Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Since last year, due to increased responsibility elsewhere, I stopped jumping to the cinema to see absolutely every movie that may have a hook for me. This policy shift has for about 80% of the time, saved me from [according to trusted sources] wasting my valuable time. However the final 20% seems to be split unevenly between movies that I perhaps should have gone to see [4%], and movies I should not have gone to but did [16%]. Godzilla is one such movie in the latter case.

This new Godzilla, apparently an homage to the old Tohiro movies is easily one of the best examples of lazy, pointless, unstructured, maddening, vacant, unentertaining film-making of the decade. For some unfathomable reason, Warner Bros. gave $160m to Gareth Edwards, a completely green first-time director whose only previous work of note was some monster effects for something, I know I read it somewhere but can’t recall now. It’s obvious that the man does indeed have some skill in that field as I’m unable to fault the overall quality of the special effects, pyrotechnics, CGI, modelwork and art direction. However everything else that makes up a movie was almost entirely missing, and sadly it’s a big part.

Edwards quotes three major influences on his career that’s only several years old now – George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino, three of the most successful film creators in the world. Sadly Edwards captured almost none of what these men are known for. The movie has action, without sense of adventure and thus displays none of Lucas’ influence on him. It does have a plot but it’s without story and it’s soulless which is not how Spielberg would have influenced him, and despite having some of the screens’ more competent acting ensembles as Tarantino often does, Edwards wastes their talent with uninspired direction on top of already bland dialogue. There was one moment where Ken Batman Begins Watanabe reveals the creature’s name as Godzilla, it’s supposed to be a dramatic movie-defining moment to send chills down everyone’s spine but instead elicited shrieks of laughter from the audience. I’m glad some people had something to enjoy anyway, but this wasn’t overall a “so bad it’s funny” effort, this was just “bad.”

I don’t understand fully at what point in the process a story from David Callaham who competently penned the story and screenplays for both Doom and The Expendables could be so damaged by Max Borenstein and or further incompetently handled by Edwards. Neither Borenstein nor Edwards have such credits to their names so logically the fault must be with one or both of them. Not at fault were the actors who did their best with what they got. BAFTA nominated Aaron Kick-Ass Taylor Johnson took the lead as Lt. Ford Brody, a Naval EOD technician who for some reason could execute a perfect HALO jump? [but if I started listing all the military issues I had with this movie, I’d be here all day], the aforementioned SAG, Golden Globe and Oscar nominated Ken Watanabe as the obligatory scientist who ‘understands’ Godzilla, Brian Breaking Bad Cranston who has been nominated or won every TV acting award for the past 10 years is the scientist who speaks the truth but no one listens until it’s too late and of course we must mention Godzilla himself, except he’s really only a supporting character in this shoddy flick.

One major issue I must address was that the sound quality was horrendous. In all my years, I’ve never had such a terrible aural experience in the cinema, and I include the few times I’ve been in the back row far corner with some now-forgotten female conquest, away from the true surround experience in the centre area I insist on today. It was like as if they resampled the sound into 128kbps MP3 with some points sounding as tinny and warbled as 96kbps! It may have been an issue with the cinema sound itself [but I've since been in that cinema without issue] but it’s more likely the movie, and it suits me to blame the movie as I’m hating on it anyway. The sound issue certainly did not help Alexander Desplat’s music score but considering it was only marginally less droning, derivative, uninspired and toneless than the rest of that talentless hack’s other efforts, I don’t think it would have made much difference.

A few weeks back I read and subsequently tweeted that the USMC Hollywood liaison office decided to stay well clear of this. I should have followed suit.

Whopper Rating: *

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