Monthly Archives: November 2014

What if Godzilla was One of Us?

godzilla-2014-movie-wide

 GODZILLA (2014)

Director: Gareth Edwards

Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, and Bryan Cranston

Plot: A bunch of horrifying creatures terrorize a city and the world is powerless to stop them! Wait, that’s the plot of Smurfs 2.  

Rating: PG-13 for CG explosions and destruction of perfectly good real estate.

Godzilla is a gigantic lizard/dinosaur type creature who rises out of the ocean every once in a while to teach the children of Japan valuable lessons about friendship and love, and if time permitting, fight other monsters.

The original Godzilla films featured men in monster suits fighting on sets with miniaturized buildings that were stepped on and crushed while model planes on wires flew over their rubber heads, thus proving that early monster movies were really flipping fun to make.

In 1998 Godzilla was reborn as a fully computer generated monster in Roland Emmerich’s actioner Godzilla, unfortunately audiences didn’t warm up to this high tech addition to the franchise. Probably because the mighty Godzilla the king of the monsters was brought down by Matthew Broderick.

and his adorable little hat!

and his adorable little hat!

After a 16 year vacation the big green dinosaur we all know and love returned to the big screen earlier this year in a movie entitled (wait for it…) Godzilla. This modernized version doesn’t have rubber monster suits and hoards of Japanese extras running in terror.  But is does have the guy from Breaking Bad, Kick-Ass from Kick-Ass, and the Olsen sister who can actually act.

So that’s a good thing. Right?

In 1999, a mining expedition in the Philippines unearth some huge dinosaur like creatures. One of them swims towards Japan where it causes a nuclear powerplant to overload killing lots of scientists and the wife of plant manager Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston, the guy from Breaking Bad). 15 years later Brody with the help of his Navy officer son Ford (the kid from Kick-Ass) return to the plant to find out what exactly happened and instead find a bunch of scientists from the top secret Project Monarch milling about. Before Brody can exclaim “I knew there was a conspiracy!” he’s killed when a giant creature explodes out of the ground and flies away, leaving Ford to be the lead actor for the rest of the movie.

Soon Ford, Project Monarch scientist Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and the United States Navy are racing across the globe to stop these giant creatures now dubbed MOTUS – yes there are two of them now as another one shows up and crushes the Vegas strip. I guess he couldn’t get Brittany Spears tickets.

Oh woe is us! If only there were a larger creature out there somewhere who could rise from the depths to battle these giant MOTUS and bring peace to the planet?

TA-DAAAH!!!

TA-DAAAH!!!

Godzilla turns into a battle royale as our title character steps into the ring against the two MOTUS who look like a praying mantis on a bad day.  Unfortunately the battle takes place in San Francisco, which gets flattened in the process. But don’t worry, it’s just a computer generated San Francisco so stomp those buildings Godzilla! It’s not like all those people are real or anything!

Godzilla is a well made update of the classic monster movies many of us watched on a Saturday afternoon when we were kids.  I’m all for a good updating of a classic film, but I miss the poorly dubbed dialogue andlow budget cheesiness that made those movies so special.

The miniature buildings, tiny pyrotechnics, and radio controlled tanks are gone. And so is the fun.

Sometimes the new isn’t as appealing as the old.

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