The Velvet Café

A room for thoughts about movies

My dual experience of Godzilla

with 15 comments


The new Swedish royal princess Leonore was baptised last week and they screened it on the public television as a reminder of that we still live in a fairy tale land, ruled by a king. There’s nothing special about the king and queen and prince and princesses nowadays, in case you don’t live in a kingdom and are curious about what it’s like. They just look like ordinary people in expensive clothes. But there was one thing that made the ceremony remarkable. The baby girl slept through the whole thing. They sang, they talked, they prayed and traded her from lap to lap. They even threw water in her face. She didn’t take notice. And I thought to myself: either she’s on drugs or they’ve shown her Godzilla.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I get sleepy very easily when I watch movies in theatre to the extent that it is a problem. Slow, subtle and quiet films are worst, of course. While watching them I often have to pinch and slap myself in order not to fall asleep. But I’m fine with it; it’s something I expect and I can always prepare myself with coffee to prevent me from zoning out.

However I must say that I didn’t expect this from Godzilla. It was supposed to be the biggest and loudest movie of the year, if not of the decade. Houses crumbling into dust. People fleeing in terror. Monster creatures stomping with their feet so hard that you’d think it was an earthquake going on. It sounds like a perfect antidote to drowsiness. No one could possibly fall asleep under those circumstances, right?

But I could. If I hadn’t pinched myself properly, I would have ended up like the royal princess, with my eyes firmly closed. Not during the action scenes, of course. You don’t sleep when a dino-something-giant is trying to kill you through from the screen. Whenever Godzilla and friends were present, I woke up with a pang. And I enjoyed every second of those scenes, because I’m such a sucker for this kind of big and loud power demonstrations by the special effects department. It was everything that was in between the action scenes that made me disengage. The only person I found interesting, Bryan Cranston, was taken out of action at an early stage. And when he disappeared, my engagement went the same way. I couldn’t care less for the protagonist. I didn’t even hate him, which would have been better than the current nothingness that he radiates.

I know that this sounds very harsh, but remember, it was a mixed bag of of two modes that altered. One moment I was giggling with delight at the raging, roaring, kickass monsters that made my chair vibrate. The next moment we were back at the “story” (if there was one, since I drifted away I never quite figured it out) and my eyelids immediately wanted to close down.

I’ve never experienced anything like it to be honest. So how do you wrap this up? I guess I’ll end up somewhere in the middle. It’s a 1 star rating for the drama and a 5 star rating for the monsters, which puts us at a 3/5. I think I might have rated it a little higher given the opportunity to watch it in an IMAX theatre (there is none in Sweden). Big is not only beautiful in this case, it’s absolutely essential.

Godzilla (Gareth Edwards, 2014) My rating: 3/5

Written by Jessica

June 13, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Posted in Godzilla

15 Responses

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  1. Yes! This movie was so boring. And it didn’t deserve to be.


    June 13, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    • Yeah, I wish I could have written a fully enthusiastic review. I’ve sort of got a crush on the director after Monsters, which he did so well on such a tight budget. But the human interest parts of it were unengaging, I can’t hide that fact.


      June 15, 2014 at 7:55 pm

  2. Happy to see you are back Jessica, missed your posts! As for this movie I had a great time. Agree that the main protagonist was a bit boring…he simply lacked screen presence. The fights were awesome though and I liked the fact that it wasn’t monster fights the whole movie.


    June 15, 2014 at 1:09 am

    • Thank! I agree with that the fights are great. And yes, I think it’s a good thing you don’t see the monsters all the time. Just like in Monsters. I just wish the drama was better.


      June 15, 2014 at 7:57 pm

  3. Aww, really? Well, for a disaster movie, it’s probably one of the quietest in years, but I think that’s one of the things I appreciated out of this one.

    Enjoyed this one a lot. The characters were your bog standard, but liked the storytelling of Godzilla him/herself.


    June 15, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    • I think it’s because I like the director so much that I was a bit disappointed in the non-monster-parts. I wish everything had kept the same level.


      June 15, 2014 at 7:58 pm

  4. Big bad protagonist and horrible human actors/story? Reminds me of transformers. I do hope that Godzilla beats that movie.


    June 15, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    • I haven’t seen Transformers tbh, but from what I’ve heard about it I think it does. For one thing it’s not misogynic/sterotyping women.


      June 15, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      • Just seen it and uh, didn’t really like it, even made me think that I’m getting too old for movies like Godzilla or Transformers.

        Then again, I do love monster movies like Jurassic Park, the Thing or Cloverfield. Each of those movies actually made me like and care for the main characters though. Godzilla? Euh, almost forgot who the main characters were, some soldier boy I think.


        September 8, 2014 at 11:38 pm

        • I forgot the human story as the movie was running. Not to speak of it afterwards. At this point all I remember is the trembling from big monster footsteps. Which makes it well worth watching in a huge theatre, but not so very much at home unless your home movie system is awesome.


          September 9, 2014 at 7:32 am

  5. No worries, there was no “story” 🙂 I think we’ve never been more in sync with both opinion and rating.


    June 16, 2014 at 9:44 am

    • Thanks! I’m glad I didn’t miss anything essential while dozing off.


      June 16, 2014 at 11:13 pm

  6. Living in Houston, I did have the opportunity to see this in the IMAX 3D. The monster scenes were fantastic about making you feel like you are no longer at the top of the food chain. But the non monster scenes… were disappointing.


    June 16, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    • I can imagine that was fantastic. The only IMAX movie I’ve seen was Jack the Giant Slayer, which was a pretty mediocre film. But seen in the biggest possible size it became way more enjoyable than it otherwise would have been.


      June 16, 2014 at 11:14 pm

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