Back Rowe Reviews
Real Time Movie Reviews from the Back Row of a Theater

Godzilla (PG-13)

Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson
May 2014

This review was originally tweeted in Real-time from the back row of a movie theater and appears @BackRoweReviews. Though efforts were made to tease rather than ruin this movie’s memorable lines and moments, some spoilers may exist in the following evaluation. The original tweets appear in black, while follow-up comments appear in red. For concerns over objectionable content, please first refer to one of the many parental movie guide websites. All ratings are based on a four star system. Happy reading!


The redacted opening credits is a nice touch.
Should be “are” instead of “is.” Eh.

Not an earthquake...a pattern.
That last part is right up John Nash’s alley (reference A Beautiful Mind).

One last longing look through the circular window.

“My wife died here!” Superb acting from the man who brought Walter White to memorable life.
Unfortunately, and uncannily, the very instant Cranston exits stage right the film gets flushed down the crapper.

The old Godzilla mutated from radiation. This creature eats radiation. Consumes nuclear bombs whole.
Wouldn’t chewing on a bomb cause it to explode in the creature’s face though? Destroying it and everything else around it in an expansive circumference?

Terror in Vegas. The city will never be the same...the wages of sin.
Boy, I hope Wayne Newton got out okay.

Shine your flashlight right at the creature. Great idea.
These trained soldiers are no smarter than the kids in Jurassic Park when they shine their flashlight right into the T-Rex’ eyeball. Actually, the kids are smarter…at least Tim tries getting panicked Lex to turn off the flashlight. Trained soldiers should know better. Nitpick #1034 for this movie.

Why do action movies always pick on the Golden Gate Bridge?
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) and Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) to name just two examples.

It’s raining fighter jets.
Multimillion dollar raindrops.

“If you don’t walk out, you don’t come back at all.” Sounds like dialog I would the eighth grade.

The battle of the leviathans. Why do they always have to fight in a city?
This is an elemental contrivance in this brand of disaster picture. These gargantuan beasts would probably, instinctively, battle out in some vast open space rather than mix it up in close quarters with buildings constantly toppling down on them. Of course, such a battle wouldn’t contain any visceral thrills since no humans would be imperiled by such a colossal confrontation.

Why did Godzilla wait until after it got beaten into submission to use its laser breath?
The easy answer is that the writers needed to build some tension into the scene, and the only way to do that is to make it appear as if Godzilla might be defeated. Either that, or Godzilla is just toying around with his assailants.

Final analysis: maximum destruction with minimum plot. Serves its purpose if a disaster film is on the menu.
Although, there are far, far better films in this Thriller subgenre (disaster movie) to watch than this.

2 out of 4 stars. Edges out Pacific Rim by that much. Needed some humor. Broderick could’ve helped.

It’s been sixteen years since the last American Godzilla (1998) premiered; the Japanese produced Godzilla 2000 was released, ironically, in 1999…and was awful. Many people, myself included, felt that the Matthew Broderick version, which featured baby Godzillas thrashing about like raptors from Jurassic Park (1993), had efficiently and effectively killed off the franchise…at least in the West. Although this film is a gigantic lizard leap ahead of the last Godzilla, it’s still riddled with outlandish monsters, dunderheaded strategies for stopping the creatures and a plot that’s consistently servile to the unrelenting barrage of action sequences. There are tons of things to find fault with and poke fun at in the movie, but ultimately, this movie is a squandered opportunity to tell a topical, salient story of how climate change can bring about our doom. The movie also had the chance to deal with the loss of a loved one and the restoration of a strained relationship between a father and son. All of these attempts at foregrounding genuine human emotion are abandoned after the first twenty minutes and then it’s back to business as usual with lumbering behemoths rampaging through our major cities just for the fun of it (and because it’ll serve as fodder for a top selling video game). In place of anything substantive, the movie resorts to the silly brand of monster melee that’s become the hallmark of every Godzilla movie to date. In truth, the only thing I like about this movie, other than Cranston’s presence…however brief, was the “against type” role the titular creature serves in the movie. I only spent $2 on the movie and still feel shortchanged. Watch at your own peril.