Review of Gojira
After spending my whole life watching Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, I was recently able to finally watch Gojira in all its glory, and man was it worth it. Godzilla, King of the Monsters! is good, there is no doubt about that, but the film heavily glossed over a lot of character development that made the characters likable. Dr. Serizawa's argument with Ogata, in particular, is shortened a lot, while in Gojira, you get to see exactly WHY he's so hesitant to use it, what his argument is, and feel his pain. Other scenes were cut out too in King of the Monsters. In particular, there's a scene where Godzilla's being driven away by the planes, and in Gojira, he turns and looks straight at the camera, creating a real eerie effect. Being used to watching Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, Gojira felt rushed in comparison, with scenes that Godzilla pushed back to give Steve Martin more screentime being prominent and first in Gojira. I had to remind myself that this was normal pacing, and that Godzilla cut away much and pushed scenes back. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Gojira, and I recommend any fans of Godzilla to do the same. It'll definitely be a different experience for you if you've seen Godzilla before it.
All in all this film has very poignant moments, especially given the anvils it drops (although a bit too hard at the end). The acting was somewhat wooden, but itís to be expected from a film that old. Ironically, my biggest problem with the film was with Godzilla itself, or, rather, mostly with Special Effect Failures. I could hardly believe there was a person in there, as Haruo Nakajimaís movements were so wooden I could have sworn it was a puppet. The fire-breathing was ridiculous, though I could let it slide, assuming Godzilla somehow managed to harness the radioactive energy it soaked up, but the special effects were just... so bad. Still, itís to this filmís merit that it took itself seriously. After poorly executed scenes there would be a focus on the real destruction, and then I could take the film seriously myself. After Tokyo is destroyed, kids have to line up and get scanned with a Geiger counter, while the professionals struggle not to break down when a kid is riddled with radiation, and some kids break down and cry and itís devastating. Even during the destruction, a news team keeps filming, and the reporter refuses to stop narrating, until he finally shouts, ĎThis is the end! Farewell, viewers!í That was a genuinely terrifying moment. All in all, Iíd say this film hasnít aged well in general, but a good deal still has. 7.7/10