is on his son played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson who isn’t all that interesting and makes you pine for Cranston more. Everyone else is alright, no one is terrible, but no one is super memorable either, say for Ken Watanabe.
Gareth Edwards, who directed the film, I understood what he was going for, trying to be a slow burn for the audience until the wild fire of spectacle fight between Godzilla and the Mutos happens.
The problem is though, the teasing was a little much, almost too much. I’m not one to really say “Not enough Godzilla.” but I think the issue is that, in such a long movie, Godzilla is disproportionately not in it enough and all the stuff that happens is just teasing. We don’t get a chance to enjoy anything until the end. What made other Godzilla films work that did the same thing was that, those movies were shorter for the most part and Godzilla was always there, hardly being teased at us. Basically, despite the best intentions Edwards while competent, teased too much and gave us too little to enjoy and too much to endure with the boring human parts, that had nothing interesting to say or do.
The MUTOs are nice for what they are. They have some interesting moments and act like a amusing power couple against Godzilla. They are monsters what just want to breed and will stop anyone trying to infringe on what they want. They are fine.
Godzilla is as I said before a monster of awe and of some mystical properties. He’s an alpha predator who wants to hunt down the MUTOs to ensure his survival as they are parasites but others see him as natures equalizer, correcting wrongs that bring harm to the Earth. In a way he’s kind of like Heisei Gamera, except instead of Atlantis it was nature that created him. He’s a more accurate representation of Godzilla than what the 1998 film was and treats the character as more than just an animal.
Overall though, Legendary’s Godzilla while a bit more faithful to the source material, still offers a kind of mixed feeling with me. I enjoy it yes but I think a lot of things hamper it from being one of the best Godzilla films. The run time is longer than necessary with scenes that feel like padding and make Godzilla feel disproportionately less in the film. The human characters and the drama aren’t very interesting but get too much focus. It basically takes too long to get to point A to Point B with the human stuff.
Also the film is dark and it makes it hard at times to really see the action between the monsters going on at times (Dark in the visual “I can’t see” sense.). Godzilla 2014 is a film weighed down by typical Hollywood script and pacing and that hurts a lot of what could of been for me. I still enjoy though, just not as much as I could of. It’s a film that I think will be mixed or okay with casual movie goers, mixed or okay with Godzilla fans, and mixed or okay with monster and tokusatsu fans. It depends on who you are really and if this film interests you. It wouldn’t be my first recommendation for Godzilla films as I think the series has done much better. It isn’t awful however and can be entertaining. Just like most things, it depends on the individual and what you want.
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