The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

What's 2 Do

May 15, 2014

‘Godzilla’ not crazy enough but good film nonetheless

I had an interesting little conversation with my wife after seeing “Godzilla” last night.

“I think it was too absurd,” she said, trying to come up with the words to explain her thoughts on the film.

I paused, a little confused.

“Really?” I responded. “I actually don’t think it was absurd enough.”

I went on to explain, on the short drive home, that I wanted to see more of Godzilla ... more of Godzilla smashing things, that is.

But alas, I’ll have to wait for the sequel.

At least, it seems there’s the possibility of one.

I know I haven’t reviewed a lot of movies, but  I know a good popcorn movie when I’ve seen one.

And “Godzilla” is just that.

That doesn’t mean it’s a bad film by any stretch of the imagination — not at all. It’s just that the movie wasn’t a “game-changer” like I thought it would be.

You know, like “Avatar.” Or maybe “Titanic.” Except I’ve never seen “Titanic.”

So here’s the thing — I’m not going to spoil anything about the movie, plot-wise. I cringe whenever I read reviews that’s got even a snippet of the plot. It ruins the movie for me. I like to go into each movie with a sense of mystery.

But I guess from earlier on in the review, you can surmise Godzilla destroys things.

He does.

There are other things that destroy things, too.

The ultimate question surrounding most of the film — at least, I think it’s what the filmmakers were trying to get at — is “What is Godzilla?” “Is he friend or foe?”

We’re left feeling kind of ambiguous about that throughout the 2-plus-hour film. At least through most of it, anyway. Things settle out nicely toward the end, and the audience can get a clear sense of who is good and who is bad.

In a lot of “popcorn movie” reviews, critics will hammer the characters if they’re not that great.

And I’ve got to admit, they’re not too strong here. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who’s at the center of the movie, isn’t too bad. But I feel like the filmmakers just said, “Hey, let’s just pick a family to keep track of throughout this movie to show what happens to them.”

I never develop empathy for the main characters; I don’t know why they feel what they feel. (OK, that’s over-exaggerating it a little, but, really, the film could have used a lot more character development.

If you’ve made it this far through my rambling, fantastic. I’ll reward you with a movie grade.

“Godzilla” gets a solid “B.” It could have reached “B+” or even into “A” territory with solid character development.

All in all, though, not bad for what it was. I recommend you swing by the local theater and check it out.

Joe Malan is GetOut! editor. Email him at jmalan@enidnews.com.

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