The kid in you won't feel a thing from Godzilla

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      Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, and Bryan Cranston. Rated PG. Now playing.

      The kid in me—the one that's loved monster movies ever since being deliciously terrified by It! The Terror From Beyond Space's guy in a 1958 rubber suit—was really looking forward to the new Godzilla movie.

      But the kid in me was hugely disappointed by the latest take on the legendary Lizard King. And the adult wasn't too thrilled, either. Somebody coming out of the advance screening I attended called it "a failure on every level", and while a tad harsh, that opinion wasn't too far off the mark.

      The movie starts off well, with a suspenseful depiction of engineer Joe Brody (Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston) losing his beloved scientist wife (Juliette Binoche) when the Tokyo nuclear plant he works at goes crumbling down.

      Fast forward 15 years, and Brody's son Ford (Kick-Ass's Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has grown into a bland U.S. navy bomb-defusing expert who's living the contented life in San Francisco with his beautiful wife Elle (Elizabeth Olsen) and young son Sam (Carson Bolde). But any post tour-of-duty bliss is cut short when he has to head back to Japan to help his unstable dad, whose obsession with uncovering the truth about the disaster has gotten him thrown in jail.

      Much family drama ensues, but it never develops to the point where you care much about the characters. In Godzilla, humans are best kept around to quake in bug-eyed fear on stranded buses or subway trains, just like in that old Blue Öyster Cult tune. (Note to self: in the event of a monster attack, avoid public transit.)

      After the initial buzz of being impressed by the enormity and destructive capabilities of the monsters—there's three on display here, including two MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms) that eat radiation for breakfast—you get bored with watching them go at it. The overkill is reminiscent of Pacific Rim, where the sheer awesomeness of men in huge robot suits battling immense creatures grew tiresome as the fights piled up.

      The only emotional connection Godzilla offers is that twinge of warmth you feel for the titular beastie near the end of the film. It's the same one you felt for poor old King Kong after he tumbled off the Empire State Building.

      Other than that, the kid in you won't feel a thing.

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      21 Comments

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      Nigel

      May 16, 2014 at 4:59pm

      Why do I never learn my lesson with these dumb big blockbuster movies? This was another one that sucked but at least learned more Marvel movies are coming out - ones that I'll end up walking out of theatres again half way through.

      Home shows are where the quality is at nowadays - Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, etc.

      placido gurnider

      May 16, 2014 at 5:01pm

      Disagree - great godzilla movie - great monster movie - stop trying to live on the foam and chatter of stallone and cameron. this is about the big guy - and he is back for at least another 2 or 3 trips to the marquee.

      James Blatchford

      May 16, 2014 at 5:28pm

      There are no bad Godzilla movies...it's Godzilla!! What the hell more do you need!?!

      Martin Dunphy

      May 16, 2014 at 6:05pm

      Oh, man, James, wait and see.
      My 13-year-old, who was stoked as stoked can be prior to watching this flick, said on the way out: "There's two hours of my life I'll never get back."
      The much-maligned 1998 Emmerich version (which I actually liked) is heads and tails above this.

      Gamera

      May 16, 2014 at 9:53pm

      I hate Godzilla.

      Mond

      May 17, 2014 at 3:54am

      I disagree entirely.
      This is Godzilla as Godzilla can be. If you don't get that, you don't get Godzilla.
      This movie is about Godzilla. The human drama is swept aside for that very reason. If you want your typical Hollywood garbage where you simultaneously get the "pleasure" of seeing central characters work on their "complex" relationship which has resulted from their past flings as the very Earth around them goes up in flames, there's plenty about to appease your sensibilities. But here, drama is shown for what it is: mere drama. It serves for suspense leading up to the spiritual climax that is Godzilla's coming and conquering.

      If you didn't feel that climax... if you sat there watching without truly SEEING what was going down before you... then I don't think you could have felt anything, anyhow. Perhaps you'd be more satisfied with a humourous GIF of Godzilla playing a guitar solo.

      It's people like you who threw Godzilla in that volcano in '85, and I think we all know that there was a sequel to that.

      James Blatchford

      May 17, 2014 at 6:34am

      Gamera: of course you hate Godzilla! He's prettier than you, the chicks dig him, and he's better in bed...what's not to hate when Godzilla comes to town?

      Anon

      May 17, 2014 at 7:43am

      So this review is just a lazy recap of the plot and a comment on the tediousness of certain action sequences. No comments on the direction of the story, plot development, writing, performances, vfx or cinematography. No study of the monster itself. Or is the title of this review supposed to stand in for all of that?

      This review doesn't exactly appeal to the adult in me.

      Steve Newton

      May 17, 2014 at 9:31am

      you've got a humourous GIF of Godzilla playing a guitar solo?!

      Mothra

      May 17, 2014 at 9:43am

      Was more entertained by the old Japanese Godzilla where people were suited up in monster costumes pushing each other into lego buildings. That and some bad lip-synch....it'll make you laugh but at least keep you awake in the theatre.

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