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666 out of 1014 people found the following review useful:

Utterly contemptible

Author: taner-ali
15 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film has no plot. I wouldn't have an issue with this if instead they had filled most of the two hours with scenes of Godzilla destroying things and killing people. However, the monster himself receives a pathetic amount of screen time, only appearing halfway through the film after the plot has already focused its attention on two giant bugs. They are unimaginatively designed, have no basis in Japanese mythology like the titular monster, and their only purpose seems to be to diminish the impressiveness of Godzilla. The character development in this film is non-existent. Every character, from the wise but ignored token Japanese bloke, to the soldier's wife whose sole purpose is to wait at home to comfort him, is a dull Hollywood cliché. Unlike the viewers, the film believes its characters are fascinating enough to merit the laughably corny near-death and family- reunion scenes towards the end. Instead, the audience is left laughing in bemusement at the overly sincere expressions on the protagonist's face as he threatens a giant monster with a handgun. Whenever Godzilla and the insects finally begin to fight, before anything happens there's an instant cut to yet another tedious shot of US soldiers shouting about nothing in particular. The film's sole purpose is to showcase the might of America's armed forces and ability to survive under a crisis; and it doesn't even do that well, given that the navy can't even tell when Godzilla is swimming directly under their ships. Of course, setting the story in Godzilla's homeland of Japan would not interest American viewers, so the monster decides to swim across the Pacific Ocean in order to wreak havoc. No doubt Godzilla will receive acclaim from morons due to its high-tech but utterly unimaginative animation techniques. However, this film's cutting-edge CGI does not justify its lack of plot, excitement and meaningful characters.

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532 out of 783 people found the following review useful:

Are you kidding me?

Author: babyvett-3-890268
17 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So, I should start by saying, I went to this move not expecting a lot. My husband wanted to see it, however, so off we go.. Dear Lord, I think I'm going to find the sappiest chic flick available (even if its torturous for me to sit through) just to get payback for him making me sit through 2 hours of this crap. At least the popcorn was good!!

I liked Godzilla himself.. But, I think out of the entire 123 minutes, you see him only 20 minutes, maybe? And most of that is just watching his spiky back in the water as he swims. The rest of this movie is watching the main actor, who, in my opinion, has about as much acting depth as Kristen Stewart, look like a total tool. The shining grace, I thought, was that this movie had Ken Watanabe in it. I like Watanabe but even he looked like he was suffering from a bad case of the Taco Bell revenge and couldn't find a bathroom for the entire movie.

I spent the majority of this movie picking out dumb stuff that just amounts to bad writing. Example: Okay, the two bad monsters (which, in my opinion resemble a cross between those white strider things that the muppets ride in "The Dark Crystal" with a bit of "Aliens" thrown in to make them somewhat scary?) have the ability of creating EMPs, killing all electronics and causing aircraft to fall out of the sky.. We learn this early on in the movie, probably in the first 30 minutes. Think the military learns their lesson?? Nope, lets continuously throw about 600 billion dollars worth of F-35s and Battleships in the mix just so we can have it continuously plummet into the water. Another example: They know these muppet hybrids like to eat Radioactive materials and I guess can smell it. And hey, there's one making its way from Vegas to San Fransisco. So lets strap a huge bomb on a train and slowly move it from Vegas to San Fransisco along the same exact path that the critter is going. What kinda harm could that cause? Its not like the thing would smell it on the train and come after it, right? And why is it, the military storms into a radioactive storage facility but has no clue that an entire half of mountain has just been blasted out by muppet hybrid #2 (who's much bigger than #1) and this 30 story tall critter is somehow making its way towards Vegas completely undetected?

And while we're on the subject of the bomb, what the heck is up with the "breeding" of the two muppet hybrids anyway?? You got a male, you got a female (complete with some glowy bulging egg sac thing that they give us a really good closeup of.. They meet up to reproduce.. which involves the male giving the female the long, phallic shaped, radioactive bomb which she then rubs between her legs all over this glowy egg sac.. WtF?? How the heck did these things breed before mankind started making huge phallic shaped missiles anyway?

Oh..Did I mention the acting was bad?? I don't recall liking ANY of the characters, with exception to the dad (played by Bryan Cranston) and he dies within the first 20 minutes of the movie. There are characters that seem to have no purpose whatsoever besides trying to find a way to fill a 2 hour movie with irrelevant fluff. Lil Asian boy on the elevated train in Hawaii? Didn't see any point to him.. The main characters wife and little boy?? Added nothing to the story to be honest. (And what military wife who knows her husband is in danger isn't waiting by the phone for news? Nope, phones ringing and she's doing whatever.. Or tells her co-worker she's unavailable?) The acting had no depth to it, everyone came off very flat and honestly, unlikable. There's no emotion whatsoever. Hey, a couple of muppet hybrids are destroying our city, oh well. A huge Godzilla is barreling towards our aircraft carrier? Don't panic.. lets stand at the guardrail and watch it peacefully because any emotion such as fear would be too much to ask.

Pretty sad when the most exciting thing about this movie is a bird hitting the bus window.. Although, to be honest, the CGI on the actual fight between Godzilla and the muppet hybrids was nice, the whole 5 minutes it lasted. Then, Godzilla jumps in the water and the credits roll. Best part of the whole movie.. Compared to the other 121 minutes of this movie, the credits are the best 2 minutes overall.

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506 out of 811 people found the following review useful:

Godzilla 2014: Should You Watch It?

Author: matthew-rehlinger from United States
15 May 2014

Scenario 1: If you are going to see this film because you really enjoy classic Godzilla movies and you hope the music and campy theme of those films are represented in this one, you absolutely should go see it. Godzilla here looks much more like the beloved behemoth than it did in the '98 movie, the music hearkens to the classic Japanese overtures of the old Gojira film era, and the camera work has the comically silly nature of Sam Rami's Spiderman series.

Scenario 2: If you are really excited to see a deep, human film with camera angles and writing that really tell a story that is thematically transcendent such as "District 9" and the Korean film "The Host," this is not your film. The script is filled with overtly simplistic rhetoric and one dimensional characters (intentionally,) the scenes somehow manage to have very little tension (even for me, the pilot episodes for most sitcoms seem more tense than Gozilla,) and as stated above, the camera-work is intentionally hammy. It should also be noted that to add a human element, the director overuses children to the point that it ends up feeling very obvious, as though he did it to be intentionally campy.

Scenario 3: If you are one of those people who really just want a fun popcorn flick such as Pacific Rim, with some solidly choreographed action like in the over-the-top bulletfest Battle:LA, I would say proceed with caution. The fight scenes are less intense and more majestic, like any classic monster movie, and as such the human aspect of the combat is relatively insignificant, less so than any other monster movie I've ever seen. There are no little monsters for anyone to shoot at, if that's your thing.

Scenario 4: If you are interested in this film because you love the talented work of Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, and/or Aaron Taylor- Johnson (three of my favorite actors) and are excited to see what they bring to the table, you should probably sit this one out. Bryan Cranston's role in this film garners far less screen time than advertised, Ken Watanabe spends literally every second walking through the scenes with the pained expression of someone who just walked in on their parents, and all three of the actors give off the vibe that they are very much aware of how cheesy their lines are. Everyone else's performance was similarly forgettable.

Honestly, I'm a stickler for deep, human storytelling, but I've also had a softspot for the classic, silly fun of many Godzilla movies, including my favorite, Godzilla vs. Destroyah. All told, depending on which camp you fall under, this will be an entirely different movie for you. As Godzilla movies go, I'd give it a B. As darker, more serious monster movies go, I'd give it a D+.

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399 out of 648 people found the following review useful:

A Tedious, Heartless Film

Author: rasmushelms from Denmark
28 May 2014

For fans of monster movies, "Godzilla" was surely one of the most anticipated releases of the year. Therefore, the most surprising thing about Godzilla is not how empty the story is, but rather how little there is of the monster in the movie after which it is named.

The plot in "Godzilla" is disposable. It only exists as an excuse to unleash the film's titular character. However, is it too much to ask for an original plot with characters we could care about? Here, the back story is cliché-ridden and the characters simply serve the function of moving the story forwards. As such, one would expect that Godzilla is at least given ample screen time. Surprisingly, this is not the case, and the majority of the film's focus seems to be on the military attempting to find out how to kill Godzilla and the MUTOs, which look like giant, angry cockroaches. Ultimately, it is left up to the score and the Michael Bay-esque dub-step reminiscent sound design to create tension.

Its almost futile to talk about the performances in the film because despite the strong cast, the characters are so one-dimensional that nobody delivers a memorable performance. Bryan Cranston and Juliette Binoche do their best with the little screen time they are given, and the couple of Aaron-Taylor Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen are given the impossible task of creating interesting characters from the uninspired script. More worrying, however, is how unnecessary Sally Hawkins' character is and how the script manages to make Ken Watanabe look like a second-rate actor, as his character rarely changes expression from the looks of intense thought or surprise.

Overall, "Godzilla" did not work for me at all. Not only is it a film without heart, but it a film meant to thrill that ends up just being tedious. I could have left halfway through the movie. I just didn't care how things would turn out.

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416 out of 713 people found the following review useful:

Just awful

Author: Maxime Imbert
17 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of the most terrible movie I've ever seen. A torture. I could barely stay still on my sit. I almost left the room 1 hour before the end. But I stayed, hoping for something good to happen. But something good never happened and the ending is even worst that my worst expectations.

The trailer was such a lie. I was expecting something dark, mysterious and brainy. Something like The Dark Knight. Instead it's only military crap, dinosaurs fight and worthless American patriotism. Makes me sick. The movie dies with Bryan Cranston. The only problem is that his part doesn't last half an hour.

Godzilla wasn't an earthquake. It wasn't a typhoon. It was just sh*t.

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341 out of 577 people found the following review useful:

This is a bad joke...

Author: Heart_McBlue from Slovakia
17 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First I need to tell that I am from Central Europe. I am not writing reviews but I can't be silent. This was terrible. This was 1st time when after movie everybody was talking how bad it was. And everybody I mean whole cinema.

First 20-30 minutes were watchable. It was looking to be a solid movie, but after that everything goes wrong. And I mean everything... Bad dialog's; good music in very bad moments and several styles of it; main character immortal; American happy ending style; no logic in this movie anywhere; many mistakes noticeable for everyone...

If a Uwe Boll have more money, he will make this movie better. When I was watching Sharknado, I was less shocked by stupidity like in this movie. It is waste of your time and money and watch it only when you want to punish yourself.

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258 out of 438 people found the following review useful:

Godzilla falls flat on his face, even in 3D

Author: Critomaton from United States
19 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Where do I begin? Nothing in this movie works. The 3D effects are the worst I've ever seen. In almost every major scene featuring the monsters, they appear completely flat and in the background, with one or two humans in the foreground in 3D. But the humans are so small (in a flawed attempt to convey the enormous scale of the monsters) that they just seem like silhouettes watching the same movie you are, as if somebody in the audience stood up to block the screen. It's almost as if the director pre-rendered the movie for Mystery Science Theater 3000...

There are lots of other monster scenes where some minor object (broken window pane, windshield wiper, train passenger, etc.) gets in the way in a botched attempt to create depth. It never works - the monsters always seem fake and flat.

Nothing about the plot makes any sense. We're to believe the monsters could completely obliterate a nuclear power plant without being noticed. Then, when they re-appear after 15 years (couldn't they have waited a few more years like the cicadas?), they can effortlessly elude radar tracking, satellite imagery, and a hundred million iPhones and just sneak around, silently munching on nuclear submarines. We're also to believe that nobody is really sure whether Godzilla is friend or foe, so the U.S. Navy will arbitrarily alternate between sailing right next to him and shooting at him with rockets.

With all of the nuclear power plants in the country, which are like catnip to these suckers, somehow a major plot element involves luring the monsters away from population centers with a single nuclear weapon on a train.

The score is so loud, intrusive, and overly dramatic it's mind-numbing.

The M.U.T.O.s (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms) are as generic and uninspired as you could possibly imagine. Just think of every mantis-shaped bug you've ever seen in any movie, and that's them. Throughout the entire movie I was distracted trying to remember where I'd seen them before - and I just remembered, they're a rip-off from Starship Troopers.

Every time a monster fight scene starts, it ends abruptly before anything interesting happens. In this movie, Honolulu, Las Vegas, and San Francisco supposedly get destroyed, but you can't really tell and won't really care. I think maybe 60 seconds was spent on the destruction of Honolulu and about 30 seconds on Las Vegas.

The guy from Kick-Ass (I can't be bothered to look up his name) plays a giant walking cliché. So do half of the Olsen Twins. So do two - count 'em two - precocious endangered kids.

The scene on the Golden Gate bridge is one of the dumbest I've ever seen. I'm pretty sure that bridge wasn't designed to hold a bunch of M1 tanks and - even if it was - they probably wouldn't be in a traffic jam with busloads of kids. I still can't figure out whether the bus driver was supposed to be a hero or a maniac for trying to mow down every pedestrian/soldier/policeman on the bridge just to save the walking cliché's son. And all those ships in the bay! Toy ships dropped in a bathtub would have a more organized formation.

It doesn't really matter that Godzilla isn't in the movie that much. You'll just want the movie to be over. It doesn't matter that Bryan Cranston dies early on in the movie - you'll just want the movie to be over. It doesn't matter whether Admiral David Strathairn gets his SitReps from the TV news instead of looking out his window at the 600-foot-tall monster. You'll just want the movie to be over.

It doesn't even matter that military people repeatedly "pronounce out" A.S.A.P. even though in real life they'd probably just say "AY-sap". You'll just want the movie to be over A.S.A.F.P.

I think what bothers me the most is the overuse of helicopters. I mean, I love helicopters. Blue Thunder is one of my favorite movies and Airwolf was my favorite TV show. I don't watch Westerns because there aren't enough helicopters in them. But the excessive use of helicopters in this movie made even me want to scream "Enough with the helicopters, we get it, you can make them look 3D! Too bad you couldn't do that with the giant monsters!"

Honestly, this latest installment of Godzilla is just as unwatchable as the Emmerich brothers' fiasco, and even Godzilla 1985 was more interesting.

To those positive reviewers who claim that it's not fair to compare this to Pacific Rim because they're different kinds of movies, I say: You are correct. Pacific Rim is an enjoyable, well done monster movie with good effects, and Godzilla is the exact opposite.

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165 out of 264 people found the following review useful:

Great build-up, but...

Author: gogoschka-1 from wherever good films play
15 May 2014

Remember 'Jaws'? Remember the way you only got to see little glimpses of the shark or just the remains of his victims for nearly half the movie? Instead, you got to meet half the town first and all the main characters while fear and paranoia slowly spread across the whole community, and when the great white guy finally did make his entrance boy, what an impact he had. Now, that was 40 years ago but would it be possible to make that kind of movie today? To show restraint despite a budget of 160+ million dollars and all the latest state of the art CGI-effects the blockbuster factory has to offer? As it turns out, it's not quite possible; at least not as far as this latest version of 'Godzilla' is concerned - but that's probably not for lack of trying on director Gareth Edwards' part. The young director ('Monsters') has stated many times that 'Jaws' was a huge inspiration for him on this movie, and it is hardly a coincidence that the (human) hero in 'Godzilla' shares the same name with the hero in Spielberg's masterpiece (they're both called Brody). Edwards made it very clear that he wanted to take an "old school" approach and as far as the beautiful, haunting build-up of the first half of the movie is concerned, he actually succeeds. The atmosphere of mystery and dread is tangible; the human element is there, the acting and the dialogues are solid, and the production design is breathtaking (especially the apocalyptic images of an evacuated city in Japan which was left to decay for 15 years, overgrown with plants and with packs of wild dogs running in the streets). The "muto" design - when we do get a first glimpse at a creature is otherworldly and frightening (as good monsters should be), but as the movie progresses into the second half and the creature-action increases, the quality of the pacing, the dialogues and the acting inexplicably decreases. The movie sadly starts to feel flat, and although there is one great creature scene after another, and although those scenes get more and more intense as the storyline steers towards the inevitable showdown, it's hard to stay invested in the human side of the story. After the first act (when there was actually still some real acting required from the actors), there are virtually no interesting moments anymore when the human protagonists interact, let alone lingering scenes where the characters get to talk long enough to one another to even try to build such a thing as chemistry. So when the finale does arrive (which looks absolutely beautiful, by the way), you admire its epic scale, but since there is nobody to care about, it's hard to feel thrilled. Sure, you kind of root for Godzilla, but since you only just met the guy, you don't feel too much attached. Ultimately despite a great build-up and a fantastic looking finale 'Godzilla' is a valid effort but only rarely a thrilling one. Unlike in 'Jaws', there are no interesting human characters here who could help create the kind of tension-heavy atmosphere or sense of impending doom the way Chief Brody, Hooper and Quint could 40 years ago. Trying to show restraint alone is not enough to create a sense of wonder the way seventies cinema did you also need the kind of character-driven scenes where someone says: "We're gonna need a bigger boat!"

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50 out of 79 people found the following review useful:

Although effects and sound are technically impressive, it is quite unsatisfying and superficial

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
5 October 2014

I'm no great fan of summer blockbusters and for sure am resistant to the idea of paying over the odds to sit in a crowded room and be disappointed. This usually sees me picking up with such films when they are cheaper to get on rental and just watch in my own home. With Godzilla I will admit I was tempted to join for the spectacle because in addition to this the film had the appeal of quite a starry cast list in addition to being from Gareth Edwards, the man who famously made Monsters in his bedroom and on the fly. This suggested that perhaps there would be more to it than just effects and big money shots. That said, I had heard negative things and I did approach it with low expectations because after all, it is just a Godzilla movie.

The film does try to create a human story to ground the audience and it casts wisely with Cranston, Binoche, Watanabe, Hawkins and others – all people who have a good presence in front of the camera. I was not to know that so many of the names that drew me to the project would be removed from the film pretty early on – a device that has impact for sure, but doesn't seem particularly brave since one suspects that the reason people like Cranston got onboard was that they were promised a lot for only relatively small parts. This leaves us with Taylor- Johnson and his quest to get home; a quest that never really interested me but at the same time is constantly pushed into the middle of the action no matter what or where it is. This saw my interest in the human side waning as the film progressed, leaving just the action.

On this front the film pushes things as hard as it can. The makers clearly know their action genre because this is a film that understands that soldiers running with guns and speaking in tough military dialogue while music pumps in the background, can grab an audience – so it does it, lots. Considering I didn't care two hoots for them, I was surprised by how much time I spent watching soldiers sweeping areas with guns pointed – it did start to bore after a while. The monsters and their destruction is nicely hinted at first, but eventually the film plays all its cards and we have lots of action and knocking down of buildings. Unfortunately much of it plays out in darkness – something which helps the atmosphere but limits how much can be seen. Technically it looks good and the money is all up on the screen (in the darkness) but it is probably the noise that makes the most impact and even on a lesser system the roars and thuds of the monsters are engagingly meaty.

Unfortunately this is really all that the film does, and it is quite uninvolving and unsatisfying. There is a lot of very good noise and big spectacle, but we have to experience through the human characters who we increasingly do not care about, and when the action really ramps up, it is detached from any sort of reality and I found myself appreciating the technical work rather than getting lost in what could have been dramatic and thrilling. As a blockbuster it probably has enough noise about it to be a distracting two hours if you have a good enough home entertainment value.

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164 out of 307 people found the following review useful:

Did I See The Right Movie??

Author: mark-allsop from United Kingdom
20 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is the first time I've seen a movie and felt cheated … genuinely cheated and lied to! The reason is because 90% of the trailers depicted Godzilla as a threat, something to fear, the city levelling monster we all know and love. The trailers were very good at misleading me to think that it was Godzilla that made all that mess in the woods, tearing that train in half, causing that fire ball at the airport … but none of this was to be! It turns out that Godzilla is a boy scout who protects us innocent little humans when the, apparently very incompetent, Navy boys are busy miss firing their highest grade weapons at a bridge full of school buses.

At least we get to see Cranston do his thing though! A favourite actor of mine and almost everyone else in the world! … One of the reasons I wanted to see this movie! The great Brian Cranston vs. Godzilla! He will be so good in this film! He's amazing "it wasn't a typhoon!" oh I'm getting Goosebumps! ... *10 minutes later* ... Nuts!!! Whatever! I could deal with that, but another major flaw is Godzilla's origin story in his own (First) movie … it's taken care of by a couple of pictures and some real smart person telling us that he's been around all this time, sleeping in the drink! Now this only feels like a slap in the face to the fans when you realise how much time and effort was put into the origins of the big, evil, baby having insect. The whole first half of the film is dedicated to the 'bad guy' alone! … Why did the filmmakers think we'd care that much?? I guess I could also deal with that too … it's a Godzilla movie; surely we'll be treated with some awesome action scenes between the two/three monsters throughout! … right?? Wrong! The first fight, for whatever reason, cuts away before we see anything good and all we get is a glimpse on a telly … The second fight? The same gosh darn thing happens! Just as Godzilla stands up in the city with his best 'come at me, bro' pose and just as you finally sit up and think "finally! Something good is going to happen!" … it cuts away to something far less exciting! … *rolls eyes* And I guess I could maybe deal with that too … I could deal with all that stuff and forgive the movie if it had an outstanding climax! You know, something worthy of the "King of Monsters" … but this was not to be … I found myself glaring at a dark blank screen that was supposed to be the climactic battle having no idea what I was looking at … half why through the "fight" I finally realised something that broke my heart … this was a bad movie. A bad movie I'd been looking forward to since the first teaser.

The film ended. I had a quick power cry during the credits … and my brother and I left the cinema wearing our black ties due to the death of our childlike hopes 'n' dreams we had while walking into the screen 2 hours beforehand.

See it if you must! By which I mean someone puts a gun to your head, walks you to the cinema, buys the tickets and sits next to you the entire time with his pistol pressed firmly against your temple.

Otherwise, save your moneys and time.


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