Movie review – Godzilla (2014)

The world’s most revered monster returns in the middle of a human story of emotion and courage, and is drawn into battle against the odds as humanity stands defenceless.


Being a huge fan of director Gareth Edwards’ underrated 2010 flick “Monsters”, I was eagerly looking forward to his take on the legend – Godzilla. As with “Monsters”, we’re not thrown into the fast-paced action set pieces straight-away, and instead we’re given a backstory and an understanding of where we’re all being taken.

I’m ok with that, as long as you give me strong actors, no clichés in the dialogue, a solid and meaningful storyline and good pace. Please don’t give me human emotion crap in 3-4 mins segments that are full of boring, repetitive one liners that prove not only didn’t the actors work well together, but that they also rehearsed their lines in the limo on the way to the set.

Godzilla unfortunately delivered too much pulp rubbish to handle and had me checking out the cinema exits and ensuring I had a clear run to the doors. Several quality acting talents were horribly wasted here – Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Juliette Binoche (The Unbearable Lightness of Being), Ken Watanabe (Inception, Batman Begins). The rest of the key cast can be forgiven for having a weak onscreen presence, basically because they are not serious actors. Aaron Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen delivered their underplayed performances with a lacklustre effort and the kind of sparkle reserved for zombie actors in The Walking Dead.

The story, like most of sewer being pumped out of Hollywood recently, was flawed from the start and no glittery visuals could save this movie from deteriorating into a US-flag waving piece of shit. The last 10 mins made me want to punch the guy next to me (not just because he was on his iPhone for most of the movie), because I was so pissed at sitting through over 2 hours of badly written drama and predictable action sequences.

Rules for CGI-driven movies (to ensure you don’t think it’s a CGI-only movie):

  1. Family tragedy in the first 10 mins.
  2. Surviving family member seen as crazy and obsessed, but then proved to be right.
  3. US Army full of over-actors and generally just stupid.
  4. The hero’s family will be at risk several times before the move is over.
  5. US landmarks get destroyed.
  6. There’s always a TV on somewhere throughout the movie so you can get the narrative of the film (in case you’re extra stupid).
  7. Family reunited in the last 2-3 minutes.

And you know you’re in for some dodgy CGI, when it starts raining just before an action set-piece – often used to cover up really bad special effects.

[spoiler alert]

The only thing that the film makes could have done worse at the end was to give Godzilla a huge “I Love USA” t-shirt to wear as he swam off into the sunset.

I made me wonder why do so many movies made in America these days centre around a single saviour or a group of heroes who have to save the USA? Is this to placate the population that all is well and someone is watching over them? Does Hollywood think they are surrounded by 318 million idiots, not to mention the billions around the world? With so much focus by studios such as Marvel on pushing their superhero movies, the market is saturated and as a result the stories are getting weaker and weaker (written by average joes with no real ability) at the expense of CGI and visual effects.

Godzilla is not supposed to be the hero or saviour to the USA. Deal with your paranoia Hollywood, then take a step back and realise that the shit you pump out to the masses is putting cash into your pockets, while slitting the throat of your own culture.