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Review of "GODZILLA"
By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2014 Revised 17th May 2014 Revised 19th May 2014 Revised 29th May 2014 Revised 4th June 2014 Revised 11th June 2014 Revised 2nd January 2015
REVIEW: "GODZILLA" by Jayne Waterford

I withdraw my expectation of Gareth Edwards' "GODZILLA" (2014) being anything like Louis Leterrier's "CLASH OF THE TITANS" (2010), even if the mouths of the creatures shared structural features. Gareth Edwards "GODZILLA" (2014) is a great monster movie.

Godzilla is so made for a city scape. He is the size of a large office building with legs as thick as apartment complexes. Godzilla's reveal in the city after arriving by tsunami is stunning! And his roar echoes to Xing Ping. It's moments like this that we go for. This is why we wanted to see "GODZILLA" and Gareth Edwards delivered.

The feature of course is when men are pitted against monsters, by halo insertion, to the sound of distressed choirs. It's magnificent. Red flares fall through clouds appropriate to the second coming.


Our hero, Explosive Ordinance Disposal Officer Lieutenant Ford Brody has his origin in the myth, that is, as a child in Janjira (?), the son of nuclear research scientists obsessed with truth (?) (?) and Sandra Brody (Juliette Binoche).

Decades later, alone and teaching English as a second language, Mr. Brody notices, "Whatever it is they're guarding so carefully, started talking again and I mean talking." He and his son journey back to the radiation zone, Janjira. The local dogs look fine. "The radiation in this place should be lethal but there's nothing." The Brody's are an essential part of team save America from here.

The, "historical footage," the film opens with is fun. It was greeeat. The film re-writes modern history, accommodating Godzilla. There weren't nuclear tests in the Pacific, "They were trying to kill it." The historical footage made for these sequences documenting the nuclear blasts in 1954 were as good as those used in Jennifer Kent's "THE BABADOOK" (2014).

Evidence is acrewed. Fossilised remains of a giant are discovered with spores and then dodgy science is trotted out, at the voice of Scientist (?) we enter the realm of science fiction. A mining company allows oxygen to "catalize" a "dormant spor." Okay so catalization is when an inert substance helps a reaction go faster without being changed itself... are they saying the creatures do not breathe? Because they make voice/air based noises and have mouths, hmmm? Later they vivisect it, which means, destroying a specimen by cutting it up, and yet it survives to

hatch and go on to breed. Godzilla science asks a bit much of us when Dr. Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) informs us that the dormant pods were catalysed by oxygen admitted to it's tomb by a mining company. I mean we can go along with the Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms (MUTOs) being parasites looking for soures of radiation. And jets falling from the sky make total sense. But a MUTO pod surviving destruction by vivisection?

And what noise do monsters who live on radiation make when they move? There no getting around the idea that radiation and electro magnetic pulses imply machination. The MUTO's signature noise is of large ships sinking into a crushing abyss. This is large film. It is as large as it can get. Monsters call each other with electro magnetic pulses, causing jets to fall from the sky and all electrical systems to fail for the interim.

It takes an actor of David Strathairn's believability in a role of great authority, Admiral Stenz, to move us into a mental space that can accommodate our change in location to Hawaii. "Just got word of a missing Russian sub in the North Western Pacific." (Strathairn) - the team goes to Hawaii. Not only does our hero work as the anti-war soldier in he field of explosive ordinance disposal and not only is authority and safety conveyed by the trustworthy tones of Mr. Absolutely Reliable Exposition himself

(thanks to George Clooney), Admiral Bill Stenz (David Strathairn) as he co-ordinates the military respsonse to the dilemma on American soil. The soldier's attitudes are priceless. The US Army become monster hunters now. Sarg: "I've already got my crew and they know what they're doing." Private: "And they're pointing it at the monsters right Sarg?"

Then we are carried into complicity as the script hands us disjointed information and we put together the logic of where to continue the hunt. Of all participants, only we have over heard all of the clues. Where is it? "Where you put all your nuclear waste." There's an element of us having to be in the know, to join disjointed sentences: Nevada. We've committed to "GODZILLA".


"GODZILLA" sits in a tradition so the mythology explaining him to us does have some quirky, difficult bits. The MUTOs are attracted to and eat radiation. That is they chow down on bombs and drums of radioactive fuel. There's room for that.

This is first revealed as an offhand remark amongst other bits of information delivered by the goofy and smart scientist Dr. Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins). She is a really interesting girl.

They move majestically and have been realised big enough, unlike the elephantine spiders in J. K. Rowling's story for Chris Columbus' "HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS" (2002).

We see the monsters clearly, from the outset. Whomever visualised Godzilla to be the place where King Kong lived, a volcanic island that barrels through the ocean is a genius.

Our hero Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson: "KICK-ASS"), is an Explosive Ordinance Disposal specialist, a man who has a family and saves lost children, forgoes the sappy experience of having any direct, emotional connection with the monsters. Though things do feel a little wet when Godzilla gets depressed. He looks part Stegosaurus. Indeed when he gets up the second time and shuffles back to the ocean his back view is more akin to the Wiggles' Dorothy the Dinosaur. I particularly enjoyed Godzilla's appropriation of Peter Jackson's King Kong's fighting techniques though his electricity spew may have been going further than I was prepared to travel. Godzilla used this surprise ability as it is utilised by more and more action villains as time goes on. Well if it's good enough for Guy Pearce... (Shane Black's "MARVEL'S IRON MAN 3: IRON PATRIOT" (2013)). Godzilla's emotional state and the radioactive food business is really all you have to let

slide. Actual historical reference the use to date our story in is gorgeous. Dr. Serizawa has a watch frozen at 8:15 in the morning August 6th 1945, Hiroshima, where his father died. So anti-nuclear!

I must say the man killing the females in vitro babies right in front of her without getting caught hit a nerve. Her radioactive eggs are awesome. They are already as hot as cinders in uteri. They want us to believe they can wipe out the nest with a petrol bomb, the weapon of the desperate. It's like it's cashing in on a message that you can do desperate things if you think you can get away with it. You might. It's creepy. He's isolated. You're better off connecting with people.

We are treated to Ken Watanabe's most sensitive role to date in this reviewer's humble opinion. Dr. Daisuke Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) is beautifully realised and expresses the only belief expressed in our picture, "Nature has an order. A power to restore balance. I believe he is that power." - (Watanabe), though balance to what is at first unclear. But we get it. Ah. Godzilla is to bring balance to the monster population.

There's more than one monster. It's their asses Godzilla has emerged from the depths to kick.

Visually, there is some wonderful and stunning appropriation of themes from Steven Spielberg's

"WAR OF THE WORLDS" (2005). Nothing conveys utter disaster quite like a large and uncontrollable object streaming by on fire. Hence our river carries burning tanks and other heavy artillery to the sound of Spielberg's disaster movie. But that's not all. A MUTO strides down a monorail track like a tripod, with the same heavy legs ending in a point high above the ground. Which makes you wonder how can those wings carry those legs but hey! Only on the third viewing.

This isn't the only reference to the work of Mr. Spielberg.

"GODZILLA" opens with a helicopter approaching a research station. It's interesting how things become signature. Spielberg and team decide to take the landing gear off the bottom of a chopper because it looks better when our academic team is flying to the island in Steven Spielberg's "JURASSIC PARK" (1993). "GODZILLA"'s team decides to use chopper with no landing gear to evoke the prehistoric vibe of giant creatures being controlled by private enterprise, the MONARCH company, and do so successfully.

As the monsters ultimately converge on an American cityscape after feeding off radiation in a poisoned part of Janjira, Japan, Gareth Edwards' "GODZILLA" (2014) conveys an inescapable

message that is anti-nuclear and drives home the point that we are a part of nature. Without Ford distracting the MUTO by destroying the nest, they would have killed Godzilla. We were necessary to the successful completion of Godzilla's task assigned by nature.

San Francisco take a bow! I'll bet you recognised yourself in all that monster mayhem. Structural damage to the city was jaw dropping.


So all major blockbusters require violence in order to be marketable. The path to violence as a good thing in Edward's film is opened by Watanabe's Dr. Serizawa, "The arrogance of man is thinking nature is in our control and not the other way around. Let them fight." And this is where the violence is... nature dukes it out in the form of colossal monsters, so large, they don't even see people. All they are concerned with is eating radiation, nesting and destroying each other. Their nuclear mess is bigger than any of us.

A cockroach destroys the Nevada Eiffel Tower. Maybe Hawaii is really pissed off about the nuclear tests re-cast here as attempts to kill Godzilla in 1954 or perhaps someone doesn't like the copy standing in Nevada? Apparently the French have done some

other stuff recently that has upset a lot of patriots. Ultimately, the plan is to, "Use the bomb as bait and kill them with the sheer force of the blast."

A new kind of trauma has hit cinemas in 2014 - death. With Bryan Singer's "X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST" (2014) and soon Doug Liman's "EDGE OF TOMORROW" (2014), all hard on the heels of Duncan Jones' work in "SOURCE CODE" and "MOON". Characters die multiple times. We sustain multiple shocks, multiple traumas, and perhaps we feel more as a result of watching these films. I know I sometimes feel exhausted after a large movie, so much is going on. Even Godzilla dies twice or never quite dies and is cheered back to the depths by an enthusiastic city.

I re-watch with excitement the epic battles between Jackson's King Kong and the T-Rexs and regretted that the camera cut away during the quintessential fights between Godzilla and the MUTOs. By the way, there is something that evokes a giant cockroach in this movie, so if you are French, don't go. 8/10

And with the plink of bath water... our film ends.

Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2014.

Anticipation of REVIEW: "GODZILLA" by Jayne Waterford

It seems that Gareth Edwards has taken a leaf out of Louis Leterrier's "CLASH OF THE TITANS" (2010) in staging his "GODZILLA" (2014). He keeps us waiting to see a small part of the monster, known to exist in 1954, the way we enjoy the Leterrier's Kraken. With a mouth like a vulva we cannot look away.

Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2014.

Gareth Edwards'
"GODZILLA" (2014)

Director Gareth Edwards
Producers Jon Jashni, Mary Parent, Brian Rogers
Stars Elizabeth Olsen (Elle Brody), Juliette Binoche (Sandra Brody), Ken Watanabe (Daisuke Serizawa), David Strathairn (Admiral Stenz) & Scientist (?) (?) & (?) (Ford's Dad)
Release Date 15th May 2014
Category Sci-Fi Adventure
Running Time
Origin Japan
Distributor Warner Bros. Pictures
Official Blurb "An epic rebirth to Toho's iconic Godzilla, this spectacular adventure, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, pits the world's most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity's scientific
arrogance, threaten our very existence.

Gareth Edwards directs “Godzilla,” which stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Kick-Ass”), Oscar® nominee Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai,” “Inception”), Elizabeth Olsen (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”), Oscar® winner Juliette Binoche (“The English Patient,” “Cosmopolis”), and Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”), with Oscar® nominee David Strathairn (“Good Night, and Good Luck.,” “The Bourne Legacy”) and Bryan Cranston (“Argo,” TV’s “Breaking Bad”).

Edwards directs from a screenplay by Max Borenstein, story by David Callaham, based on the character “Godzilla” owned and created by TOHO CO., LTD. Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing with Mary Parent and Brian Rogers. Patricia Whitcher and Alex Garcia are serving as executive producers, alongside Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira.

The behind-the-scenes creative team includes Oscar®-nominated director of photography Seamus McGarvey (“Anna Karenina,” “Atonement”); production designer Owen Paterson (“The Matrix” trilogy); editor Bob Ducsay (“Looper”); Oscar®-nominated costume designer Sharen Davis (“Dreamgirls,” “Ray,” “Django Unchained”); and Oscar®-winning visual effects supervisor Jim Rygiel (the “Lord of the Rings” films). The score is being

created by Oscar®-nominated composer Alexandre Desplat (“Argo,” “The King’s Speech”).

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures present a Legendary Pictures production, a Gareth Edwards film, “Godzilla.” Slated to open beginning May 16, 2014, the film is expected to be presented in 3D, 2D and IMAX® in select theatres and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, except in Japan, where it will be distributed by Toho Co., Ltd.

Legendary Pictures is a division of Legendary Entertainment." - Warner Bros. Pictures PR

Caption: AARON TAYLOR-JOHNSON as Ford Brody in Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' sci-fi action adventure "GODZILLA," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Photo Credit: Kimberley French
Caption: (L-r) BRYAN CRANSTON as Joe Brody and AARON TAYLOR-JOHNSON as Ford Brody in Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' sci-fi action adventure "GODZILLA," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
Caption: A scene from Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' sci-fi action adventure "GODZILLA," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.