‘Godzilla 2014’ Roars Into Theaters, But Does It Stomp Expectations? Critics Weigh In

Godzilla 2014 appears to be the monster movie we were all hoping for, quenching the thirst that Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim teased us with last year. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a good monster movie, partly because almost 20 years ago Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, and Roland Emmerich delivered a perfectly mediocre attempt to add too much drama to it. It failed miserably.

When audiences want a monster movie, they want to see a city terrified of a giant beast, and Godzilla is supposed to be the king of them all. A giant lizard that breathes fire and threatens the lives of an entire city has been done many times, rather successfully, and thanks to director Gareth Edwards and Avengers 2 costars Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, it’s been done once again.

Review site Hitfix says that Godzilla 2014 brings back the feeling that the monster is more than just a creature. The movie makes it a force of nature like a tornado or an earthquake, tearing through the city because it feels the need. The monster makes humanity look insignificant as we struggle to defend ourselves, just like the original movies. Instead of focusing on the human drama the way the last one did, this one simply uses a human perspective to witness the destruction and our military decisions to stop it.

According to CineVue, Ken Watanabe (Inception, Batman Begins) plays a supporting role as a sort of commentary alongside the Kick-Ass star. Playing Dr. Ichiro Serizawa, Watanabe is a scientist attempting to figure out what’s going on as Godzilla rampages through the city. Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) plays a remarkably small role as Joe Brody, but important enough as he spurs his son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) to accompany the scientist. Godzilla 2014 certainly appears to be a comeback for the beloved movie monster, even if the second part seems to take turns teasing us with more.

'Godzilla 2014' review roundup: Does the monster movie roar like it should?

Time magazine’s Richard Corliss disagrees somewhat, claiming that the second American remake of the classic monster film simply waddles its way toward its Doomsday climax. The film appears to be covered in rust (in hues of brown and lots of dark colors) as it depends on sound effects to deliver the terror, a similar trick most modern horror movies use (like Resident Evil). He claims that the chemistry between the Brody family never seems to “click.” One could also argue that the movie isn’t about them in the first place.

Not everybody agrees that the latest Godzilla is the monster movie we’ve been waiting for, but it seems unanimous that it brings back the classic feel that Roland Emmerich’s take sorely lacked. What’s your Godzilla 2014 review?