Saturday, May 17, 2014

Review: Godzilla (2014)



Distributor: Legendary Pictures
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer(s):  Max Borenstein (screenplay), Dave Callaham (story)  
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of destruction, mayhem and creature violence.
Running Time: 123 min
Synopsis: The world's most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity's scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

What Others Are Saying?

Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 73% "Fresh", Top Critics: 67% "Rotten", Audience: 81% "Like It"
Metacritic: Critics: 62 out of 100, Users: 8.1 out of 10
MRQE Metric: 69 out of 100
My Review

Source Material: Based on classic Japanese Kaiju films with the same name. 

Entertaining Value:

  • Action Elements: The last twenty minutes is where its at, nice Kaiju on Kaiju action.  
  • Comedy Elements: Um, not too much comedy to see here.       
  • Dramatic Elements:  A SAD attempt at drama.        
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: This film is chalk full of monster film goodness.       
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 7:  Don't get me wrong, I love the cast of the film. There is some great talent among them. I felt some of them were underutilized. I will explain this in more detail in the writing section of this review because it's more of a writing flaw. Bryan Cranston owns every last minute on screen. Ken Watanabe has one of the best voices. It was awesome listening to him tell us the origin of Godzilla.         
  • Art Direction: 8: I liked that the backdrop of this film was the "Ring of Fire." They don't mention that in the film, but its interesting to look at the location of the film and make that geographical connection. (Philippines, Japan, Hawaii, Las Vegas, and San Francisco) The locations match up with the story. Again, this movie main focus was Godzilla, and the art a visual effect showcase that aspect.    
  • Cinematography: 9: Oh man a lot of these shots were awesome. The POV shot of the soldiers parachuting in was one of many ways the cinematographer emerged the viewers into this world. I personally like how they showcase the scale of Godzilla and MUTO's compared to everything else. The action sequence was filmed in a way that emerged the audience without using shaky cam. I kind of liked seeing some of the fight sequences on the news because it, placed it in a 2014 world. What I mean is we are so obsessed with our screens, our devices, and our technology that we don't pay attention to the disaster happening outside.           
  • Direction: 7: The director of this film is fairly new, he has only done one or two pictures before this one, most notability Monster. On Monster he did pretty much everything (VFX, Directing, Writer, Cinematographer, ect) I think the skills he learned on that film translated over because the biggest positives of this film is its VFX and Cinematography           
  • Editing: 7: I interrupted this monster fight for a meaningless "dramatic" scene.   
  • Screenplay: 5: I want to explain underutilized characters / actors in this film.Bryan Cranston's plays a guy, father of Aaron Taylor-Johnson character,  who becomes obsessed with figuring out the real reason the power plant he worked was destroyed. This very same "accident" takes his wife's life, which adds to his drive for the investigation. !!!SPOILERS!!! After Ken Watanabe's character discovers Cranston's character and more importantly, his research, Cranston's character is killed by one of the MUTO's. His death has little to no impact on the other characters in the film. You would think his death would impact Aaron Taylor-Johnson character and be apart of his driving force to solve this MUTO issue, but it's not END OF SPOILERS That's one of many examples of character being written flat in this film, BUT this flatness is kind of a positive because this film isn't a story of humanity defeating giant monsters. This film is about Godzilla being a hero.
  • Sound and Music: 8: I liked the score it was very fitting, That Godzilla roar was perfect.  
  • VFX: 10: I hope for the Academy recognize this film in the visual effect category when award season come around. I think the director's background with VFX help because this movie looked damn good. Godzilla was awesome visually.          
Overall: 7.5: Are you a guy? Did you like dinosaurs as a kid? Do you like giant monster wrecking cities? If you said yes to all these, then go see the new Godzilla.              

No comments: