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Godzilla (2014)

GodzillaA review by C J Dee
  • Director: Gareth Edwards
  • Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, David Strathairn
  • Other notable appearances: GIANT FIGHTING MONSTERS!
  • Running time: 123 minutes
  • Watch this if you liked: Godzilla (1954), Jurassic Park
  • Rating:  4.5/5

Warning: May contain spoilers for a movie made in 1954, the 2014 remains mostly unspoiled.

A new species referred to as the MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism) hatches at the former site of a nuclear reactor. The calls of the MUTO summon an ancient apex predator who hasn’t been seen in 60 years. It’s now up to Lieutenant Brody (Taylor-Johnson), his nuclear scientist father (Cranston), Doctor Serizawa (Watanabe) and the US military to herd the MUTO and Godzilla together for a battle that has been thousands of years in the making.

I loved this rendition of Godzilla. This is the most enjoyable movie I have seen thus far in the cinemas this year. The references to the original 1954 movie are subtle enough so you don’t need to have seen the original to enjoy the most current remake, but they were there and they were wonderful. I especially loved Ken Watanabe’s character being named Dr Ishiro Serizawa as a nod to Daisuke Serizawa, the scientist who concocts Godzilla’s demise in the original.

The design of the MUTO was fantastic in the true sense of the word. It reminded me in equal parts of a legendary Pokémon, a Predator and a really ticked off bird. Godzilla was just as Godzilla should be: big, lumbering, and full of awesome.

In the original Godzilla the atomic breath was an interesting idea but in this remake the atomic breath is so much fun to watch. Despite the next point I am about to make criticising Godzilla, I’m glad the atomic breath is used sparingly because it allowed me to squee a little bit every time it was used.

The only real criticism I have of Godzilla is that there was too much human drama, not nearly enough giant fighting monsters. I went to see Godzilla stomp on things, not to get dragged into an emotional human plot. However, I understand that this was most likely done as a film technique to keep the viewers in a state of anticipation and suspense. I still would have preferred more giant monsters stomping on things and each other.

I recommend Godzilla to anyone who enjoys any combination of monster movies, action movies and science fiction movies. Don’t go in with any expectations that you’re going to be made to think: even the science components don’t require too much concentration. Giant radioactive monsters go stomp, roar, stomp. Enjoy.

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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