Festivus with Godzilla

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In the words of the great Frank Costanza, I’ve got a lot of problems with you people! And now you’re going to hear about it. I say people, but I’m actually talking about a movie. I caught a Godzilla showing last Thursday, an hour before midnight. Knowing I had to wake up early for work the next day I still went to the screening. It’s Godzilla for goodness sake. As a boy raised by women, he was the male presence in my childhood. Well, him and Phil Harris. So it felt like an obligation to see this movie as soon as I could. *Sigh*. Let me make Frank proud and list my problems.

  • What the f*ck was up with Ken Watanabe?!

Seriously. Ken Watanabe has proven himself a capable actor. He’s been in some of my favorite films, hand picked by one of my favorite directors. He looked nauseous or sea sick throughout the whole film. Either that or he would just stare into the distance….even when he was on a submarine. It took me out of the film more times than I’d like to admit. The only worthwhile stare came when he dropped the “Let them fight” line. In a film with some atrocious acting (more on that soon) he was whatever the opposite of the “bees knees” is.

  • How dare you mishandle Bryan Cranston

Don’t read any further if you haven’t seen the film. It’s spoiler town. My gripe isn’t that they killed off Bryan Cranston’s character, but that they did it so soon. He was the only one the audience had a chance to connect with and you pulled his plug way too early. The two best (non-Godzilla) scenes in the film were when he lost his wife and when he was in the interrogation room. I had goosebumps twenty minutes into the film. Even worse, he was proven correct after all these years of being labeled as a conspiracy theorist, lunatic, whatever. I wanted so bad to see some sort of redemption. Then when you kill him off (perhaps directly from a Muto, not internal bleeding) the payoff would be so much better between him and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. You could have the whole “sorry I was obsessed with work and didn’t spend more time with you” father/son talk. For crying out loud when that army dude asks who Ken Watanabe needed, Watanabe pointed right at the injured Cranston. Man, was I pumped. Walter White working with Fake Ra’s Al Ghul. Next thing I know they’re zipping up his body bag. Ugh.

  • Not Aaron Taylor-Johnson or Elizabeth Olsen’s proudest moment

Elizabeth Olsen is so hot that I don’t care how useless she was in this film. She was there to scream and get wet in the rain. But ATJ was the bigger disappointment. Was it because he sounded exactly like Kick-Ass? What about his total lack of emotion in every scene, especially during his fathers death? Don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge Aaron Taylor guy. Loved both Kick-Ass films and I didn’t hate him in Savages. Are they the only films I’ve watched that he’s in? Absolutely. Relevant? Most likely. I’ll admit he had to carry the bulk of the film considering Cranston’s death and the hoarding of Godzilla footage. Being the terrible writer that I am, I can only say he didn’t do it for me. It’s a bad sign that I would start dozing off whenever he came on screen (I’ll concede it was approaching 1 A.M.). When they make sequels I’m hopeful they use a new cast with each movie. Why would I want to follow his storyline into another film?

  • It’s the little things

So you have a nuclear bomb that makes the one from the 50’s look like a firecracker. It’s drifting to sea on a tug boat for five minutes. YET IT ONLY LEAVES A LITTLE BIT OF DUST ON A NAPPING GODZILLA. The Dark Knight Rises had a more believable nuclear explosion than this movie. Also, we have one guy who knows how to disable a bomb. Let’s throw him off this plane and hope we some how meet up. THEN, when we do get the bomb, we’ll let him out of our site so he can go burn the baby Mutos. I wasn’t buying the general’s belief that the monsters food source would be their demise. He should have listened to the only logical thing Watanabe said and let them fight. Clearly Godzilla just woke up to whoop some ass. He wasn’t purposely smashing buildings. He was just trying to get to those punk monsters and serve them justice. Sometimes I don’t understand the military.

 

Having said all of that, I absolutely loved this movie. I know, it’s hard to tell from all the bitching above, but I truly did. Gareth Edwards is the best at creating monsters. Godzilla looked…monstrous. He appeared to carry a swagger with him, like he knew he was the star of the film. The fight scenes (as few as there were) were worth the wait. We were able to see Godzilla use his two most iconic movies and he even did the “walk of fame” back into the sea at the end of the film. All of the things I pointed out above are miniscul problems that are fun to complain about with friends after viewing, but of no major consequence. Edwards nailed Godzilla. And that’s all that matters. Watanabe can stare for an hour straight in the sequel (I’m expecting it) but if we see another bodacious fight scene at the end it’ll all be worth it. This is the most I’ve ever complained about a film that I absolutely adored. Just forget I even said anything. And lets be honest, who wants to have the feats of strength with Godzilla?

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