Godzilla: as Good as Jaws?
Mostly good reviews for this beast of a revival
By Arden Dier, Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2014 9:43 AM CDT
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(Newser) – The Godzilla franchise enters its seventh decade and there's plenty of building-smashing to go around. But does the beast also have a sensitive side? Director Gareth Edwards shows there's more to the monster in this latest Godzilla flick, starring Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Olsen. How does he do? Critics are mostly pleased; the film currently has a 74% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • Andrew O'Hehir has high praise for it. "It's a bracing tonic for the bored palate of the mainstream moviegoer, and one of the most intriguing big-budget breakthrough films since Steven Spielberg made Jaws," he writes for Salon, adding that it has "tremendous visual daring, magnificent special-effects work, and surprising moral gravity."
  • Betsy Sharkey at the Los Angeles Times isn't quite as big a fan. While she admires a "21st century Godzilla, eco-conscious with 3D side effects that are monstrous in all the right ways," Edwards lets "too many people problems and ... other monsters" get in the way of the star of the show—the big beast people came to see. "Ironically this big, lumbering movie could have used more, not less."

  • Edwards' goal in resurrecting the Godzilla franchise appears to be a "return to the creature's sober, serious roots," Ian Buckwalter writes for NPR. He succeeds in balancing "character and meaningful story" with spectacle, and keeps Godzilla in the shadows until necessary. "This is exactly what big summer movies ought to aspire to: never short on dazzle, but unafraid to let us catch our breath once it's been taken away."
  • As for Colin Covert at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, he argues "the new Godzilla is the best Godzilla since the first Godzilla," though admittedly, that's "a large degree of faint praise." He adds that "the film is technically remarkable" but "too often mumbles and repeats itself. Its attention to the human details is wobbly at best ... this Godzilla leaves a shallow footprint."

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Showing 3 of 19 comments
woodt
May 19, 2014 10:55 AM CDT
Not as good but I still like it. Would have loved to have seen more of Godzilla. Well done hope for more monster movies. Long live the king of monsters.
TJeff1514
May 18, 2014 7:06 AM CDT
No way, no how. The chances of Godzilla being a special effects show is pretty high. Jaws has a good story with good characters & Spielberg kind of teased everyone about the shark so when it showed up it was scary as hell. He probably took that page from Hitchcock's book.
People_Suck
May 17, 2014 8:51 PM CDT
Not a chance. Jaws was a one and only type movie that scared the crap out of people worldwide. Don't go in the water.