Godzilla (2014) Film Review: A True Monster Of The Times

Godzilla’s 2014 rendition is anything but a mindless monster action blockbuster.

Image: Warner. Bros Pictures

It’s been a long wait for a new spin on the classic monster lizard and the 2014 take has made it all worth it, despite only catching a few epic glimpses of the monster himself.

The film, directed by Gareth Edwards has much to offer in storytelling this time around. Bryan Cranston who plays Joe Brody (Breaking Bad) rakes in the audience right from the beginning, as we are drawn into his crazy search and theories surrounding a nuclear explosion. His desperate search comes after suffering the emotional trauma of losing a loved one.

The second act, although falters a bit once the film shifts focus towards his son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and his family. The shift is not really the problem though, as the film rather goes into a plethora of long conversations. But it’s the explainer bit so it pretty much has to exist within film, so it’s understandable why. If it was broken up further, it may have made the dialogue a little less tedious. I must say though, that it does help amp up the tension and anticipation for the major battles that ensue afterwards.

Shifting Focus: A case of shifting character focus between father (Bryan Cranston) and son (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) proves a change in dynamics for the film.

MUTO’s are a key addition to this Godzilla outing. At first I was a bit put-off by the monster additions, but after a second viewing,  the realization kicked in that the film needs to be taken in that this is not only Godzilla’s film. If it may have only focused on the giant lizard, we may have had less of a film than what it had turned out to be. Push that aside, and you’ll love the film as we cheer and follow Godzilla while goes head-to-head with the Alien looking mating-hungry MUTO’s.

What really got me with the film, is the symbolic nature of Godzilla (something missing in Roland Emmerich’s 1998 version) as he embodies nature, or as you may call it mother nature. Humans constantly think they are in control by applying science or technology, when it is in fact the opposite. This exact theme is exclaimed by one of the central characters of the film. There are also subtle drops at real-life handlings of historical events, which again give this film its heart and relevancy to modern times.

Viewing-wise, make sure you view the flick at a cinema with an excellent lighed screen due to the film’s stunning cinematography being much darker than usual films. Most action sequences take place over night, so it is a must.

Godzilla is no masterpiece by all means, as it does suffer from pacing issues and sometimes gets a little tedious. But the film is an enjoyable ride that does pay-off triumphantly in the end by providing a film true to the times, away from the usual Hollywood mindless fluff. Plus it gives audiences a thrilling clash of over-sized monsters reaking havoc upon the world. What more could you want?

Overall Rating:

See the trailer for the monster blockbuster below: