Well it’s December, a month I promised to always do what I feel like. After Halloween I was annoyed by how Christmas kept encroaching earlier and earlier, even to the point they had Christmas food in the shops before Halloween stuff. So let’s monsterify December this year. Oh but no small monster will do, it has to be something big, very big.
I have previously mentioned that Gojira is one of my two favourite films. While the Godzilla timeline currently is split into 3 main eras, Showa, Hesai and Millennium, all 3 treat the first film as having happened. So this December with its 4 weeks of my reviews I’m going to look at the 4 Godzilla films that don’t treat this as so (I do not consider the 1997 film a Godzilla film).
Godzilla, often referred to as Godzilla 2014 by Legendary Pictures was the first Western Godzilla film since the 1998 Tri-Star universally hated one, sure if you don’t treat that as a Godzilla film it’s an ok enough film, but once you start to actually watch Godzilla films you realise they really messed it up. So naturally we were very cautious on this one. America has a habit of taking something from another country and failing to understand it so completely everyone despises it. Fortunately this wasn’t one of those times.
Don’t get me wrong, 2014 Godzilla isn’t some masterpiece; in fact it’s what I call a flawed film. A flawed film is what I refer to when I see a film that has good promise but there are features of it that hold it back, bad ideas or executed ideas. For while this film gives us the dream of full HG Giant Kaiju action, there are two main things that keep it from being what it should be.
First is how they handle the Kaiju, for you see until the final battle they keep teasing the monsters showing up, but then the second they do the camera turns away from what we want to see to the other main problem.
The lead is boring as hell. When the trailers were shown it heavily featured Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad and Malcolm in the Middle fame. So going in we thought he was the main character, in fact he had a lot of promise as a lead, wife died in a tragic way and he obsessed over the moment over every detail discovering there was more going on… Problem is he dies at the start of the second act instead, leaving us with the real main lead, he’s boring as all hell and doesn’t actually impact on the plot. I like to play a game watching this called, let’s see who would have been a better main lead than what we got.
The best main human is of course Ken Watanabe playing Dr. Ishirō Serizawa who gives us the best line in the movie.
When the film is doing stuff, progressing the plot and having the monsters appear, the film is great but to get to that you have to deal with the boring as hell lead wandering from plot point to plot point while never actually having any skills that affect the plot in any way. However when Godzilla first uses his atomic breath in this film, I was in my seat in the cinema, leaning forward, arms stiff muttering to myself “yesss…. YEEESSS!” so it shows there was good stuff here.
However the story of Legendary’s Godzilla did not end here, for while his first appearance was rocky it was just the start of Legendary’s Monsterverse (because Marvel) so next time we will look at Kong: Skull Island and see if they learned from the mistakes and improved on the next film.