run time: 123 mins
considered: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
director: Gareth Edwards
starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Carson Bolde, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Richard T. Jones, Victor Rasuk, Patrick Sabongui, Jared Keeso, Luc Roderique, James Pizzinato
movie summary: In 1999 a young Ford Brody (CJ Adams/Aaron Taylor-Johnson) loses his mom in a nuclear plant explosion that nearly takes his dad Joe (Bryan Cranston) too. The plant goes up in flames as earthquakes rock the coast of Japan even though reports show no movement of the earth’s curst. Joe spends the next 15 years trying to figure out what happened that day to the plant and his beloved wife. When his research doesn’t lead to any explanation he begins to realize that the government is trying to cover something up, he just doesn’t know what or why.
Over in the Philippines scientists Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) have discovered fossil remains in a cave that are too big to be dinosaurs remains or anything else ever known to mankind. Not that long after the pair discover another set of remains on the other side of the bay from the old Tokyo nuclear power plant. Joe has set up a research lab in the city while he takes a boat into restricted waters to tour the old facility, often getting arrested. Ford is in San Francisco where he has just returned from a tour of duty with the US Army when his wife Elle (Elizabeth Olsen) gets the call that Ford needs to bail his dad out of jail in Tokyo. When Ford gets to the city he tells his dad that he is crazy and needs to move on with his life. Joe argues his case and begs Ford to go with him to the site, the pair get arrested and once the police figure out who Joe is they take the pair across the bay into a secret facility where the newly discovered fossil remains are under constant surveillance.
Inside a secure area Ishiro and Vivienne are studying a glowing embryo inside the remains. The embryo hatches into an enormous winged creature that destroys the whole facility. Joe and Ford are caught up in the action which causes some major injuries to both of them while both Ishiro and Vivienne barely escape with their lives. The four of them huddle together while trying to comprehend what they just experienced and where this new creature is going when it takes off into the night sky. The media puts a spin on these events to keep the world at bay until another embryo hatches a creature near Las Vegas, Nevada and everyone everywhere knows humanity is now in danger.
These two gigantic creatures are trying to reach each other while destroying everything its path. The bright lights of Las Vegas go down in flames while the island of Hawaii is completely destroyed when the winged creature lands for a snack of radiation tubes from a Russian submarine. Ford teams up with the US Navy aboard the USS Saratoga to plan a course of attack to bring these two creatures down before millions of innocent people get hurt. When the ships and men reach Hawaii their guns, fighter jets, and missiles are no use against the creature that appears to only be getting stronger. Intelligence officers on the ship figure that the two creatures will end up meeting in San Francisco so Admiral William Stenz (David Strathairn) decides to evacuate the city and deploy a team to detonate a nuclear bomb in the bay that hopefully ends this traumatic event.
Deep in the waters of the Pacific Ocean quakes begin to happen, the water rises, and the ships all of sudden have company they were not expecting. Another creature armed with jagged spikes rises out of the water to show himself to the world. Ishiro watches the creature known as Godzilla begin to swim towards San Francisco Bay. Admiral Stenz goes ahead with his nuclear bomb plan and puts Ford in charge of team.
The world watches in awe as people everywhere run for cover as their beloved city burns to the ground. Godzilla cuts his way through the Golden Gate Bridge before finding the other two creatures, one which is pregnant. Everyone expects the three of them to team up and destroy mankind but Godzilla begins to fight both creatures in an attempt to kill them. Sadly Godzilla is out numbered two to one but Ford and his men are bringing a nuclear bomb to the battle, so if the men can only lure the three creatures out of the city into the Bay they may have a chance to save the world.
my thoughts: First things first, I have never seen any Godzilla movie, ever. I always knew he was a monster creature that destroyed cities and such things, but I didn’t really know his real purpose in life. This morning a friend explained to me how Godzilla was viewed by humans in the first movie way back in the 1950’s. All day I have been thinking of the Dark Knight and how Godzilla is really “the hero the world deserves but doesn’t need right now.”
While I’m on the subject of comparing other movies to this new incarnation of Godzilla, I was thankful the attack finally happened in a different US city besides New York. It seems like every major disaster movie is set in the Big Apple so to watch San Francisco crumble down from something besides an earthquake was refreshing. My other funny comment is I always wonder why during a disaster like this why Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Thor, Spider-Man, and Captain America are nowhere to be found? Imagine if these super heroes got together to take down evil ugly-looking creatures? The world would be a very peaceful place.
This Godzilla remake/reboot provides movie goers with something they have never seen before in a Godzilla movie, amazing special effects. The only way to really appreciate these monsters in on the big screen in Dolby surround sound. When Godzilla rises out of the water and roars at the top of his lungs to alert the creatures of his presence, that 20 seconds of thunder was spectacular. The battle that ensues on the streets of San Francisco was well shot and edited to put you right in the middle of the action so you feel every tail swing, fire-ball, and building collapse.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson has the biggest role in the movie and even though his job changes throughout the film he always finds himself right in the middle of the action for both good and bad reasons. The supporting cast is solid headlined by Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, and David Strathairn. Everyone has an important role in preventing these monster creatures from taking over the world.
Godzilla will please movie goers with great effects, battles, and drama but ultimately falls a little bit short on story telling. Be prepared for the first 45 minutes of the movie without Godzilla while the two other creatures get to play. The ending is really eventful, heart breaking, and heart warming but leaves the story open for a sequel. The only question for the next film is will Godzilla be the hero or villain?
my star rating: 6 out 10
imdb.com: 7.7 out 10
rottentomatoes.com: 75% out 100%
One thought on “Godzilla (2014)”
Good review Ryan. It worked for me because every second was pretty damn tense. Barely ever moment of dullness, except for maybe when the characters showed up. Yeah, they were nothing special. Like, at all.