Godzilla (2014) is everything Godzilla fans could want

So first of all, let me just answer the question that I know is on your mind: Is it true? Is this movie really as good as people keep saying? And the answer is yes. Godzilla is indeed a very, very good Godzilla movie. It’s nothing more than that, it doesn’t take things in any unexpected directions, but neither is it any less than that. This really is just… a very, very good Godzilla movie.

It’s everything a hardcore fan of Godzilla could possibly want, and it’s everything a person who only knows a little bit about Godzilla could expect. Or, if you’re just a disaster movie enthusiast or simply want to see a bunch of monsters fight it out in an epic battle, this is as good as it gets.

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The movie takes the approach of being yet another sort-of/kind-of sequel to the original Godzilla from 1954. In this continuity, there’s been a monster attack once before, though very long ago, and it was immediately covered up by the government. Eventually, it’s revealed the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that ended World War II have a connection to the plot of this movie.

I would get into the cast and characters, but the fact of the matter is that the human characters are mostly unimportant to the story, and receive just the bare bones amount of development that allows us to see the events of this story from their perspective.

You could call this a flaw in the script, but I can’t help but think the filmmakers were highly aware that having fully-fleshed out characters wasn’t terribly important for a movie like this, and kept the human side of the story to a minimum to leave plenty of space for what we actually paid money to see: Godzilla himself and lots of kaiju action.

Godzilla (2014) is everything Godzilla fans could want

And you can absolutely see how this movie draws its inspiration from the 1954 movie in theme, tone, and visuals. The original Gojira, as many already know, was largely conceived of as an allegory for the nuclear devastation that occurred in 1940s Japan, and how hopelessly terrifying that was. In that movie, all the bullets and missiles harmlessly bouncing off Godzilla were less of a joke, and more of a disturbing representation of just how powerless humans can be in the face of unimaginable threats.

In the same way, this movie takes the time to truly immerse us in the horrifying outcome of massive disasters, by simply showing those affected (with strikingly beautiful imagery) in such a way that the movie doesn’t even need any human-centric subplots to get the message across that these are serious matters (it is a disaster movie, after all). But it’s also a movie that knows it doesn’t need to play tricks on us, and never treats its audience like idiots.

Godzilla (2014) is everything Godzilla fans could want

The visual side of the movie is sublime. It’s a very good-looking movie, and although it starts off slow, along with having several plot contrivances to get the main character to where he needs to be, it all pays off in the amazing finale, where Godzilla fans get to see what they never knew they’d been wanting to see their entire lives.

This truly is a Godzilla movie, through and through. Godzilla looks awesome, and the scale of the monsters and the destruction of cities genuinely feels enormous (and sometimes very overwhelming), which is a clear reason why this is a movie probably best enjoyed in the cinema on the big screen. And the many small shout-outs and call-backs to Godzilla’s long history only further serve to prove that this film was made by people who are true Godzilla enthusiasts.

Godzilla (2014) is everything Godzilla fans could want

Basically, when it comes to Hollywood making a Godzilla movie, this is about the best possible outcome anyone could have hoped for. What it delivers, it delivers very well, and is right on the mark. I highly enjoyed watching this movie in the theater. A better homage can’t be made and it was a treat to watch.

[—Editing/cleanup/revisions to this article provided by Dr. Winston O’Boogie and Elliot Hodgett.]

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  • Zorha

    As a huge kaiju fan, I have mixed feelings on this American remake. For the positive, Edwards gave us slightly more serious and involving human drama than your typical Godzilla flick, but only marginally. Coming from the director of Monsters, I can see his influence here. The sense of disaster and numb shock is palatable here, stemming from the ‘contemporary issues’ Edwards elluded to when selling the movie. The tsunami and nuclear plant disasters are horrifying to witness and re-experience.

    With that in mind, Godzilla (2014) misses the lofty goals that Edwards aims for because of silly miss-steps. Godzilla films aren’t exactly void of plot holes, but if you want go for an ultra-realistic, ultra-somber tone, your movie needs to have strict and consistent internal logic:

    Why did the MUTO fighting Godzilla evolve an EMP attack when it was a parasite from the Mesozoic? Why does Godzilla, described as an apex predator, make a beeline for a parasite, ignoring all other distractions? If Godzilla feeds on radiation, and not other MUTOs, why doesn’t he make a beeline for the closest reactor or nuclear submarine? If MUTOs lived on the earths surface at one point, why didn’t we see more evidence in the fossil record? With Pacific Rim, I forgave many of the film’s logical inconsistencies because of its light hearted tone.

    Perhaps what I find hardest to stomach is how Edwards twisted Honda’s anti-nuclear theme. The MUTO’s may spawn and feed off our arrogant and reckless use and disposal of nuclear energy, but our actions did not create the new reimaged Godzilla. Instead, even though Godzilla is a force of nature, our own actions have stilted consequences, because nature will find a way to correct any imbalances.

    Godzilla will always be around to save us. This undercuts Honda’s message, gutting any impact the film might have offered up.

    • gameragodzilla

      Except even Honda himself eventually made Godzilla into a defender of Earth. Keep in mind that Godzilla 1954 is not the only Godzilla movie Honda directed. He also, for instance, directed Ghidrah the Three Headed Monster, which was the movie that made Godzilla into a good guy for the rest of the Showa period. Godzilla may initially be represented as an anti-nuclear symbol, but he eventually evolved beyond that, through the actions of his own creator, mind you. That’s what made Godzilla last such a long time. He may have started as a certain thing, but he eventually evolved with the times. After all, Superman was originally an anti-authority, violent vigilante, but he also evolved.

      The other small logical inconsistencies I have some headcanon explanations. The MUTO has an EMP ability because I assume that Godzilla hunts via electric signals kinda like a shark. That means an EMP blast would serve as a defense mechanism against Godzilla tracking it. Also, I believe these creatures are even older than the Mesozoic era. I think Godzilla makes a beeline for the parasites because that’s his natural foe, like how lions and hyenas hate each other. That also explains why Godzilla doesn’t just go for the closest reactor. He’s not trying to eat, he’s trying to fight. Fossil records… well, I got no explanation there. Maybe there were, and MONARCH covered it up?

      • Zorha

        Those are good points, and it definitely fits if Edwards was trying to appeal to Godzilla’s broader character history. For me however, I followed the hype that Edwards promoted during pre-production, so I based my reaction more on that:

        “Godzilla is definitely a representation of the wrath of nature. We’ve taken it very seriously and the theme is man versus nature and Godzilla is certainly the nature side of it. You can’t win that fight. Nature’s always going to win and that’s what the subtext of our movie is about. He’s the punishment we deserve.”

        Um no. He portrayed Godzilla as something entirely different. Godzilla didn’t punish us. The MUTO’s did. Godzilla saved us from ourselves. He’s the savior we didn’t deserve.

        • gameragodzilla

          I think those interviews were a deliberate mislead in order to not spoil the movie. After all, if you look at the original trailers, you’d see that several scenes in the movie are completely different from the trailer, with the main change being that Godzilla’s fighting the MUTOs as opposed to just causing destruction. I think some of the pre-release hype was also designed that way.

          Anyways, it still really doesn’t change the fact that we’ve still screwed up nature and let loose the MUTOs in the first place. It’s just that Godzilla came and saved us from ourselves.

  • filmguy450

    It pains me how wrong you are here. While you are entitled to your opinion, and I am glad to know you can overlook the film’s numerous flaws to find things to enjoy about it, it has too many objective issues to be good and not enough actual kaiju monster action to qualify as a guilty pleasure. When Emmerich’s 1998 disaster of a Zilla film is better at being a Godzilla movie, you need to rethink your life. SPOILERS FOLLOW!

    A) there’s no need for Aaron Taylor-Johnson to have a family, as they are 100% useless. This film keeps cutting back to Elizabeth Olsen and the moppet, waiting and doing nothing. Because at over 2 hours, with Godzilla not showing up until an hour (roughly) in, this movie needed padding. More importantly, this film stumbles over Johnson’s desire to get back to them so haphazardly in the last few minutes it almost seems like an intentional joke- how for all that’s sweet and good in the world is he reunited with his son at the end? How did he magically know where the son was? Since the son was put on a bus to leave San Francisco, I am okay with Johnson finding him first, but there’s no reunion scene between the two. We just cut to a new scene and they are magically together. HOW? This is the thing you’ve been building towards the entire time movie, why can’t you give us a payoff? On a similarly dumb, but slightly less so family scale- when Johnson calls Olsen to tell him that the armed forces have a plan and will be coming into the city, instead of acting like a normal human being, and asking them to hightail it out of there (drive to LA, or some place just as far away) he tells them to stay put. By this point, he already knows at least 80% of the plan and that the monsters will be converging in/ around that particular city. Why should I care about a douche that willingly leaves his family in such grave danger? This doubly hurts the film because if how much importance it places on the family, and how smart it believes it is about such things (too much and it’s way stupider than it thinks it is, respectively). On a weird political note, this film’s preoccupation with the typical ‘nuclear family’ (dad, mom, kids- nothing else is accepted) makes for a dishearteningly dated viewpoint, which ties into…

    B) This film has a fetish for shots of running dogs and random kids, whose families are of the hetero-normative variety (ALL OF THEM!), and it’s the weirdest thing. In the most egregious example of this, the camera does an epic crane down to reveal not some character we already know but to introduce, in the weirdest, most hamfisted, calling itself out way possible, a small girl whom looks out ominously over the horizon. A few different scenes happen, then we cut back to her as she looks at the beach and see a lot of dead fish. She yells to her dad, whom turns around and sees the same thing and they all start running away. Does this girl (and/ or her family) ever make another appearance? Nope! Not at all. Which makes the whole part involving her that I just described not only pointless, but since it was so poorly handled with the foreshadowing etc., also insultingly dumb.

    Lots of random pans and zooms to dogs running throughout the debris happen all over the film, and I have no idea why. I bet if you cut each one of those bits out, you’d save 5-10 minutes worth of time.

    C) Where is Godzilla? I am all for a slow burn and characterization, so the king of monsters not showing up for an hour or so isn’t the problem, it’s that each time he does something that would be awesome (all while shrouded in dust, debris, smoke, and various other bullshit for reasons, I guess) we cut away. Godzilla only has one action sequence at the very end of the movie. He does nothing for the first hour after he shows (which is again, an hourish in), which doesn’t make for a good Godzilla movie because it’s impossible for it to be one, without Godzilla.

    D) Every action scene does at least one awkward cut, that’s less than the usual 30 degrees thing, to hide some action and then pan over to what’s happening. These edits don’t allow for more dynamic, flowing action, they disrupt the flow, and feel forced. IE- near the end, we cut to inside an office building somewhere in San Francisco, and than pan across to see the damage caused to the side of it and we see helicopters flying past, which is heroic (?) I guess. It’s more awkward as that’s not a natural, in terms of the story playing out, or in terms of technical prowess/ filmmaking skills. Gareth Edwards is a hack. His first (and only before this) movie was shitty and utilized the same awful cuts.

    I could go on and on with all the ineptness, from plot and characters to technical things, displayed, but I believe I have made my point. The saddest part is that I LOVE kaiju. I own almost all of Godzilla’s films, all of Gamera’s, several others (Space Amoeba, Demeking, Yongarry) that some people have never even heard of! I have a shelf full of kaiju toys and boardgames in my apartment. I am the a movie and kaiju buff, which makes me the exact audience this film wanted to woo, and it failed on such a huge level, with so many plotholes and objectively poorly done things it pained me to watch it.

    • Sofie Liv

      Those are all very very fair points, I absolutely see where you are coming from, and well.. after having chewed over it for half a week.. yeah maybe I need to make a follow up. I don’t know.

      I still enjoyed the movie, it entertained me.. It’s no Pacific Rim no, but it entertained me enough that I gave it a pass.

      • gameragodzilla

        The biggest thing is that this movie was never trying to be Pacific Rim. That’s not the point of this movie. If you want a Pacific Rim version of a Godzilla movie, we already had that 10 years ago. It was called Godzilla Final Wars. There was no need to rehash something that came out last year in theaters and came out merely 10 years ago in the franchise. What this movie was trying to be was a retread of the Spielberg approach to filmmaking, which has been dead for many years now, not to mention going for the classic approach to Godzilla Honda-style.

        Ignore that guy’s nitpicking. He claims to enjoy Kaiju movies and yet complains about things that every Kaiju movie, including Pacific Rim, is guilty of in some degree.

        • filmguy450

          For someone with a Kaiju tag, you clearly don’t get them. I didn’t really bring up “Pacific Rim”, as that movie has a host of it’s own problems. Ms. Sofie Live did bring it up as it’s the only other recent major Kaiju release, and she was more entertained by that one. There is nothing wrong with that.

          The Spielberg approach doesn’t work here because I am given no reason to care about these characters, whereas in ” Jaws” I have those reasons. To illustrate, I will use the example from above, since you clearly didn’t read my post very well-

          I see no reason why I should care for a person that knowingly leaves his family in danger. When Johnson’s Ford calls his wife, he tells her to stay put, in the city he knows will have the military and monsters converged onto in the very near future. That makes him a bastard and unrelatable for me.

          • gameragodzilla

            He’s telling her to stay because that’s where he knows they’ll be. If they ran off somewhere, he would have no idea where they were. It turned out to be a mistake, even in-universe for him, when he acknowledges that he didn’t make it in time, so that makes him imperfect, but not a bastard.

            I cared about these characters and thought everyone did a good enough job. If you insist on nitpicking everything and claiming I don’t “get” kaiju films because I rightfully point out how these issues you claim are in Godzilla 2014 are also in every other kaiju movie, it becomes evident that YOU do not understand kaiju movies or movies in general.

    • JD

      Yea i thought that was weird he just didnt tell her to get out of town.

  • Gallen_Dugall

    Agreed more or less, it’s a perfectly enjoyable bit of light entertainment. If you read or watch any reviews you’ll soon guess that what people hate about the film is their irrational expectations not being met. Not sure what people expected from a Godzilla movie as they tend to only have one big fight scene in them and characters who exist to provide context and exposition. Frankly I’ll take this over mindless action flicks like Bay-Transformers and nuTrek. A lot of work was done to set up the next film (already confirmed) so I suspect that the next film without the backstory “bogging it down” will have more irrational expectation appeal.
    My big complaint is reserved for whoever decided that the USAlund navy needed to adopt camouflage uniforms, but that complaint has little to do with the movie aside from it bringing this absurdity to my attention

    • filmguy450

      While it’s true that in a lot of the Godzilla films, there’s only one big action scene, they are A) shorter, by at least 30-ish minutes, so things don’t drag so much, B) we spend more time with Godzilla/ other monsters doing things not the exposition characters, and C) I had no expectations for this film, as I loathed Gareth Edwards’ first film (“Monsters” is one of the worst films ever made imo, kind of loathing). I simply wasn’t entertained because of plotholes and the constant cutting away gag (for lack of a better term), that feels like a cheap shot, probably because it was.

      • gameragodzilla

        The movies were shorter, but the action scenes themselves were also much shorter. This single Godzilla fight in the 2014 is probably the single best kaiju fight ever put on screen. Sure, movies like Final Wars have a lot more action overall, but this movie had the single best action scene, and the longest one, too. In terms of things feeling like they’re dragging, every Godzilla movie feels that way. It’s not about length, it’s about what’s actually happening. And most of the time, we don’t spend all that much time with Godzilla in the Godzilla movies, too. You claim to have all the Godzilla movies. Well then, go and watch them. There are barely any Godzilla movies that have all that much Godzilla in them. The original didn’t have Godzilla appear at all until the middle. Even Final Wars, which is the action heavy spectacle version of a Godzilla movie, still didn’t have Godzilla appear in full until the middle. All that other time was spent on exposition. So go ahead and constantly nitpick everything to death. Everything you complain about is something not only prevalent in other Godzilla movies, but in other kaiju as well as disaster movies in general.

        And I swear to God if I hear one more person complain about cutting away from the action, I’m gonna scream. It’s called suspense. The constant cutting away and teasing was what made the final fight look even more awesome. The entire audience at the screening I went to was so pent up from the teasing that everyone cheered during the final fight. Even my friends who weren’t Godzilla fans. Seriously, what happened to suspense these days? It’s like if Jaws or Alien were released today, people would constantly be complaining that we’re cutting away from the shark/the Xenomorph.

        • filmguy450

          A- bringing up the original “Godzilla” does not work, as the character is a constant presence throughout the film, and once he does show up, halfway through it is true, he stays around. He’s in it for the next 45 minutes, with the military attacks that fail and the big final showdown etc. Addingin the fact that he is the only monster in that film, it’s ridiculous comparison that shows how much you have to stretch to convince yourself this movie was somehow good.

          B- Most (maybe all) of the other Godzilla films maybe shorter, which means shorter action scenes, at least for the most part, those were compptently shot with edits that made sense. In your opinion, the best Godzilla fight of all time is in this latest film, but that it your opinion. I strongly disagree with you because the editing (not just there, but throughout) is so bad and cuts to weird angles that make no sense.

          C- As for the other films dragging, again, that is a matter of personal taste that you are stating like fact. “Godzilla Vs. Mothra”, ” Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster”, and I could go on don’t drag in my opinion. Even the ones that do usually have characters (at least one) that I can relate. But for me, that didn’t exist in this new film. I found the characters to be either boring or selfish, and thus did not care.

          D- Suspense is great and all, and I appreciate that. But there’s a difference between cutting away to build tension, and cutting away because you couldn’t be bothered to film the action. This movie spends most of it’s first half building up all the monsters, and the first cutaway worked. But after the millionth one, it just became a cheap trick to not have to show the action. I am for suspense, but it must have a proper payoff, and this did not.

          E- This one can’t even boast the political/ social themes that were present in other, lesser Godzilla movies that made them drag, as this film constantly shoots itself in the foot regarding it’s family (only hetronormative though) themes. Those I discussed in my earlier comments. Please read fully, and reply only when you have worked out the difference between your opinion and someone else’s on subjective matters, such as pacing or likable characters.

          • gameragodzilla

            Uh, no he wasn’t. He was hinted at a few times, but for the most part, the plot was about other stuff. And no, Godzilla didn’t “stick around”. He appeared in on the island, then in Tokyo. The bit with the Oxygen Destroyer barely counts as a Godzilla moment considering Godzilla did absolutely nothing but die in that scene. And the fact that Godzilla is the only monster in that movie would only make the lack of monster scenes worse, not better, because the MUTOs get some cool destruction scenes as well.

            And no, not all the action scenes were competently shot with edits that made sense. They were all shot like wrestling matches at normal height level. The great thing about this new fight is that it’s pretty much the only Godzilla fight that actually showed the true scale of these creatures. All the other fights definitely look like guys in suits. Sure, it’s entertaining, don’t get me wrong, but those “weird” angles you complain about are there to show how truly massive these monsters are, which hasn’t really be accomplished since Godzilla 1954, and that movie had no monster fights.

            Godzilla vs. Mothra dragged on a lot. The whole plot point regarding the evil businessman wanting to profit on Mothra is pretty damn cliche and I really couldn’t care less, especially considering the fact that Mothra getting pissed on humans for screwing with her eggs/twin fairies was a complete retread of the original Mothra movie. Ghidrah The Three Headed Monster had that pointless subplot of assassins wanting to kill the princess, and Ghidrah himself only appeared at the end. I love the whole Lovecraftian bent on Ghidorah in that movie, but he still had far less screen time than I would’ve preferred. And no, none of the Godzilla movies besides the first one really have “relatable” characters. They’re generally just cariactures of “scientist”, “soldier”, “random kid” etc. Sure, they can be fun caricatures (Captain Gordon from Final Wars is a particular favorite of mine), but none of them are what I would call “relatable” again, except for the original movie. The idea that the characters in Godzilla 2014 are boring and selfish is false. Ford is an EOD tech. He’s not supposed to be emotional. He’s also not selfish either considering he’s perfectly willing to sacrifice himself to save the city. He makes mistakes, but he’s definitely not “selfish” or “unrelatable”.

            And Godzilla 2014 did have proper payoff. It’s called the giant monster fight at the end. I certainly had a lot of pent up emotion when I first saw it and I cheered a lot during the final fight. So did everyone else in the theater. Once again, I maintain that the final fight in this movie is the single best kaiju fight of all time, mainly due to the way it was shot and how lengthy it was, so there was a great payoff at the end.

            And not every Godzilla movie needs to boast political/social themes, and if they get heavy handed, it ends up being worse. Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster suffered from its heavy handed messages. So did Godzilla vs. Biollante. And the problem was the worst in Kingdom of Monsters. Dear God, that comic series was more of a soapbox for the writer than a legit Godzilla story. The fact that Godzilla 2014 downplayed a lot of these elements (but they were still there, mind you) made the movie feel a lot less heavy handed and actually made it feel like it dragged less.

            And inserting that bit of “heteronormative” themes is utterly stupid. Keep that SJW BS on Tumblr, please. Depicting a family between a man and a woman does not mean the movie’s some sort of heteronormative crusader.

            And I can work out the difference between my opinion and someone else’s. However, in order for an opinion to be good, it must be backed up by facts and properly explained. You have provided neither.

          • filmguy450

            A- There might be some movie (or book or play or game or whatever) that has lots of flaws, or is kind of stupid for this or that reason. When X person sees (plays, etc) it, despite being able to acknowledge those issues, that person could still totally get enjoyment of said entertainment. Their opinion is that it is fun, despite of (or sometimes, like with so bad they’re good movies, because of) those issues. The issues still exist, but take a backseat to the person’s opinion. Case in point:

            Fact- Ford tells his wife (thus, indirectly his child) to stay put in a city he knew would be very dangerous by the time he’d arrive there, but told them t wait anyways.

            Opinion- I found that to turn his character from bland to reprehensible. You did not. These alternate views are not based on the facts of what happened during the phone call scene in the film, but each of our respective reactions and interpretations to that scene.

            That you believe opinions are only good when based in fact and not enjoyment no matter what else, explains a lot about how you have missed several of my points.

            B- I do agree with you about not every Godzilla movie needs a political theme of any real sort, and totally agree that it bogs down “Godzilla Vs. Hedorah”. I also think that ” Vs. Biollante” tried to rush through much of it’s action scenes to make a larger message, but I believe due to the strength of the characters and cool monster designs that it’s still a reasonably solid effort. It’s just that in this movie, because it wants to be character driven, etc., it seemed to me that it wanted to have such a theme (and for me, failed).

            C- If you can’t even be bothered to have a discussion about the family issues raised in “Godzilla”, and think it’s for a different venue than one where people are meant to discuss that exact film, then I will have to presume you are just a troll. As I don’t think that, as you have been too lucid and knowledgeable in your responses (even when I disagree), I just assume that you have no way of actually combating this issue I had in your usual fashion. The film is not some post-nuclear heretonormative family crusade because it’s about a family with a husband, wife, and child, but because every single family we are introduced to in the film (no matter how awkwardly or clumsily) is that way. Not even a single parent family (yes, Ford’s mom dies early on, but until then, that hits the same qualifications. Afterwards, we jump cut to present day, so it’s glossed over). Dumbass kid on the train- heteronormative family (that can’t even be bothered to say thanks, those jerks!). The girl that saw all the fish because of weird camera crane implied she was significant- heteronormative family! I could go on, but I believe the point has been made clear.

            D- The final fight, for me, wasn’t worth it, as it felt generic and goofy (the shared between Godzilla and Ford is unintentionally hilarious for me). I am not trying to change your mind about it, but you do need to accept that people do disagree with you on that front (I do know others that weren’t impressed by this final fight either, but still enjoyed the film far more than I). How is having wrestling moves and being at shot from “normal height” (whatever that means) with miniatures built around, so there is no forced perspective from camera angles considered either bad editing or poorly composed camera compositions?

            E- Throughout each of your increasingly desperate replies, you keep bringing up that you have made mention of objective issues in “every Kaiju” film, as if the genre is just naturally infused with flaws that cannot be overcome, ever (or else they wouldn’t be in every single Kaiju movie now, would they?) But as demonstrated by the question at the end of D, you fail to describe how the things you state are issues, rather than limitations due to budget, technology, and other factors, or how the actually detract from the movie in any impactful way. I referred to specific camera shots, moves, edits, etc., that I found to be awkward and not work for one reason or another. You are simply stating that all these movies drag, all these movies have poorly edited fight scenes, without getting to specifics of how the scene is played out. Those complaints are too broad to work on any level, as such a thing is impossible for every movie in this genre to fail at.

            I mentioned those films (there are more) that don’t drag for me, personally. If you thought this subplot or that supporting character do weigh things down for the rest of the film, more power to you. Your opinion is valid, but that does not make it an objective problem, but a subjective one. I am not convinced you understand the difference, so let me explain:

            Objective- something (often times, but not only, a techincal issues) has been clearly, unquestionably poorly rendered. IE- a boom mic being in the shot.

            Subjective- something the audience member responds to in his/ her own way, due to different lives and culturals and backgrounds. IE- pacing of movies (where X audience member is bored by the characters, Y really relates to them and is not bored).

            F- I must reiterate, as you still don’t get it. This film sucked for ME. With a host of objective problems, and characters I loathed (subjectively) I did not have fun. I am glad you did, but I will still be disagreeing with you. All I was attempting to do was point some oddities that annoyed me and hear another’s opinion, which may differ, but that I respected.

            This will be my last reply to anything here.

        • Zack_Dolan

          well, if it was all about suspense and building up to a clear look at the monsters….maybe they shouldn’t have spoiled it with full frontal reveals of the monsters (both of them, even though one was clearly meant to be a secret in the narrative itself) right there IN THE TRAILERS. you can’t complain people aren’t patient enough to sit for a reveal when the reveal was three months before they even saw the movie. at that point no one wants to be cockteased for 2 and a half hrs about what godzilla might look like. they already know, they just want to see monsters punch eachother and there really wasn’t nearly as much as the trailers (deliberately) led us to believe there would be

    • Zorha

      I think you nailed it here with ‘expectations’. Given Edwards work on Monsters, I’m with Sophie on this: This is probably the best Godzilla film are going to get from an American studio. Why? Expectations.

      Take the screen writer’s dilemma: Will Godzilla fight another Kaiju? If no, will audiences get bored of an unstoppable juggernaut with no match marching unhindered through yet another hapless city? If yes, who will Godzilla square off against? Who will win? Who should the audience root for?

      One of the kaiju (with rare exceptions, Godzilla Raids Again (1955) being one of them) generally gets cast as the protector of humanity. In that case, is that Godzilla? (It’s hard to say whether or not I can root for this Godzilla, who takes the effort to dive under an aircraft carrier, but will swipe a bridge full of school buses.)

      If Godzilla is our protector, is Godzilla really to be feared? If not, will audiences be okay with Godzilla actually losing the big fight? I think Godzilla vs Mothra (1965) and Godzilla: GMK (2001) are the exception to this, but generally audiences don’t want to see Godzilla go down, let alone to a single missile!

      Speaking of survivability, how tough should Godzilla be? This re-made Godzilla can survive an underwater explosion in the kilotons, but what about a megaton blast? The film skirts around this issue, as well as the general effectiveness of a full modern military engagement on the big G. Instead, the screenwriters pull a cheesy move and have the opposing Kaiju generate an EMP field to limit what the military can engage them with. Why do Mesozoic parasites generate EMP fields? Because Reasons. Why the screen writers didn’t have Godzilla generate an EMP field is beyond me, as a nod to the electromagnetic ability displayed in Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1974).

      Likewise What abilities would Godzilla show? Zilla (1998) took a lot of crap for not having atomic breath. How fast should Godzilla regenerate? And so on …

      In a nutshell, it would be extremely hard for an American studio to pander to the expectations of hardcore Godzilla fans, yet still be accessible to your average Summer movie goer. As mentioned before, I think another reason why Pacific Rim struck a cord with so many kaiju fans was lack of established expectations. Is this a boon for Del Toro or a strike against Honda’s legacy, only time will tell …

  • CaptainCalvinCat

    I bought the movie yesterday on DVD, watched it today and…. yeah, this should not be the measuring stick for Kaiju-Movies to come – at least in my opinion.
    While it did a bang up job, concerning atmosphere, I can tell you where I said “Okay, I’M out of here” and really deactivated the DVD, just to turn it on again and think: “COme on, give it a chance.”
    The first appearance of Godzilla, the revelation of the King of Monsters, on the air field of Honolulu Airport.
    At first, we are teased, see a tail, the thorns of godzillas back, when he is swimming towards Honolulu -then we see the foot at the air field. Camera tracks the foot, zooms out, reveals Godzilla. He is striking pose, roaring, as if he wanted to say “Ey, Muto. I’m Godzi, Biatch!”
    And fade to black – only to open up on Fords little son, sleeping, while a television broadcast shows us, what’s happening.

    After that – sorry, I thought “Well, if you cannot bother to show us a decent fight between Godzilla and the Muto I’m not that interested anymore.”

    Same later – sure, we get a pretty intense scene on the railroad with the female Muto – but since that, like most of those scenes, was shot in a very dark environment, I found it hard to spot details.

    And it went on from that point on to be basically more of the same: Setting up a big fight – and not bother to show it to us.

    Until they did the last big battle in San Franciso and even here was everything so dark and non-lit, that I could not get into that fight.

    Pacific Rim was more competent in showing us, what happened – heck, even Godzilla 1998 was competent enough to show us the damn thing. And that is viewed as the worst outing of them all (not by me, because I like that flick). This however – the last battle reminds me of the “Mission City”-Battle in Transformers 1, in which we couldn’t get a glimpse, when the movie was on ground with the humans – and even in that one: When they decided to pan out, show us robot-on-robot action, it was happening in clear daylight, so that we could SEE the damn thing.

    So, yes, even Transformers is more competent in showing us the action.

    My favourite Godzilla Movie was “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla” (I believe), with ape-aliens from outer space. The humans had their part in it, which didn’t drag down, Godzilla had his part in it, battling a mechanical version of himself, which was clearly visible.

    Sure, it took place in landscapes for model railways, it looked incredibly cheap and cheesy, but when it came to atmosphere, it was incredibly.

    This? Not so much, if I’m honest.

    And don’t get me get started on the ending.

    • Jonathan Campbell

      Harsh, but not totally untrue.

      I thought this was a more or less enjoyable movie, better than Pacific Rim overall, if inferior when it came to fights. And better at (looking like it had) more intelligent plotting. It looked and felt like a richer, better made movie.

      But yeah, this really ISN’T “everything Godzilla fans would want”. I thought the acting was actually pretty good, but that didn’t matter much since the characters only existed to give exposition or coincidentally end up wherever the action was. And one decent fight at the end doesn’t make up for the ridiculous and frankly insulting cop-outs before that.

      Also, very different movie from what the trailer seemed to imply; which would be fine if the movie was better than it was.

      • CaptainCalvinCat

        Yeah, I would not say, it is better than PR – that movie showed us, what was going on and had at least levity, here and there some comedic moments, stuff, that made you smile. Godzilla 2014 was imho extremely dour, characters were as much as stereotypes as in PR, if not more and – contrary to PR – after the acting was … yeah… relatively sub-par.

        • Zack_Dolan

          yeah i actually thought it was strange that all the stuff that everyone complained about in pacific rim (the boring characters and the by the numbers story, not enough monster fighting, couldn’t see anything, etc) were all FAR more present in this movie than PR, but for some reason everyone praised this film. it certainly wasn’t bad i guess, but i did think it had a lot of problems not the least of which being the constant cocktease of godzilla actually doing anything. he’s barely in like 10-15 minutes of the movie and most of the time he is there it’s just to show up and be cut away from the second he was going to do anything interesting

  • thereal9thdoctor

    I have to disagree with Sofie’s last sentence… Godzilla 2016 will destroy Edwardszilla, and I do not hate G2014even though I have issues with it.