Hollywood has a problem with cult franchises. They just don’t seem to get it. I grew up watching the Japanese Godzilla movies, andI loved them. The Hollywood Godzilla movies have both been utter crap.
there where only two characters in this film that had any sort of character development at all. Brian Cranstons character had a bit, and his acting (although over the top), was good enough to meep you interested. Unfortunately, he was killed off far to early in the film. His characters son had an attempt at character development, but his performance was so flawed that you really just didn’t care. Ken Watanabe gave the best performance in the film, however his character was so poorly developed, his performance was just wasted.
In reality, this wasn’t a Godzilla movie at all. Rather a movie about a mating pair of other monsters that we, as humans, are unable to defeat. Like a ghost in the machine, Godzilla eventually shows up to save us from these “unstoppable” beasts.
The story starts in 1999 when one of these monsters hatches and makes a beeline to a Japanese nuclear power plant to feed off of the radiation. The whole concept that a giant insect like creature could sustain itself on radiation, and not tangible food is just piss poor writing.
The larva destroys the powerplant and cocoons itself to the reactors to feed. The humans allow it to do so, and cover the whole thing up by claiming it was an earthquake, and quarantining the who’e area ala Fukushima. However, the Fukushima disaster happened in 2011, and that didn’t fit the film makers timeline, so instead this takes place at a fictional plant in some fictional timeline.
The monster emerges from its cocoon in modern time, and sets a course to meet up with its mate (who is in Nevada), taking a detour to Hawaii to feed on a Russian Nuclear Sub… Godzilla, the Alpha Predator, senses, smells, hears it, and heads to Hawaii to confront it. Mayhem ensues. After the lunch / destruction break, the two head to San Fransisco to meet up with the female bug monster.
Meanwhile, the humans come up with the bright idea to use nuclear weapons against the bugs that feed on radiation… The Female monster intercepts the nukes, and takes one with her to San Francisco. Once in San Francisco there is a big monster fight that destroys the city. While Godzilla and the horny bugs duke it out, the hero of the story gets the nuclear warhead and brings it to a boat to get it away from the city and save the people left alive. (the bomb has 5 minutes left on the timer as our hero leaves San Francisco bay meaning there is no way for him to get far enough away from the city to do any good… but since nothing else in this movie is believable, I guess I’ll just move past that.)
Computer animation has come a long way in the past decade. All things considered, Godzilla and his fellow monsters look very good in this movie. However, as has been the case in many recent CGI heavy films, scale is thrown out the window. You will see Godzillas leg through a window barely being 10 feet wide one minute, and being 50 feet wide a few scenes later. One scene he will barely be bigger then a 4 story building, the next scene he towers over 20 story buildings. It seems scale is something film makers of today either don’t understand, or don’t care about.
The Final Verdict
Overall, I can’t decide if the 2014 Godzilla is worse then the 1998 Godzilla. Godzilla looks better in the 2014 version, and we don’t have to deal with the ridicules “velociraptor-esque” baby travesty. However, the 1998 film had human characters we actually cared about. Either way, if you are looking to see a good Godzilla movie, stay away from any made in the USA…