Oct 9, 2014

9 of 31: Godzilla (2014)

A vain attempt by a formerly prolific blogger to review 31 new (to me) horror films in the 31 days of October. We did it last year and it was a gas. Can we do it once more? Let's find out.

Platform: Rented on Amazon for Roku
Starring: A giant lizard

I don't care. I really don't give a fuck. I've been watching crappy movie after crappy movie and I wanted to watch a good movie. Even if it's probably not going to be a true horror film. Amazon didn't even list it as Horror on their site. Again...fuck it. I need something good to cleanse my palate before I move on. 

I'm a big fan of Gareth Edward's previous film, Monsters. In fact, I reviewed it here and gave it 5 out of 5 stars. It wasn't October, so no pumpkin ales. With him involved, I have all the confidence in the world that I'm going to enjoy this re-boot of the Godzilla series. Certainly more than the Roland Emmerich disaster starring Matthew Broderick back in 1998.

And I did.

It was a throwback to a time and place when you didn't need to see everything on the screen all the fucking time. Remember Jaws? How much of the shark did we see in Jaws? Not very much. And it worked. You can watch it now, almost 40 years later, and it still works! Amazing in just about every single way. How about Alien? Remember that? It was the unknown that was the scariest part of that film. When we finally saw our beastie, well...he looked like a dude dressed up in an alien suit. The fear and the anticipation was in the shadows. And it worked that way.

That same quality works well here. Don't worry, you get plenty of visuals of Godzilla and the two MUTOs (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms), especially later on in the film. Godzilla looks great. The MUTOs look like a cross between a beetle, a cockroach and those aliens from Starship Troopers. And those were bugs too. So yeah...big bugs. They had interesting powers, though. They fed on radiation and they were able to harness that energy to create an EMP pulse. Not sure why that would have been a useful defense in the pre-fossil era of our planet, but that's what they do.

Oh...yes, pre-fossil record. These MUTOs, including Godzilla, aren't aliens or mutated creatures spawned from our post-WWII nuclear testing. No. These were dormant creatures who existed well before dinosaurs and pretty much anything in our fossil record. Those nuclear tests in the 1950's that caused Godzilla's creation in the original film? Nope. Here, those were explained as attempts at killing the creature. A novel take, I guess. Still don't know why MUTOs would need EMP powers to exist on our planet a billion years ago. It's a movie...let's move on.

There are an abundance of ridiculous coincidences regarding one family's ordeal with these creatures over a 15-year period. Wrong place at the wrong time on a consistent basis. Doesn't happen in real life. Then again, gigantic, radioactive, EMP-emitting angry bugs and/or lizards don't happen in real life either. So you'll have to suspend your belief on both counts to enjoy this film. I figured that out early on in my viewing and let it roll.

One of the best things that Gareth Edwards does is to make the viewer actually feel something for the "monsters" in his film. He did it in his previous film and he does it here. Godzilla is a hero of the people (I guess), and the MUTOs weren't so bad, right? They just wanted to hook up and make little baby MUTOs. And that's kinda sweet. Pretty much how I expected Edwards to handle this movie. Not huge on the frights, but somewhat intelligent and somewhat sweet. I really enjoyed it.

My best bit of advice for you regarding Godzilla is this: If you enjoy this film, give Monsters a shot. Or watch it again if you've seen it already. 

Verdant Dude Rating: 3.5 out of 5 pumpkin ales.


Waterlogged Canine said...

EMP pulse? Redundant.

Post Script, By The Way...Aliens.

Verdant Earl said...

WLC - Go take a SAT Test, ya penis dick!

Waterlogged Canine said...


marty mankins said...

I almost picked this one up the other night via Redbox. I might have to put it on my Netflix list (when it eventually gets added to Netflix)