Friday, May 23, 2014

Godzilla Review

Note: this blog has been migrated to Medium, with the articles here available to preserve permalinks. Please see this post at https://medium.com/@ianrbuck/godzilla-review-fd02a44cee48#.y1captj3x

Given Legendary's awesome history and the fact that they were clearly drawing more from the old Japanese movies than the 1998 Godzilla, I had high hopes for this movie. Unfortunately it didn't really live up to my expectations.

My main complaint is how bad the science was. The premise of where these monsters get their energy from is of course "radioactive stuff" which seems reasonable at first. Detonating an atomic bomb to lure them to a particular area also seems pretty reasonable. It's when the monsters start eating undetonated bombs that I start thinking "wait a minute, those don't give off radiation until they go off." One of the monsters has the ability to give off an EMP, which poses several problems in my mind. Why would it develop that ability in the first place? It doesn't seem to affect any of the monsters it evolved to fight. What are the actual effects of an EMP? The movie states that it knocks out stuff that runs on electricity, but then we see gas-powered car and boat motors stopping as well, and jet planes come spiraling out of the sky even though I'm sure they have some ability to glide.

The story was also really slow. It took about half of the movie for the monsters to finally show up, and they only really fought in the last 15 minutes. I didn't feel very attached to any of the human characters, so most of the scenes involving long drawn-out conversations were pretty boring. I came for a Godzilla movie, I want more Godzilla! Come to think of it, let's do a movie that is mostly from Godzilla's perspective. Individual humans wouldn't even be distinguishable, we'd just get a nice big view of how many lives are being ruined.

The thing that I really liked about this movie was how well they gave us a sense of scale. The first few times Godzilla showed up, they had some brilliant shots of a skyscraper next to Godzilla's leg, and it was huge. Eventually of course we got to see its whole body, and at that point it didn't seem nearly so huge.

I can't really think of a reason to go to this movie. Fans of the old Japanese films won't get much out of it, as there wasn't much in the way of monster battles, and the rest of us just get a slow movie that ignores science.