THE COMICS VAULT’S ‘GODZILLA’ REVIEW!
Sorry it’s late. I wasn’t even gonna review it, but I happened to have a chance to see it today. Just to let you know, this review will have spoilers.
So first off I’m a big Godzilla fan. I have a lot of nostalgia for the Toho films and always wanted a modern, big-budget Godzilla film to see in theaters. Sure there was the Roland Emmerich version, but that sucked mainly because it was a standard 90s disaster film masquerading as a Godzilla film. Godzilla: Final Wars, washed out that bad taste, but that was a home release here in the US.
So now there’s this film. Let me get to the good. Godzilla looks, sounds, moves, fights and sleeps exactly as I would have wanted. Everything about him is great. No complaints. A lot of the locales, especially the abandoned Japanese city at the beginning of the film, looks so good. The atmosphere was perfect. It made me wish most of the film happened there. All the SFX looked great here. visually this film is almost perfect. It’s manily the script that let’s this film down, which I will get into now.
Now the bad. For a film advertising Brian Cranston and Godzilla, there isn’t a whole lot of them in this film. Which is a shame. Cranston is amazing in every scene he’s in but (spoiler!) he dies in the first 20 minutes of the film. He really could’ve stuck around longer, at least for me. Basically no other character is as interesting to follow besides Godzilla. But…
In this film Godzilla is a coktease right up until the last 20 minutes. You see him close up for a second and then the movie cuts away. He’s about to fight a monster (which I’ll get to in a minute) and instead of showing us the fight, we see an edited for tv version on the news that a kid is watching. I had to keep looking at my ticket stub to remind myself that I was watching a Godzilla film. I know the original film’s pacing was slow to build him up, but that was the 50s. That shit doesn’t work anymore. Especially when it comes to giant kaiju film.
Now for the bad monsters. Godzilla has like a trillion monster villains and Legendary decides to come up with a brand new one, which we’ll never see a gain? The MUTO. They were okay. Just a foil to destroy the world and give Godzilla a chance to fight something his own size. Godzilla took them out pretty easily with his Atomic Breath (which was so goddamn cool) but these MUTOs really terrorized the screenwriters. The story focused on how these monsters eat nukes for the radiation, but every plan the military came up with was use a nuke. Needless to say, the nuke plan failed (more than once) and of course Godzilla was the guy who saved the day. He’s a superhero in this silm.
The rest of the characters were all stock. Even the lead (Marvel Studio’s future Quicksilver) was just okay. He was the luckiest fucking soldier though. Whenever he was in trouble the medics stopped what they were doing and ran to his aid. Ken Watanabe was the other standout but when he wasn’t championing Godzilla he was making a puzzled face during the whole film. To be fair, he wasn’t given much more to do.
So that’s it. For a Godzilla movie there wasn’t a whole lot of Godzilla. The script needed work. I know this is B-monster film, but Legendary helped make a movie about a guy who dresses as a bat into a masterpiece. Why not a kaiju? I hope there is a sequel becuase they were on the right track here. Also, Godzilla fighting two monsters manages to not destroy as much of San Francisco as Superman helped destroy Metropolis, Go figure. 6/10
[GODZILLA KING OF MONSTERS #3 (Oct. 1977)
Art by Herb Trimpe (pencils), Tony DeZuniga (inks) & Don Warfield (colors) with words by Doug Moench]