First Wave Of GODZILLA Reviews Come Stomping In
First wave of reviews for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures Godzilla come flooding in. Hit the jump to see what some of the top film critics think of Gareth Edwards new film.
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SLASHFILM: "Massive Monster Mayhem With a Real Human Point of View"
"Godzilla is one third better than you expect it to be, one third what you expected it to be and a third completely underwhelming. Thankfully, Edwards arranges those uneven pieces in a way that, while the first two don’t always work so well, the ending makes up for it and then some. You’ll be hard pressed to walk out of Godzilla not raving about the ending, instead of nitpicking the beginning." - Germain Lussier
THE PLAYLIST: "At Times Godzilla Feels Like a Cut Above Most Mindless Summer Fare"
"Godzilla begins as a character-based movie that quickly shifts to a plot-based one, with a far less compelling lead character represent human courage in the face of titanic calamity. But ultimately, this blockbusters undoing is that the movies promises something different, at least at first. "Godzilla" asks you care about its characters, achieves that aspiration, earns your trust, and then not only pivots towards a far less interesting character, but abandons most of its absorbing emotional legwork for a fairly rote and straightforward rock ‘em, sock ‘em monster movie." - Rodrigo Perez
THE WRAP: "Feels Like a Retread of World War Z"
"To be fair, yes, this version is a marked improvement over the disastrous 1998 “Godzilla” from director Roland Emmerich. But that's like saying the recent “Robocop” remake is better than food poisoning. Is it too much to ask that a “Godzilla” movie feature more Godzilla than, say, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” features Hamlet? Sixty years after debuting on the big screen, Godzilla is still a global superstar; if Americans are going to build big-budget movies around him, they could at least give this legend more screen time." - Alonso Duralde
DEN OF GEEK: "Most Creative & Striking Summer Blockbuster We’ve Seen In Years"
"This new Godzilla lacks the sense of despair present in Ishiro Honda’s 1954 original. But in its place is something relatively fresh in films such as this: an absence of cynicism. There’s an underlying theme in here about parents protecting children, and of people simply trying to do the right thing in the face of disaster. In Edwards’ reading of Godzilla, there isn’t necessarily any such thing as good or evil. There’s merely humanity and nature, with the former standing awe-struck in the destructive presence of the latter. Most importantly, Godzilla himself emerges just as he should: a bellowing, powerful force; a true king of the monsters." - Ryan Lambie
VARIETY: "Banal Characters Leave Scarcely Enough Screen Time for Godzilla"
"Someone should tell Warner Bros. that when they’ve got a presence as big as Godzilla, they don’t need movie stars, because frankly, who remembers the characters in a rampaging-kaiju movie anyway? Still, just to be safe, the studio has stuffed Gareth Edwards’ deafening, effects-driven reboot with an Oscar winner (Juliette Binoche), three Oscar nominees (Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins and David Strathairn), an Emmy winner (Bryan Cranston) and an Olsen sister, leaving scarcely enough screen time for the monster itself." - Peter Debruge
HITFIX: "Beautiful and Badass, Godzilla Puts the Awe Back in Awesome"
"There are some missteps along the way. I think the film has a disconcertingly narrow view at times, and oddly, Alexandre Desplat's score seems to me to be heavy-handed and obvious in a way that really doesn't seem like him. Seamus McGarvey's photography is striking, and Edwards leans heavily on him to help create a sense of atmosphere. This Godzilla lives up to the first half of its name, and there is a great deal of character to it in every moment we see it onscreen. There are some images during that final stretch of the film that any fan of Godzilla will be amazed by, images that feel like they were pulled out of the collective dreams of all of us who have been fans of the big guy over the past 60 years. This could easily be ground zero for a whole new series of films, but if it remains a stand-alone single movie, Edwards told an entire story, and for the first time in as long as I can remember, it feels like Godzilla actually matters." - Drew McWeeny
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: "On a Second Try, Hollywood Does the Behemoth Justice. Almost."
"As a shrewd judge of creature-related suspense and mayhem, Edwards well knows not to reveal too much monster too early; certainly the original Godzilla was seen sparingly in the 1954 film until late-on. But you want to see more of him than you do; after all, he's the title character, the calling card, the main attraction, and you'd like to get a sense of his abilities in a couple of teasers that could have been judiciously placed along the way. A bit thicker around the neck and bigger chested than the Japanese original (but nothing like the silly lizard-like revamp in the Emmerich film), this is one impressive kaiju, but it would have been good to see him in action for more than what feels like about two rounds. If and when this Godzilla returns for further installments, it would be imperative to see more of him." - Todd McCarthy
IGN: "So, Does It Deliver? In a Word: Yes."
"Godzilla is a great genre film, and in all the ways that count, I loved it. To some degree, the hype-machine may have done a disservice to the project, but rather than fall apart under the weight of 350 foot expectations, Godzilla strikes a remarkably balanced tone. The film blends sequences rich with heartbreak, visceral thrills, fear, surprisingly whimsical humor, better-than-a-cage-match fights, and awe-inspiring visuals." - Roth Cornet
CRAVE ONLINE: "Tons of Fun"
"And yet the striking, ominous cinematography and absolute sincerity from the entire cast makes even the most ludicrous moments in Godzilla seem plausible, if only while you’re watching them. Godzilla impressively captures the enormous scale of the kaiju genre like few (if any) movies ever have, developing a mostly effective human drama along the way and exploiting the nuttier aspects of this franchise only as much as necessary to make this Godzilla movie actually feel like a proper entry in the long-running series." - William Bibbiani
In Summer 2014, the world’s most revered monster is reborn as Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures unleash the epic action adventure “Godzilla.” From visionary new director Gareth Edwards (“Monsters”) comes a powerful story of human courage and reconciliation in the face of titanic forces of nature, when the awe-inspiring Godzilla rises to restore balance as humanity stands defenseless.
Gareth Edwards directs “Godzilla,” which stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Kick-Ass”), Oscar® nominee Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai,” “Inception”), Elizabeth Olsen (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”), Oscar® winner Juliette Binoche (“The English Patient,” “Cosmopolis”), and Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”), with Oscar® nominee David Strathairn (“Good Night, and Good Luck.,” “The Bourne Legacy”) and Bryan Cranston (“Argo,” TV’s “Breaking Bad”).
GODZILLA will stomp into theaters May 16, 2014.
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