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Godzilla Movie Review

Reviewed by on May 18, 2014
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw the mighty king of beasts in action in 3D and IMAX! Check out our review of the new monster mash adventure film Godzilla!

By: Lynn Barker

What if you were a young military-man dad looking forward to getting home to your wife and son when mystery earthquakes and escalating world-wide destruction kept under wraps by the government, call you back into action? You would be pretty pissed, right? Wait till you find out that the “earthquakes” etc. are caused by ginormous, dinosaur-like monsters who threaten your family at home! Not a good day to be a soldier.

Godzilla comes ashoreGodzilla comes ashoreCourtesy of Warner Bros.

The Backstory

In 1999, scientists Serizawa and Graham (Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins) are called to the Philippines to examine a high radiation pocket revealed in a cavern. It appears that something huge “hatched” inside and blazed a trail of destruction to the ocean!  In Japan, nuclear scientists Joe and Sandra Brody (“Breaking Bad’s” Bryan Cranston and Juliet Binoche), try to figure out the strange pattern of earthquakes threatening the nuke plant where they work. The core of the reactor is breached and Sandra is killed. Their little son Ford (later played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson), watches as the plant explodes.

Scientists (Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins) worry about the monstersScientists (Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins) worry about the monstersCourtesy of Warner Bros.

15 Years Later

A grown-up Ford is a bomb disposal expert in the Army with cute nurse wife Elle (Elizabeth Olsen) and his own young son Sam. He’s been away from them on duty for 14 months and has just returned to San Francisco for a reunion when he is called to Japan where dad has been arrested for trespassing at their old home, now in a quarantined area.

Elle (Elizabeth Olsen) and her son cower from the monstersElle (Elizabeth Olsen) and her son cower from the monstersCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Dad’s Theory

Ford goes with dad to their old house to pick up his research old-school computer disks. They are grabbed by military and become involved with scientists Serizawa and Graham who are hiding and feeding radiation to a weird giant “egg” about to hatch….something. Together Joe and the other eggheads realize this thing feeds on radiation but puts out “calls” in the form of EMP’s that kill all energy in an area.

Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) guards a trainload of nukesFord (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) guards a trainload of nukesCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Monsters on the Loose

A huge monster looking like a mega-roach from hell crawls out of the “egg”, wrecks the place and flies away! When the Army takes over the operation, Ford and Joe are recruited to help. Finally they/we get the big backstory: In 1954, our nukes awakened long buried creatures that eat radiation. We tried to use more nukes to kill them but that was a banquet for them. Top of the food chain? Godzilla, who may be back soon to get rid of these parasites. Meanwhile there are two giant parasites, now called MUTOS and it’s realized that they are putting out mating calls! With a “couple”, there will soon be eggs and monsters galore!

Godzilla looking for MUTOs to destroyGodzilla looking for MUTOs to destroyCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Hawaii and San Francisco

Ford is in Hawaii trying to fly home to S.F. when the Army finds one of the gigantic parasites near Diamondhead. Its EMP’s crash planes and stop all power. Suddenly a HUGE monster comes out of the ocean to fight the parasite. This is the first time we see Godzilla. In S.F., Ford’s little son sees the destruction on TV and says “Look Mommy! Dinosaurs!”

Godzilla towers above the buildings in San FranciscoGodzilla towers above the buildings in San FranciscoCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Vegas and Final Solution

Not a good time to visit Sin City as the other parasite MUTO wrecks Las Vegas. The Army wants to lure the MUTOs with some big nukes then destroy them with the blast off the coast of California. Dr. Serizawa says we should stop messing with mother nature and let Godzilla kill them. He will bring back “balance”. After Ford is sidetracked to escort the bombs and nearly dies, he makes it to San Fran in time for the final Godzilla vs. MUTO showdown. Can he find and save his wife and son? Will he have to disarm a nuke before it blows up the city? Will Godzilla be victorious? What do you think?

Ford in Hawaii trying to return to his familyFord in Hawaii trying to return to his familyCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Wrapping Up

The new Godzilla is a mega-eyeful! The film boasts three monsters not just one and Godzilla shares the screen with two pretty ugleee, big and ticked off denizens of the deep. The mere giant scale of these creatures will impress you.

Turns out our tall, scaly boy arrives to put the world back in “balance”. When Mankind can’t off the pair of ginormous “MUTO” critters stomping down everything, the mighty king of beasts arrives to really, oddly save the day!

Ford's dad (Bryan Cranston) searches for answersFord's dad (Bryan Cranston) searches for answersCourtesy of Warner Bros.

All the monster effects look and really sound great, especially in 3D and IMAX (That patented Godzilla roar never sounded so frightening!). Some of the science/logic of the film is pretty “iffy” and the story gets repetitive as the beasts wander around from place to place to destroy buildings and people as all we throw against them fails.

Godzilla could really have used more humor to lighten up the monster mash. Where was that funny solider we needed to throw out some one-liners to break up the beyond serious scientist dialogue and downer destruction?  We only superficially care about the characters who seem to be cookie-cutter stereotypes from every end-of-the-world film. 

Ford's mom (Juliet Binoche) at the nuke plantFord's mom (Juliet Binoche) at the nuke plantCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Bottom line? Do you want to see some really major monster vs. monster fight action and city stomping? Then Godzilla is for you. The acting is very earnest and good, especially the amazing Bryan Cranston as Ford’s dad, tortured for years by what happened to his wife and his desire to get to the truth behind her death. Aaron Taylor Johnson makes a hot hero, etc. For pure spectacle we’d go 4 stars, but throw in the story flaws and we go 3. 

Godzilla Movie Rating:3

Godzilla PosterGodzilla PosterCourtesy of Warner Bros.
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