I wasn’t that crazy about the 2014 version of Godzilla, despite the hype of having Bryan Cranston in it, hard on the heels of his hit show, “Breaking Bad.” For one thing, Cranston’s character, Joe Brody, is killed fairly early in the movie – right after a giant, winged MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Object) escapes and disappears who-knows-where.
But let’s start at the beginning. Godzilla’s “origin story” gets a reboot, along with his appearance. It seems that Godzilla just sort of “happened” in the Pacific, and all those U.S. nuclear weapons’ tests in the 1950s were really just attempts to destroy him. (Miserable failures, of course.)
Flash forward to 1999, and Joe Brody is the supervisor of a fictional nuclear power plant in Japan. When mysterious earthquakes in the Philippines cause tremors and a nuclear accident at Brody’s plant, lives are lost. Brody’s wife, Sandra, is one of the fatalities, and losing her sends Brody’s mind over the edge.
The people parts of this Godzilla movie were better than average, I have to admit. The Kirk/Spock death scene remake with Brody and his wife (with the wife, Sandra, playing the Spock part where she dies of radiation poisoning on the other side of the glass from Brody) was pretty good. Fifteen years later, the couple’s grownup son then goes on to fight the monsters indirectly responsible for killing his parents. This gives the human element to the story some nice closure.
However, this is a Godzilla movie, so let’s examine the monstery bits. First of all, this Godzilla is the biggest one yet – 350 feet versus the original 100 or so feet – and this Godzilla’s face is reportedly a combination of a bear’s face, a dog’s face and an eagle’s face. Whatever the stats are, they give the Big Guy a face and head that make him look like the monster version of a pencil-neck geek. *shudder*
The MUTOs are a weird attempt to drag in some of the many “auxiliary” monsters that populated all the Godzilla movies after the first one. The two in this movie – and they are in this movie a LOT more than Godzilla is – just kind of appear out of nowhere in the beginning of the movie. Two giant “spores” are found, only one just sits there, dormant, while the other has “hatched” and scurried off into the sea. (Also, one is assumed to be male, and the other female, based on ….?) Their origins are left to the imagination, but the fact that they spend most of the movie trying to get together in San Francisco to do “the nasty” had me hoping they weren’t siblings, because, Hello, they were in the same “nest.” Ugh. Anyway, it seems there’s a psychic connection between the MUTOs and Godzilla – also, mercifully, unexplained – that has all three of the beasties show up in the same place, at the same time.
There is the requisite “epic battle” between Godzilla and the MUTOs. Godzilla bashes the male MUTO’s head upside a building, and then kills the female MUTO by pouring his hot, atomic breath down her throat in a disturbingly sexual scene. (Not cool, Big G.)
Finally, can anyone explain why the military kept throwing atomic missiles, bombs, and piñatas at these MUTOs — despite ample evidence that the creatures were gobbling up that atomic shit for breakfast, lunch and dinner?