The Ninjabot

GODZILLA Review: Humans Boring, Godzilla Holy S***!

Posted on May 12, 2014 at 12:21 pm by David "Snackbar" Edmundson


I’ve been hemming and hawing about how to review Godzilla for 10 days now, and it all boils down to one question: How do you grade films? If I were to take my favorite film of all time, The Empire Strikes Back, and make that the bar that all other films should strive to attain, then there would never really be a fair scale to rate films because I would always be biased towards that particular film. The way I typically try to review films, though, is to ask, “Was it a well-made film, and did it entertain me?” In the case of Godzilla, the answer is “sort of,” and OH MY GOD YES!!!

Lets cut to the chase here, folks. Godzilla has a good cast, led by Bryan Cranston, who plays a scientist wokring at a nuclear plant and yada yada yada. His son is played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who is married to Elizabeth Olsen. They have a kid, and Cranston and Johnson don’t have a solid relationship. Still with me? They are all fine in the film, but sadly you don’t care about them in the least. What you do care about is the fact that there are two enormous monsters on a collision course for San Francisco, and the only thing that can stop them is Godzilla. That’s right, the “King of the Monsters” is the good guy in this film, and you will cheer, yell, and applaud him every time he graces the screen.


The bad monsters are two Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms, or MUTO, which are found when humans dig too deep into the planet and awaken one of them. MUTO 1 is held and studied in Japan, while MUTO 2 is stored away in Las Vegas unhatched. Of course, things go wrong and the two start to head for each other so they can breed and make a bunch of MUTO babies. There seems to be no way to stop them. Our weapons are useless, but Dr. Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe with the thickest accent possible) theorizes that a super monster may be our only hope, and he believes Godzilla will come to our aid.

While the United States Navy tracks MUTO 1 to Hawaii, their ships are almost capsized when a very large and ridge-spined creature swims underneath them. Then it happens—just as you’re about to lose all hope that Godzilla will show up, he does, and it’s magical! The camera starts at his feet and pulls back to take in the enormity of the beast. He flexes, roars, and there’s no denying the pure joy you’ll experience in his presence. Once you get your first real glimpse of the monster, you know that this film is going to be a hell of a ride.


The rest of the film follows this format. Humans talk about how to stop the beasts, try to get out of their way, and just when you grow tired of them, BAM, Godzilla. Director Gareth Edwards does an amazing job of teasing the monsters while giving you enough to be elated. He allows his human cast to toe the line between Watanabe’s stereotypical Asian from every Godzilla movie, to Taylor-Johnson’s military family man trying to get back to his wife and child and get them out of San Francisco. While they’re all secondary to the titular creature, they aren’t completely disposable like in the Roland Emmerich disaster of 1998.

The monster fight scenes are stunning, and Godzilla has a couple tricks up his sleeve, even if he doesn’t wear a shirt. When I saw it, I was amazed at how often people were cheering and applauding during the film. In the final battle of the monsters, you’ll either be holding your breath, smiling ear to ear, or staring mouth agape at the marvel that’s before you. This isn’t a couple of dudes in rubber suits destroying a cardboard set. These monsters knock buildings onto each other, use their tails to whack their foes, and grapple with each other for our amusement.


This movie is exactly what you want out of a Godzilla film. If the advertising materials looked good to you, then you will LOVE it. If you are looking for something with a little more substance, then you might want to pass on it. The actors are okay, but the monsters are great! There are a lot of nods to the series scattered throughout, and even though I am not a huge fan of the Godzilla franchise, I picked up on them all. If you want to beat the heat this weekend, check out Godzilla.


Snackbar’s Grade: B+

Pros – Godzilla is the King of the Monsters, great action, great monster on monster fights, a lot of nods to it’s predecessors.

Cons – Human cast is mostly forgettable, but you’re not going to this movie to see them, are you?

Check out our interview with Max Borenstein, who also wrote the screenplay for the upcoming Godzilla film. During our chat, we discussed why he thinks Godzilla still resonates with audiences after all these years. Also, by leaving a comment on this review page, the Borenstein interview page, or on our Godzilla comic review page, you’ll be entered to win a free copy of the hardcover edition of Godzilla: Awakening, courtesy of Legendary. The winner will be announced next week during the Geek Legacy Podcast. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes!

Let me know what you thought of the film in the comment section below.

Follow Snackbar on Twitter @snackie_cakes for all your Geek News


    • Timmay270

      Can’t wait for this movie and can’t wait for the comic!!!

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