Godzilla is a 2014 American-Japanese monster film directed by Gareth Edwards and a reboot of Toho's Godzilla franchise.
It is the 30th film in the Godzilla franchise, the first film in Legendary's MonsterVerse, and the second Godzilla film to be completely produced by a Hollywood studio, the first being the 1998 film of the same name. It stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston. The film's success prompted Toho to produce a reboot of their own and Legendary to proceed with sequels, with Godzilla: King of the Monsters released on May 31, 2019, and Godzilla vs. Kong released on March 31, 2021.
In 1999, the Janjira nuclear plant was mysteriously destroyed with many live lost, including supervisor Joe Brody's wife, Sandra. Years later, Joe's son Ford, a US Navy ordnance disposal officer, must go to Japan to help his estranged father, who obsessively searches for the truth behind the Janjira incident. In doing so, both father and son discover the disaster's secret cause. This enables them to witness the reawakening of a terrible threat to all of humanity, which is made all the worse with a second secret revival elsewhere. Against this cataclysm, the only hope for the world may be Godzilla, but the challenge for the King of the Monsters will be great, even as humanity struggles to understand the destructive ally they have.
- The film kickstarted the ongoing MonsterVerse and brought back Godzilla after a 10-year hiatus since the release of Godzilla: Final Wars.
- It is a massive improvement and it proved that Hollywood could make a good Godzilla movie after the infamous 1998 film of the same name, which received overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics and made fans angry after Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin revealed that they hated Godzilla.
- One IMAX marquee even boasted about the 2014 film having "100% less Matthew Broderick" (who was seen as one of the 1998 movie's worst aspects).
- Absolutely great score.
- Spectacular special effects for the Kaiju (Japanese for "strange beast").
- Godzilla's new design here is very well-done. Looking faithful to how he usually does, whilst still looking very distinct.
- Really good acting, especially from Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe and Bryan Cranston.
- Awesome moments throughout the movie, the best example being when Godzilla kills the female MUTO by blasting his Atomic Breath down her throat.
- This movie shows that Gareth Edwards has amazing directing.
- Good story.
- The fight scenes with Godzilla and the MUTOs got massive praise from everyone.
- Godzilla has a really cool design, and the same can be said for the MUTOs.
- Flawless, breathtaking cinematography.
- Its success inspired Toho to bring Godzilla back, starting with 2016's Shin Godzilla.
- The MUTOs are threatening and unique monster villains.
- Highly impressive production values.
- The film has a very well-handled dark tone.
- Despite being underdeveloped, some characters are good and likeable.
- Although this is a Godzilla movie, the fight scenes of Godzilla and the MUTOs are only shown for a few minutes, with the film focusing mostly on the humans.
- Speaking of the MUTOs, one of the trailers are rather misleading as it implies that Godzilla would be the film's antagonist like in the original 1954 film, but the movie portrays him as the hero who battles the MUTOs.
- Godzilla's new roar, although intimidating, sounds nothing like his trademark roar.
- Bryan Cranston was plastered by some promotions as the main lead actor, when he is really a minor character and the real leading actor is Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
- Although some of the characters are good and likeable as mentioned above, most of them are uninteresting and underdeveloped, like Ford Brody, who is a mediocre character who shows little emotion and has little personality.
- Slow, weak pacing with unnecessarily long, drawn-out scenes of filler, which can make this movie very boring most of the time.
- The CGI effects are sometimes mediocre.
- A lot of the monster action sequences have a dark grey or black filter over them and are often hidden in the dark, so most of the time the fights are only slightly visible and difficult to see and/or almost invisible because of how dark they are.
- Too much shaky camera work and cutaways during some scenes.
- Godzilla had less screen-time here than Zilla from the 1998 film.
Godzilla received positive reviews, with praise towards the film's direction, visual effects, musical score, cinematography, respect to the source material and Cranston's performance, though Godzilla's screen-time and the underdeveloped characters were criticized. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 76% based on 326 reviews, with an average rating of 6.70/10. The site's critical consensus states "With just enough human drama to anchor the sweeping spectacle of giant monsters smashing everything in sight, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla satisfyingly restores the franchise's fire-breathing glory". On Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average based on selected reviews, the film has a score of 62 out of 100, based on 48 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". CinemaScore reported that audiences gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
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