Godzilla (2014)

Eric Renderking Fisk | Sping 2014Bookmark and Share



Bryan CranstonYou're not fooling anybody when you say that what happened was a "natural disaster,". You're lying! It was not an earthquake, it wasn't a typhoon! Because what's really happening is that you're hiding something out there! And it is going to send us back to the Stone Age! God help us all...

 Look, I'm tired of talking to you about this. I want my son, I wanna see my son. I wanna know that he's alright. This guy- this guy knows he knows where he is. Musuko wa dokoda? I want my son and I want my bag and my discs. I want to talk to somebody in charge, not you, no, I'm done talking to you, alright? What, you're looking at me right now, like I'm in a fish tank, right? That's fine because I know what happened here. You keep telling everybody that this place is a death zone but it's not! You're lying, because what's really happening is that your hiding something out there! I'm right, aren't I? My wife died here! Something killed my wife and I've a right to know! I deserve answers!

When I was a kid, I watched one of the original Godzilla films with my Uncle Bob and I couldn’t help but asking him – what is this movie really about. I couldn’t articulate what I really meant to ask because I didn’t know big words like “Metaphor” or “Analogy” but I just knew that Godzilla wasn’t only about monsters fighting while destroying whole cities at the same time. It wasn’t until much later that I figured out or told that all the Godzilla movies was about Japan’s terror and fears about nuclear war and or atomic power…

Which is something you just can’t stop thinking about when watching this latest incarnation – the filmmakers are practicly screaming it in the first quarter of this film. It’s almost as if Bryan Cranston is talking to the world at large and directly to the management of the ill-fated Fukashima Power Plant that we’re dealing with things we don’t fully understand or comprehend nor are we prepared for the long term side effects.

Fukashima remaining in the back of our minds is perhaps one of the reasons why this is the most engrossing monster movies in recient memory, adding to Godzilla’s poignancy. That tragedy and chaos seems to enhance the realism.

Like almost every movie that’s reviewed for “Flicks To Hold You Over,” this one starts with a underground discovery that baffles the scienctists. This time there are some underground caves that were discovered by a mining corporation which carved out millennia ago. Who or what did it? Well… judging by the bones it was bigger than anything that ever lived according to modern academia… and this discovery reveals a part of Earth’s history we would like to forget! Imagine monsters living off the radioactive decay of the Uranium that was in rich supply after the formation of this planet.

Oh… if only that was true.

Thanks to our modern intervention and science while satisfying our insatiable appetite for cheap energy we’ve awoken these incredible beasts and it’s time for mankind to suffer the consequences! And boy… do people suffer.

This isn’t just a movie about monsters fighting each other but about concepts of survival of our civilization? How could we cope? Could we actually survive re-awakening of monsters that were extinct ages before we evolved, and do we actually deserve to survive such a mistake? These issues that were only hinted at in Steven Speilberg’s Jurassic Park movies…

Beyond the philosophical questions, Godzilla also serves as a pretty cool survival movie as Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays Bryan Cranston’s son “Ford Brody” continently playing a service man who specialized in explosives and demolition. While we’re enjoying this movie a lot of what he does and how he gets there makes sense – get back into the service and get a nuclear bomb with an analog timer to the location of the MUTO’s (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism) and set it off. It’s a physical, emotional roller coaster as we discover there are both a male and female giant bugs and they keep moving, and every plan to contain them fails. (Continued below.)

Eventually, it becomes a waiting game for the audience waiting for the final showdown between the two antagonists and the title character (uh… I mean monster) When the final fight occurs it’s well worth the wait – we’re emotional invested and actually cheering for Godzilla and some of his signature moves that we’ve enjoyed via earlier incarnations.

By the end of the movie we the audience were exhausted with something that lived up to hype. Some might complain that we didn’t get to see enough of Godzilla or the other monsters and others might also complain that this was too much of a movie debating ethical dilemmas and served too much as a personal drama. Fact is that because of those flaws, suspense builds and we’re concerned about the main characters since they’re allowed to develop – unlike the total disaster of the of the 1998 version when everyone was a cartoon caricature of real people in stereotypical roles.

It’s a perfect popcorn movies filled with genuine human drama, moral dilemmas, government conspiracies… and did I mention the mosters?

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