“Godzilla” - Review
“Godzilla” maybe the most universally known iconic monster in cinematic history. And in 2014 he makes his triumphant return to the big screen in a nonstop modern special effects film fest with stunning visuals in this reboot to his legendary tale (pardon the pun).
Running just about 2 hours, what I learned early on the film was the name “Godzilla” translates from Japanese to English to mean “Lester is about to waste 2 hours of his precious time”. Oh, you think I am being a bit harsh just because people in the theater clapped when the film was over. Well, let me tell you as much as I can of what this utterly implausible and incoherent plot was actually all about.
Somewhere in the Pacific a mining company is digging for uranium (I believe) where they find a cavern that apparently when exposed to air released something that flies off to parts unknown. They also find something what looks like (I am not lying) a giant dirty human toe nail clipping that apparently glows when it is near radiation. In fact it appears to thrive on radiation (I think).
When the toe nail looking object is moved to a more controlled location in Japan near a nuclear power plant (nope not making this up), the scientists there who are studying it (secretly of course) tragically learn that it may be more of a threat to humans than they had imagine. So as result of this discovery they decide to destroy it. But of course it’s way too late as the toe nail looking object has now hatched to evolve into what can be best described as a giant steely gray looking Chesapeake Bay crab with a turtles mouth and multiple legs and feet in the shape of a crow bar.
At this point it is referred to as the “Moto” and after hatching it precedes to tear up some of Japan’s cities. It also starts to send out a radio wave signal to the other flying creature apparently another “Moto” to meet in San Francisco (I think). Why? Well the “Moto’ that flies is apparently a male “Moto” and the other one that walks is a female “Moto” and she is super horny and she wants to hook up so to speak to lay some eggs. I am not making this up. The only thing missing from this absurdity thus far was the music of Tony Bennett singing “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”. But why SF? More sources of radiation I guess? It’s either that or they want to eat Chicken and Waffles for a change.
Of course the “Motos” moving on their separate paths over and under the ocean eventually make it to the West Coast where the American Navy and Army are waiting. But after much failure and destruction in battling them conventionally the decision is made to use a nuclear bomb to kill them. Why? Because the intense radiation signature of the device will draw the “Motos” as a food source and lure them eventually out to sea to detonate the bomb hopefully killing them both in the process. Again, not making this up. So, what ensues from this point is to place this doomsday plan into operation with endless scenes of carnage, rampage and destruction of cities, building, bridges and iconic hotels.
Huh? You say where is Godzilla in all of this story? Again, not making this up. Apparently the military and scientist always knew Godzilla existed and he and humans have had a cool relationship with each other all these many years since the 1950s. He gets to eat all the Krill he wants in the Pacific Ocean buffet and the humans don’t bother him (I made that part up). But well into an hour of this movie apparently somehow (I am not sure how) Godzilla gets wind of the “Motos” causing havoc all over place to find the proper place to have sex, which apparently is more than Godzilla can bare. So he takes out after them both to do battle. Why? How the hell do I know at this point, I guess maybe it’s because they are just not the right kind of monsters Godzilla wants to associate with in his peaceful Pacific Ocean neighborhood. Wow, who figured this story out; Godzilla as the savor to all of humanity.
Godzilla the actor in this movie is less the feature headliner and more like a Marlon Brando-esque “Apocalypse Now” supporting role character. Or think of it as a huge aging rock star sitting in the stands of a high school football game who makes a sudden cameo appearance on the field to sing one of his hit songs with the high school marching band at half time.
I guess if you still want to see this movie you can and if you have read this I probably have given too much of the plot away. Of course in my mind I am saving you, in that this film while visually stunning as I stated before, everyone in this film and I mean everyone are nothing but the equivalent of a 50 story building bore. The humans are like robotic stick figures reciting lines any 12 year old could recite and the technical lavish battles scenes seem to offer less in excitement and more in the way of eye fatigue in that for some mysterious reason the Director shot most of the monster battles and general action sequences at night. Leaving the theater I thought the monsters appeared to look more like muddy, slimy and shadowy figures instead of real monsters with real discernable horrifying features.
Godzilla does have a few entertaining moments, but overall from a screenplay and directing stand point it is lazy, corny and vacuous and ultimately in the end an inconsequential multimillion dollar disappointment.
2 – 1/2 Stars