Godzilla ★★★

It’s like Aliens + Jurassic Park…. Without the magic of either?

To be quite honest, this is more like a natural disaster movie than a monster movie. I guess that’s a cool way to grab new audiences, but for Godzilla fans it’s just kinda disappointing. We never truly feel any of the monsters as their own characters so they’re merely faceless destructive forces for the humans to stop. They could have been giant storm clouds doing battle and everything would have been the exact same. The classic Godzilla Gang is so much more than this, and the movie fails to recognize that. I also thought it was dull and overserious: The direction, acting, and cinematography were trying so hard to force the intense drama that it was just unpleasant. Granted, there are many moments when the forced seriousness works, but even those moments are cliches from better films. The dialogue itself is just begging to be cheesy. It’s an amazingly ridiculous plot, but the film presents everything with a dour straight face and a relentless sense of doom. The film's biggest burden is trying to make us care about the useless human characters. I was genuinely cheering for them all to die, just so we could get on with the movie. Ken Watanabe is the only person on this set who understands a Godzilla movie lol. The fun adventure score is fantastic, but in general the pulpiness didn't line up with the dead seriousness of the rest of the film. Even the tensest moments, which probably should have been silent, had an annoying abundance of ill-fitting score. Similar for the cinematography too, with brief glimpses of well-shot beauty among the barrage of literal darkness.

Godzilla 1954 was basically serious sci-fi/horror, but it was deeply rooted in trauma, psychologically and philosophically. Trying to return to the seriousness of the original Godzilla by taking a human-level Jurassic Park approach misses the point, imo. I guess it’s comparable to the Superman the Movie / Man of Steel dynamic. They both use the same basic story and character, and they’re both good in their own way, yet the newer film abandons what made the original so perfect, watering down the concept and twisting it grossly in an attempt to attract a new audience. This is Godzilla 2014.

Spare Thoughts:
-I thought it was cute when Aaron Taylor-Johnson fell over and then Godzilla fell over too.

-I gagged a little every time Quicksilver kissed Scarlet Witch.

-I really love Godzilla's look here, though I wish his eyes were bigger and his roar wasn't taken from a T-Rex… fuckin' Jurassic Park.

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