I saw this last night in IMAX 3D which if you can do it, is definitely the way to go. Godzilla is centered around the idea that once the earth was a pretty radioactive place. Once giants roamed the earth and eventually were driven underground as the earth’s radiation levels got lower and lower. If you have a problem with the premise you might have just skipped all the earlier films all together. For an Easter egg check out the references to Bikini Island. Oddly one thing that thrived in the area was sharks (and when I say thrived, it means at one point there were more sharks in Bikini Atoll than there were almost any other place in the world) after it was bombed. Currently earths apex predator it makes sense that the Japanese had the imagination to come up with Godzilla in the first place. This part of the storyline is also carefully and meticulously lifted from Godzilla Raids Again… So far so good.
Plot wise we are given our antagonist first and the thing is pretty freakin epic looking which was a pleasant surprise after goofy looking pics of the toys surfaced well before the movie came out. There is enough story line here to develop an entire TV series around. Don’t believe me watch the first season of Army Wives. Godzilla pulls beautifully from everyday life and some things you’d understand if you had kids or were ever in the military. Having been around the military I know they just would not be shocked if Godzilla was real. Seriously their reactions in the movie are exactly what I’d expect. The chemistry between Elle (Elizabth Olsen) and Ford (Aaron Taylor Johnson who looks like a taller skinnier Elijah Wood) is exceptional especially during scenes shot shortly after he arrives home from Japan.
Director Gareth Edwards style of direction shines in the opening stanza when the ruins of a covered up nuclear accident are being explored. The entire city is done is such detail it’s almost hard to truly grasp it all in one viewing. Those who loved MONSTERS also directed by Edwards will spot this right away. Even the intricacies with which the opening scene is married with it’s aftermath counterpart is so well done and so intriguing for G Fans that I can’t wait to see what Gareth has in store for what will surely be a 2nd installment. There are parts of the movie where it is tough to figure out how the heck Ford got where he is , but time spent on that is time taken away from the genius handling of the nuke situation in the film and the grand scale that is Godzilla just freaking the freak out.
The ties between Ford’s father Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and Dr. Ichiro (Ken Wantanabe) are strained only because it’s like having one secret agency following up after a secret government agency. Oh wait….yeah the same plot line in almost every Godzilla flick (especially in the Millennium Series or Godzilla’s made from 1999 to 2004).
Then about 45 minutes into the film all freakin hell breaks loose and the film never really lets up from there. If anything there may be too much storyline here for a Godzilla film but the payoffs are so complete and spectacular that it’s well worth every tease we get along the way. Fans of the Showa series (Godzilla made between 1954 and 1975) are giving a clever yet pretty epic nod if you watch the every news cast the comes up. Just watch, you will be in for a treat and it will probably keep you from complaining about the non-rubber suit portions of the film.
The fights scene in this 1 is already being called by a lot of fans the best one ever and I have to agree with that. I have seen all 30 films now in the past few months and nothing even comes close to how freaking good this thing is.
Godzilla 2014 paid so much attention to fans and details that it not only covered the big 3, it went overboard to give us something so epic it’s already an instant classic. So people were concerned about the reason for a halo jump but the film does a damn good job of explaining to us why this had to be done and it plays right into the powers the antagonist in this movie has. The powers here are drawn mostly from things we see in Godzilla 2000, but also dating back to Godzilla vs Biollante where Godzilla started fighting crap that had powers he hadn’t really seen before. We also get a taste of this in Destroy All Monsters which is like a 6th grade film project compared to this movie. Now the BIG 3, please do not read beyond this point if you don’t want spoilers. This movie got a 7 out of 7 on this scale and almost forced me to make the scale higher just to contain its awesomeness.
THE BIG 3 –
I spend about 5 months talking with fans and reading their hopes and dreams for this series. We all wanted 3 major things.
1) Godzilla needs to have atomic breath. Damn, if you saw Godzilla 1998 you left pissed that all we got was a fire breathing lizard taken down by a bridge….a freakin bridge. Do we get atomic breath in this flick…YEAH WE DO!!!!!!!!!!!! Godzilla needs to have his spikes light up. Damn— some movies skipped this all together but it’s a staple now. If you do not have light up scales before that atomic breathe comes out…you lose the battle already. Do we get light up scales —- YEAH WE DO!!!!!!!!!!! Not to mention in the best way freakin possible. Holy cow.
2) Godzilla needs to fight something that can possibly kick his head in. Yep….we get that. Godzilla gets knocked on his butt a few times and comes back more pissed than ever.
3) Probably the biggest spoiler of all —- Godzilla needs to live. Even TOHO has blown this point in 2 of the movies ie Godzilla, Godzilla vs. Destroyah. There are other films where his death is indicated but never shown. Does Godzilla live? YES, yes he does.
Overall I give this movie a 7 out of 7. Rating Definition : SPECTACULAR GENIUS THAT MAKES OTHER GENIUS’s THINK THEY ARE UN-CREATIVE, this is a movie that if you skip it will actually lesson your life span and make your skin dry out. Yeah, I am serious. These films end up on the scale of epic-ness that even giving it a 7 out of 7 seems like a small number. It should be more like an 8 out of 7 sending it straight into the arena of mathematical impossibilities!!!!!!