Today is a wonderful day to be alive. Why? Because a new Godzilla film is out and I love that particular movie monster—I understand him. I do not understand the cry baby cop on some television drama distraught over their many bad decisions in life. I do not understand the middle-aged man who would trade everything he built in life for sex with a 20-year-old girl. I do not understand a bunch of wives sitting around a table playing cards complaining about their husbands. But I do understand a rampaging monster that can pick up buildings and throw them around like toys.
I have always loved Godzilla. As a kid I watched the entire 1954 version ignoring the plot all together just to see the monster appear around the halfway mark. The boredom was worth the visual spectacle of a monster destroying everything in its path. One of my favorite films of all time is Godzilla versus King Kong—I will watch it to this very day when it’s on television. However, many of the reviewers, which are shown below seem to think that a Godzilla film is supposed to be about the human characters—and they are terribly mistaken. After watching the film they expected the humans to live up to the gigantic movie monster and were disappointed that they did not measure up. Here is what they said about the new 2014 version of the film.
“Edwards’ ‘Godzilla’ is a pleasingly paced 3-D spectacle that pays chilling homage to the artful legacy of the original 1954 film — Ishiro Honda’s ‘Gojira’ — while emerging as its own prodigious monster movie.” — Jessica Herndon, Associated Press.
“Someone should tell Warner Bros. that when they’ve got a presence as big as Godzilla, they don’t need movie stars, because frankly, who remembers the characters in a rampaging-kaiju movie anyway? Still, just to be safe, the studio has stuffed Gareth Edwards’ deafening, effects-driven reboot with an Oscar winner (Juliette Binoche), three Oscar nominees (Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins and David Strathairn), an Emmy winner (Bryan Cranston) and an Olsen sister, leaving scarcely enough screen time for the monster itself.” — Peter Debruge, Variety.
“Unlike last year’s disappointing ‘Pacific Rim,’ ‘Godzilla’ actually shows us its monsters without a scrim of rain and a cloak of darkness. And the thrill of the film is getting the chance to fetishize their sheer size and physicality as they rip through power lines and demolish buildings with their lashing tails. In its handful of moments like these, ‘Godzilla’ almost makes you feel like a kid again.” — Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly.
“Superbly made but burdened by some dull human characters enacted by an interesting international cast who can’t do much with them, this new Godzillais smart, self-aware, eye-popping and arguably in need of a double shot of cheeky wit.” — Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter.
“This ‘Godzilla,’ though it surpasses Roland Emmerich’s 1998 Hollywood version, remains safely within the bounds of the modern action movie spectacular. It is at once bloated and efficient, executed with tremendous discipline and intelligence and conceived with not too much of either.” — A.O. Scott, The New York Times.
“The title character looks imposing, in the CGI work of Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital sorcerers, but the movie is often so dark, using a palette of gray and brown, as if coasted in rust, that he’s hard to see. … And the human drama, mostly involving Joe Brody (Cranston), his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche) and his son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), never clicks. The problems of these three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans when San Francisco is getting Sanforized.” — Richard Corliss, Time.
“The climactic fight grows a bit wearying, and plot holes loom. Cleverly, though, destruction is not always shown head-on; sometimes it’s glimpsed through a hazy airport window or car windshield….Aiming for a titanic tale that is also seriously ominous, ‘Godzilla’ opens with a bang and concludes with an exhilarating roar.” — Claudia Puig, USA Today.
Years ago when I was at the precipice of overcoming mankind and having my roots deep within its culture I would actually sit on the edge of Price Hill and conceive in my mind walking through the city of Cincinnati and treating it like Godzilla. At the time I was deeply involved in business and politics and felt I was at least equal to the most sophisticated elites within the buildings of the vast cityscape. I no longer felt reverence for meeting mayors, wealthy business owners, political power players and the intellectual gate-keepers—particularly from the University of Cincinnati. I had overcome the art community of Eden Park, the old money of Hyde Park and all their Yuppy children, the criminals of Over-the-Rhine, and the sports figures along the river—and I had outgrown them all.
It was easy for me to sit on that hill overlooking the city and imagine crushing everything intellectually, politically, and economically. At that point I felt I understood my childhood love of Godzilla. I was around 26 at the time.
I no longer relate to the human characters in most films and television shows. So when a film like Godzilla comes out, I am happy because I often feel that such characters were made for people like me. Thus it is a glorious day and the world is better because Godzilla is conceptually alive within it!
Rich Hoffman www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com