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Conquering new horizons: Movie review of ‘Godzilla’

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Do not fret, in this version of Godzilla Tokyo is safe and so is New York. On the other hand Honolulu, San Francisco, and Las Vegas may need to apply for disaster relief.

I loved Godzilla! God knows it is not a perfect film but it hits all of the right notes when it comes to dazzling audiences with everything large and in charge. When settling in to watch a film of this genre fans are not looking for humor or thought provoking drama. We want a feasible origin story and CGI effects that convince us of the destruction a beast of Godzilla’s size could slam down on a city.

I believe Godzilla fans of a certain age in Kansas City first fell in love with large fellow when he was the feature film on the Friday editions of the Channel 5 Monster Week. Oh Monster Week, where have thou gone? Godzilla is part dinosaur, part tornado spotted on the horizon, and all scourge of the nuclear age. While writing this review I reverted back to my seven year old self – the child that contemplated what I would do if Godzilla could be seen in the distance coming my way.

Godzilla was so well done that the 1998 Mathew Broderick version can be forever forgotten as an example of how not to do Godzilla – as in don’t send Ferris Bueller to investigate. This current version got it right through the marriage of modern special effects and utilizing the X factor that has endeared Godzilla to every generation post World War II. It is the quick shots of the monster through car windows or before the doors of a fallout shelter close that work magic not to mention the sound of Godzilla’s roar through the theater sound systems of today!

Many critics have talked about the brilliance in marketing for this film and I agree. By not showing Godzilla in all his (or her) full reptilian glory and concentrating on more of the disaster elements made an impact. There is also a bait and switch when it comes to who the real stars of the film are besides a large lizard. Hint, it isn’t Walter White and the actor with the most lines is not that interesting (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) but who cares when you have Godzilla reshaping a city skyline? Sure, there were elements of the storyline that could be improved, but hey save them for the sequel!

Godzilla was one of the first true summer films of 2014 so tick tock, tick tock if you want to see it in all of its delicious city destroying glory! If you are any sort of fan of Godzilla you need to see the film in 3D and IMAX formats if still available. The movie will play okay on a smaller screen but why? Rated PG-13 it is a perfect popcorn family film. Viva Godzilla!

Happy viewing!

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