Godzilla (2014) – Movie Review
Godzilla (2014) – PG-13
Release Date: Fri 16 May 2014
I walked out of Godzilla (2014) relieved. This movie could have gone wrong in so many ways (see the version from fifteen years ago for examples) but it didn’t. This is far and away the best Godzilla movie in decades, standing right next to the original. My only complaint is how deadly serious the whole thing is. When Godzilla eventually triumphs, the audience clapped. Beyond that it was an edge of the seat experience – partially because of the superb tension, acting, effects and impressive sens of scale. And partially because we were all waiting for that shark-jumping moment that thankfully never came.
A great deal of what happens in this movie would be considered a spoiler for someone who hasn’t yet seen it. So rather than talk specifics, I will say that the first hour of the movie is devoted to the mystery of what really happened to the nuclear plant Bryan Cranston is shown working in in some of the trailers. What are they trying to hide? The pacing is excellent. Everything leading up to seeing Godzilla is tense, human drama. Once Godzilla appears, the movie wisely maintains the tone making the feel very consistent throughout. There’s no twenty-minute monster fight here. Everything blends together, and the use of human perspective works to great effect both in giving the scale of the monsters and the destruction size and weight to giving the movie an emotional core about a human family.
I would likely enjoy a second viewing of Godzilla much more than the first, nail-biting screening hoping that the movie wouldn’t fall apart. There wasn’t the adrenaline rush some summer blockbusters impart or the comic relief most movies like this have. In that way, it’s not a movie I’d necessarily want to see again. At least not right away. Post 9/11 disaster movies don’t tend to go for the goofy laughs of their predecessors, but I would have liked a few release valves in the movie. However, I can also see where those could have gotten away from the filmmakers and ended up sinking the film.
If you think you might like to see this, do yourself a favor and see it in the stunning 3D IMAX.
Nate, Jeremiah, Cal and I saw it in the theater had a discussion in the car: