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Review: Godzilla 2014, or The New One with Weight Problems Big Bones


Remakes and reboots are the bane of Hollywood, and could possibly cause the downfall of American cinema. This year, an American reboot of an American remake of a Japanese icon makes its way to the big screen.

This year's Godzilla audience can be divided into two camps: those who hated it, and those who loved it. Let us discuss both sides and the points they raised, whether or not they are valid.

Godzilla and MUTO chibis. Your arguments are invalid.

1. There is no story.
Au contraire, there is a story, but a weak one. It's the story of Godzilla and his relationship with mankind, a relationship that has apparently spanned millenia.

Modern man's love affair with Godzilla began in 1954.

2. The father-and-son story between Walter White and Kick-Ass has not been fleshed out.
Like I said, it's not their story.

If it's not their story, then why's it them on the Comic Con panel?

3. Pacific Rim has a similar plot, but the characters are much more fleshed out.
Nope, the plots aren't really that similar. It's jaegers v. kaijus in Pacific Rim. Here, it's kaiju v. kaiju.

Not this cute, though.

4. Godzilla is fat. Like really fat.
I agree, along with the hundreds of Japanese fans. The 1998 Godzilla kaiju looked more like a proper dinosaur, while this movie's Godzilla looks very much like the pre-CGI Godzillas: like an actor in a rubber monster suit. Granted Pacific Rim intentionally designed its kaijus to look like humanoid costumes, this year's Godzilla took that realism even further. Not sure if it's an homage to Japanese kaijus, but the new Godzilla looks stupid.

This Godzilla actually looks more badass.

5. Bryan Cranston died way too early in the film.
Did you check the title on the poster before entering the cinema? It says "Godzilla", right? That should set your expectations that this isn't about Bryan Cranston. It's about Godzilla. The filmmakers probably decided to kill him early on just to remind the audience that if they wanted to see Cranston, they should just go home and rewatch Breaking Bad.

"I won't be back for the sequel?"

And now, the other side of the argument, from...

It's a kaiju film. So you shouldn't expect anything else.
To that, I strongly agree. It's not just kaiju v. kaiju, either. It's kaiju and kaiju v. kaiju. Two kaijus against one. And there are no metallic jaegers to stop them from levelling entire cities like ten super typhoons.

Godzilla's roar will make your balls shake.

So the final verdict:
Yes, this film may have failed as a piece of cinematic literature, with character development and all that.

But this totally succeeded as a kaiju film.

Godzilla. USA. 2014.

Original rating: 6.0 / 10
Opening sequence set in the Philippines: + 0.2
Elizabeth Olsen: + 0.1
Aaron Taylor-Johnson's American accent: + 0.1
Bryan Cranston dying too early: - 0.1
Ken Watanabe: + 0.1
Godzilla looking fat: - 0.1
Kaiju battle-fest: + 0.5
Final rating: 6.8 / 10

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