Godzilla is about a city trying to combat a giant monster that threatens to destroy everything in sight. It’s Godzilla, you know how this works.
This was my first ever venture into kaiju films. Now, before you say “Hey, buddy, miss me with that weeb shit”, hear me out. Kaiju films are just Japanese monster films and if you can’t appreciate a puppet that is shot in such a way to look gigantic, you’ll need to see your way out. I very much enjoyed this film. Based on the way everything panned out, I have a suspicion that this movie was meant to also be an art piece about something. However, I will be basing my review solely on what I watched and will do some bonus research about Godzilla later. For 1954, the special effects were great. Godzilla looked a little goofy up close, but for the most part everything looked as solid as I could expect. The story definitely lost me at some points but I genuinely attribute that to watching the movie in Japanese with subtitles. It totally makes sense to me why Godzilla is such a staple for monster movies and I recommend a watch if you want to venture into monster movies in general or Japanese sci-fi.
The main thing that really stuck in my head is that Godzilla is a total dick. Starting now, I will be keeping track of a Godzilla Dick Meter™ (It’s not what it sounds like). The first thing Godzilla does before we even see him is preventing Ogata and Emiko from seeing the Budapest String Quartet. Two love birds trying to have a nice night, ruined by a giant monster. GDM™ – 1
The next thing out good pal Gojira does is sink four ships and destroy a helicopter that was sent out to see what the heck was up with all these problems out at sea. Luckily, some folks on a small fishing boat rescued some survivors from the shipwrecks. Wait, what’s that? Godzilla kills them too? What a dick. GDM™ – 7
It takes all this for an old man (I genuinely never got his name through the movie) to realize he’s seen this before. Since the first sign of Godzilla based on the fish they catch being close to nothing for months, you’d think someone would have pieced this whole situation together sooner.
Also, the fact that in the olden days they could just do a ceremonial dance and sacrifice a virgin to the sea would appease Godzilla is baffling. Godzilla comes around because he’s hungry and somehow a dance in some funny costumes and one human sacrifice makes a 150 foot monster just go “Alright, cool, I’ll just chill down here”.
It was really dope seeing the monster for the first time over that hill. The iconic wail and everything. That might be one of my most memorable scenes in movie history.
I think the craziest part of the movie to me was when they send that research vessel to Odo Island. Everyone on the mainland was stoked to send that ship off. It didn’t make any sense! All these people were happy to send this ship off to what easily could have been death if Godzilla had been in the mood for a little snack.
However, what they find on Odo Island raises the Godzilla Dick Meter™ (Still not as bad as it sounds). Turns out Godzilla is radioactive. What does that mean? It means that anyone lucky enough to survive an attack from our giant friend may still be alive but they probably have cancer. GDM™ – 17
Just a little side note here, the last mentioned ship kill count was 20 ships. GDM™ – 37
I was going to make another arbitrary meter based on the foolish plans of the humans to kill Godzilla but instead, we’ll just get it all out of the way here. They theorized that Godzilla was pissed because he survived the underwater H-bomb testings, so their first plan of attack only made sense to launch mines at him. In what world was an explosive much less powerful than a hydrogen bomb going to effect our strong, handsome, lizard boy? Next was the electric wall. Good in theory but they couldn’t have known that Godzilla gets his rocks off by getting electrocuted. I can’t really fault anyone for this one. I can, however, fault them for thinking shooting at the monster with guns would do anything. They would have done more damage calling Godzilla a few mean names.
Adding to the Godzilla Dick Meter™ (It sounds worse the more I say it), Godzilla attacks Tokyo. Here’s the thing, the whole lore was that Godzilla came to the mainland to eat people when he eats so many fish to the point where he can’t sustain himself anymore because the fish population is dwindling. I didn’t see Godzilla eat A SINGLE PERSON. NOT ONE. This dude really came up just to mess around and destroy a whole city for fun. I could understand if it was a hunger thing. Sometimes I myself get hangry enough to destroy Tokyo but Godzilla didn’t eat anything. Destroying Tokyo was just rude and uncalled for. GDM™ – 15,424,037
With how negative this whole post was, I’m going to end on a positive note. I really did enjoy the movie, it’s just that I didn’t note anything spectacular through the movie besides seeing Godzilla for the first time.
The whole story of the Oxygen Destroyer unfolding was great. I loved the way they showed Dr. Serizawa demonstrating it for Emiko without us seeing what happens at first, then showing us what Emiko freaked out about at the climax of the film.
The choir of kids singing that song while we saw the scenes of destruction left in Godzilla’s wake? Beautiful.
Last but certainly not least, is Dr. Serizawa’s sacrifice. The idea of Dr. Serizawa taking himself out of the picture so the Oxygen Destroyer wouldn’t become humanity’s next weapon of mass destruction was great. Dr. Serizawa burning his notes and going down with the monster in the end made him a hero for more reasons than just the fact that he killed Godzilla.
What did you think? Leave a comment and join the discussion!