Pretty much everyone's seen one of these monster movies. Even explaining the plot to one sounds like half a dozen if not more of the same thing. It's like a Madlib someone filled out in Japan.
Godzilla shows up because of _____. He proceeds to trash _____ district of Tokyo. Monster Named ______ knocks him down. People stand around with their mouths open, eyes wide as they witness giant beasts. Some of them talk for some reason. Monsters continue to fight. Godzilla wins. Heads into the water.
The new Godzilla promised more of the titular monster in the movie. I guess that's true but he wasn't in it as much as I thought he should've been. Don't get me wrong though, there's a lot of monster. But also a lot of people...and that isn't the strength of these films.
That said, the actors sell these cheesy lines with a level of commitment reserved for an insane asylum. From the silly to the serious, they take this to new heights. Some of it is overacting...some is just keeping it real (as real as you can given what it is).
At just over two hours long, it's a weighty experience. A lot happens in that time. Much of it implausible (not the monster parts, those are very realistic. I'm talking about the choices of the people). Too often, the characters are forced to gawk, driven temporarily insane by the majesty of the titans. Rather than running for their lives, they stand at a precipice, waiting to be swallowed (by the ground or a monster, whichever comes first).
The effects are well done though I had a problem with Godzilla's eyes. Not sure why.
Something else that struck me as 'off' was the fact that they spent SO MUCH TIME setting up the fact that King Kong exists in this world. Skull Island is said almost as much as Godzilla. If you didn't know, next March Kong vs. Godzilla hits the theaters. If you see Godzilla, you'll feel like it's coming on as a double feature.
High points: Mothra. Godira's Health Plan. Juiced Lizard. Throwaway lines meant to push people to idiotic actions. Over the top music that slapped shame on the ass as it strode into a disco.
Low points: Some of the cheese is cringe-worthy. The humans risk things which they really shouldn't, making it easy to question how they're the smartest people you've met. The fact that this was like the Mummy, advertising the Godzilla Cinematic Universe.
All around, I say that Godzilla was a fun spectical for the big screen. Saw it in IMAX. Totally worth it. If you're going to see it, watch it on the biggest screen you can. Then prepare for a choir of dedicated singers to shout God! Zill! Ah!!!
Rating: 3.75 out of 5.
Author of several books, composer of several CDs. Please check out the rest of the site for some of my work.