Escape to the Movies: Godzilla - Breaking Kaiju

MovieBob

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Godzilla - Breaking Kaiju

Bob thinks that if it weren't for all the other human characters, Godzilla would be a perfect monster movie.

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Keji Goto

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Long time fan of Godzilla here and I have to say I found this movie to be incredibly underwhelming in many ways. While what was there was really good and well acted it just didn't deliver on the beats that I've come to expect from a Godzilla film.

The biggest issue is the lack of action, or rather the teasing of a massive battle only to get a cut away to something I didn't really care about and added a whole lot of nothing to the film over all. The biggest example of this is Godzilla's reveal on Hawaii and the first "fight" with the M.U.T.O. which is setup to be a great clash only to suddenly cut away to Ford's son watching the news where you get about five seconds worth of awesome looking fighting just so we can see his wife looking upset at the TV after she hadn't been paying attention to it. I'm fine with a lack of action but don't dangle it in front of my face then yank it away at the last possible second.

To me it just felt like there wasn't enough Godzilla in this movie and I don't care what anyone else says this is his damn movie. The human element has to be there but it shouldn't be to a point where it is dominating everything that is happening. The final fight gets setup, we see the fight start to unfold, then it cuts away to Ford and what he's up to instead of focusing on the far more important monster battle that is taking place. It's like this film had Cloverfield syndrome where there's this massive aversion to keeping the monsters on screen because clearly this isn't why people came to see it.

The actors do a great job, I enjoyed the story behind everything, loved the design and tone of the film, it just needed more. Where something like Pacific Rim didn't shy away from the action and left things to the background at the right points like Mako's memory of the Kaiju attack when she was a little girl, Godzilla felt like it was content to spend 90% of the movie teasing a monster battle but never actually delivering on it and even when it did it couldn't help but cut away to something else now and then leaving the fight scene in limbo so when the audience could finally return to it they weren't sure what was going on or where things had progressed.

This is a good movie but it's not a good Godzilla movie I'm afraid. The potential is there and part of me wonders if there is a director's cut which contains the fight scenes instead of the cutaways. I walked out of the theater tonight wanting more but not in a good way. It was awesome to see the big guy back in action and having his old abilities back but Godzilla felt like he was playing second fiddle to the human characters which are hard to invest in when you keep getting the tease of Godzilla and the M.U.T.O throwing down.
 

Evonisia

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I kinda wanna see it just to see Godzilla, as I've never been to a cinema to actually see a Godzilla film. This is going to be a painful fence sitting affair until I come up with a decision.
 

scw55

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I almost want to spoil the film for myself if the vast majority of it is so awful.
 

Burnouts3s3

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I think you're fair in this review, especially since you make the comparison to Jaws so we understand where you're coming from.

Also, I'm hearing a lot about this old-guard critics vs. geek critics a lot from you lately. Has this become an actual problem?
 

Keji Goto

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scw55 said:
I almost want to spoil the film for myself if the vast majority of it is so awful.
There really isn't anything to spoil and no serious twists or anything like that.
 

Marik2

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Nov 10, 2009
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Sweet that saves me money.

Gonna wait until the DVD is out for rent.
 

wooty

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Aug 1, 2009
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I enjoyed the hell out of this movie, was even more impressive at the IMAX (that ROAR!! :3).

To be honest though, while the humans did kind of get in the way of some of the monster mashing action, there was a nice balance to it. The situations were rather well thought out, the reasons for these things being there was decent enough for a "new twist", at least to me.

Probably will go and see it again at some point.
 

luvd1

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Marik2 said:
Sweet that saves me money.

Gonna wait until the DVD is out for rent.
Stuff that. I'll wait till it's on sky movies premiere and watching for free.
 

wyldefire

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So this is totally unsurprising based on Gareth Edwards track record. Monsters was similarly well handled on a technical level, but also too much in love with delayed satisfaction, and the human element was lifeless and boring there too.

I'm still seeing this, but god almighty, why pay for Brian Cranston and Ken Watanabe and then have them not be the center of the film?
 

scw55

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Keji Goto said:
scw55 said:
I almost want to spoil the film for myself if the vast majority of it is so awful.
There really isn't anything to spoil and no serious twists or anything like that.
Is it that predictable of a Man hunts Wife during the Apocalypse?
I might wait until it gets released on DvD and someone inevitably releases the Fan-Edited version which cuts out all 100% human scenes.

To me, in a Monster film, the core ideal should be Monster(s) being monsters. Any human characters exist in the film to be tormented and to show how hellish the environment is. Them having character is a bonus.

I suppose we do have The Host for a Monster Movie with 3D characters.
 

Airon

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Mmh. So this looks like a rental with fast-forwarding through young-white-guy scenes. Not sure I want to see this movie in a theatre just for a brief monster fight. Pacific Rim at least had lots of those and characters I cared about.

Get well Bob. My voice sounds about the same right now. All day morning-vader voice.

NEXT!
 

el_emmens

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It's, well..it's complicated, maybe this is why I'm not a movie critice but i generally didn't feel to bad about the military characters, I felt genuinely tense and right there with the vcharacteter several times when stuff like them being on the bridge with the MUTO. I do agree that it at times feels a little forced, but at the sametime this is (what i've come to determine, I've not gotten to see the original godzilla film) very much similar to the original in that it's less the creature godzilla and more the human reactions.

But I generally feel I'd reccomend watching it in theater (maybe matinee though)
 

Diddy_Mao

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I'm still gonna go see it because I loves me some Godzilla, but it's kinda good to know some of my initial misgivings were probably well deserved.

The human characters were kind of my biggest concern with this flick. My only previous exposure to Garreth Edwards was with Monsters, which was an uninteresting 90+ minute shit show of heady handed proselytizing delivered by bland, uninteresting characters with no relatable motivation.
 

Jman1236

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I was on the fence about this one, mostly since the "other" american made godzilla completely sucked. So wait, your telling me Godzilla is just thrown in just for the heck of it and isn't the main focus of the film? WTF?!?!
 

RA92

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Godzilla's motivation? He's a giant Kaiju Atomic Buddha who only rises up to restore balance to the universe.
 

MovieBob

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Now THAT... that's what I was worried about when it came to this movie. I don't mind that the film puts a focus on its human characters and their perspective, or that Godzilla isn't in the film that long, because that's pretty standard for a 'Godzilla' film. The problem seems to be that the stuff we're supposed to pay attention to and get invested in in the interim just isn't interesting period.
 

Scarim Coral

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Oh great, it look like Bob and another movie critic on here got something in common.

I'm not saying they are wrong, it just still seen to enjoyed it despite the flaws they had mention. I suppose the reason why Godzilla wanted to kill the Muto's was that it was mention that they are parasitic to Goszilla so I guess Godzilla wanted to killed it now rather than waiting for them to sucked him dry.

While I did like they protray Godzilla to be the hero well passive compared to the Muto but I did thought the ending was abit too much-
The new headline saying "Kind of the monster: Saviour of our city?" and I think I had heard some people cheering for Godzilla.

I mean sure he did dove underwater to not harm the ships and it wasn't his fault that the bridge got destroy and I assuming most of the civilians made it out of the breaking bridge section. Otherwise, his landing on Hawaii and the battle in the city he probably did killed some people even if it was not his intention.
Ok during the train scene, did the Muto ate the nuclear bomb but then the next scene the helicopter took the bomb but there was only one bomb to detonate?
Also did I misinterpreted the bomb blast radius? It look like the blast would of reach far beyond outside of the city and yet he got the bomb out to the sea and was safely alived when it exploded? Just far out in the sea did he got the bomb out?
 

tdylan

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Evonisia said:
I kinda wanna see just to see Godzilla, as I've never been to a cinema to actually see a Godzilla film. This is going to be a painful fence sitting affair until I come up with a decision.
I was going to take my daughter to this to have bonding "See, honey? This is a monster movie dad grew up with" moment. Overdrawn build up with no satisfying payoff? Pass.

longjones said:
about Batman - why does his armor have pecks and sixpack? WHY???
What? Do you think Batman should be like, some kinda..."ninja" or something, with a smaller, more mobile and lightweight costume that allows for speed, flexibility, maneuverability and cunning, as opposed to "I'm here to beat down everyone in the room" body armor? Pssh! Where ever would you get an idea like that.