Review: Godzilla (2014) dir. Gareth Edwards

This is probably a film a lot of people wouldn’t expect me to make the effort to go and see on the big screen… And I’ll be honest, I’m a little surprised at myself. I’ve only recently, slowly, been getting into Sci-Fi films. I’m still sceptical on action films that just use action to create spectacle and where you can’t really tell what’s happening (probably in the same way that a lot of people think heavy metal is just “noise”). The Godzilla brand hasn’t been too great in recent instalments. I’d never made the effort to watch that formidable nineties version. I have watched the Cinema Sins summary of the 1998 film… Probably the best way to watch it really.

But then I saw that Elizabeth Olsen was in it. I was sold.

I absolutely love her in anything and everything that she’s in. Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011) was such an incredible film. She is just an incredible actress. A few more films under her belt and she may even knock Scarlett Johansson off the top spot of being my favourite actress. Okay, maybe not, but she’s good. And I’m really happy she made me go and watch this film. I genuinely loved it!

Godzilla was an honest to goodness, entertaining summer blockbuster
© 2014 Legendary Pictures Funding, LLC and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

The film follows an American scientist (Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston) and his fellow Scientist wife and their young son living in Japan. Suddenly, a weird rumble under the ground causes devastation in the Nuclear power station and mass evacuation of the area. Cut to 15 years later, the son Ford (awful name) is now in the military played by an incredibly beefed up Aaron Taylor Johnson. He is married to Elizabeth Olsen’s nurse Ellie, with a young son of his own living in San Francisco. Coincidence…? When Ford goes back to Japan to sort out his very troubled father when he brushes with the law, the rumbles that happened 15 years earlier begin all over again. You know what’s coming now. That ain’t no earthquake.

Godzilla was an honest to goodness, entertaining summer blockbuster
© 2014 Legendary Pictures Funding, LLC and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

After watching this movie, it’s obvious the main man wasn’t really in it that much. But, if there’s gonna be a sequel, then we can probably expect to see our scaley friend come back better than ever before. The main problems I had with this movie was that Elizabeth Olsen was not utilised enough. Hopefully, in the sequel, they will be including her a bit more. Also, there was just something missing.

It just wasn’t thrilling enough. There was no real danger that any of these people were going to die because the suspense was non-existent. That’s the trouble with 300ft monsters, they can’t hide or be quiet. I remember reading an interview where the director said “we didn’t want them to be taller than skyscrapers because we still wanted them to be able to hide and be concealed” which is an excellent point, but they’re still massive, massive monsters.

I think the script writers for the sequel will need a a fair few development sessions to come up with ideas as to how the monsters can create suspense. Because without that, it might end up being big monsters stomping around. You know, like all the other Godzilla films.

So, to sum up: I haven’t really sold this film very well at all, but it is good. I think it’s a really hard concept to pull off but the absolute best actors were chosen. This was a character lead film rather than spectacle, which was an excellent choice. Good locations and set pieces, and actually a pretty good story line may mean a sequel is in the bag if the box office takings hold up.

4/5

Godzilla was an honest to goodness, entertaining summer blockbuster
© 2014 Legendary Pictures Funding, LLC and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

 

Other films you may enjoy: The director of this film previously made Monsters (2010). Not only did he direct it but he wrote and did the visual effects for it. And it’s a really good film! Another Sci-Fi/Action film with a lot of character that immediately comes to mind is Alien (1979), a great film that I have finally seen!

Want MORE?

If you’re a fan of film reviews, you might want to read about why Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2003) is the best in the series. And, my close scene analysis of Lost in Translation.

Rebecca

I'm the human and hair behind Almost Ginger. I'm a cinephile travel obsessive vegetarian currently residing in Manchester.

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