The Underrated Terror of 2014's Polarizing 'Godzilla'

Rob may be back from vacation but he's definitely not all there on this loopy Waypoints. Patrick has gone back to Gareth Edwards' 2014 Godzilla and found an under appreciated gem whose perceived flaws may have resulted in an inferior sequel. Danielle can buy the giant monsters, but not the depiction of affordable family housing in San Francisco. Rob has the giggles, but maybe that's just because Bon Appetit's YouTube series are so funny.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43j75j/the-underrated-terror-of-2014s-polarizing-godzilla
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I also recently watched the 2014 Godzilla and actually found it to be much worse than I remember. The mutos were uninspired garbage, the plot didn’t know what the heck it wanted to do until it just kinda stopped, once the fight actually started it was extremely meh and disappointing, and most of the performances felt like the actors didn’t want to be there. Those shots of Godzilla being too big for the camera don’t mean much when the rest is so bad. Haven’t seen the new one yet, but going by what I’ve heard I’ll probably enjoy it a lot more. An incompetent fun movie will always be a far better watch for me than an incompetent dour serious movie. That being said, Shin Godzilla is a masterpiece so also kinda fuck Legendary for killing the sequel so their thing could have the spotlight.

Godzilla 2014 fuckin’ owned. I’m mega hype to see the new one too though.

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I absolutely loved this movie. The sequel took the criticisms a bit too hard, but for the most part was a great follow up, significantly better in most ways though a bit worse in a few.

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It’s a shame that the Waypoint team hasn’t (fully) watched Shin Godzilla (2016). I honestly think Danielle and Patrick would love the movie’s combination of earnestness and campiness. Shin Godzilla’s handling of specific political and environmental issues would also provide a fruitful discussion for a podcast. Please! Everyone! Watch Shin Godzilla.

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Shin Godzilla is legit excellent all around and is definitely required viewing yeah. I really look forward to how they follow that one up since there’s tons of Godzilla movies that act like only the first one happened or only x/y/z movies happened, but this was was meant as a total re-start and I loved the freakishness of the young Godzilla. They announced a sequel to it would happen but something like that deserves a bigger budget just so we can get some more creatures along those lines because damn. I loved that movie.

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Watching the Godzilla (2014) movie as I type this. I think I want Gareth Edwards to make a Power Rangers movie. The dude understands the Apocalypse.

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Bon Appetit’s YouTube channel is honestly pretty fantastic and I’m glad to see Waypoint talking about it. Gourmet Makes is easily one of the best food-related video series on YouTube because you can tell they know their shit when it comes to food.

In general, their recipes aren’t bad either. I’ve done most of their stuff for Thanksgiving and it worked out well.

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Shin Godzilla is fuckin’ dope as hell and the 2014 Godzilla is also good

I really rate the 2014 Godzilla. It has some of the best depictions of big screen destruction and awe since Jurassic Park - which I do not say lightly.

Shin Godzilla is good. It legit has some of the best scenes of Godzilla laying waste to Tokyo that has ever been put t film but there’s also a lot of scenes in empty rooms with lots of chairs - a lot of talking. I get what it was trying to do, re-introduce a darker Godzilla film via the lens of authorities restlessly trying to manage an impossible situation via committees and talking.

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Honestly, Shin Godzilla is the best episode of Evangelion there is.

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I ended up not liking the newest one in the end because I heard stuff like “Too many monsters” and people telling me it’s a good movie before hand. It sounded like something I was going to enjoy, but in the end I found it didn’t have enough monsters and it didn’t do enough with them. It also feels so incredibly long.

I haven’t watched Godzilla 2014 in 5 years but I think I probably enjoyed it more overall than this newer one.

lol, never thought I’d hear a Bon Appetit Test Kitchen shoutout on Waypoints but I’m all here for it. I never thought of it in terms of a culinary Giant Bomb, but I do see what Rob is pointing towards with that analogy. I reeeaally loved their “Making Perfect” series where all the editors teamed up to basically deconstruct and engineer the perfect pizza. Just some really interesting food nerdiness and they’re all so incredible talented and knowledgable.

First off, I love Shin Godzilla and I think it’s the most effective and terrifying reimagining of a movie monster in years. However all it’s themes of how a modern neoliberal government cannot handle a crisis are kinda undercut when the movie the says “well, if good people just crunch more the system works” and it’s a very centrist answer, which I was more open to in 2016 then now, when the system clearly doesn’t work.

I think Gareth Edwards is a genius director and a great visualist, but if your movie is gonna star humans that boring it’s gonna lose me. Especially if the movie cuts away from monster scenes to show those humans again. Godzilla 2014 is a far better movie than King of the Monsters, since neither have good humans.

But for my money, and Danielle reminded me of this when she talked about the egg scene, the best Western Godzilla is none other than Godzilla 1998. Roland Emmerich creates what feels like an actual world in his weird wacky rainy version of NYC, Matthew Broderick is a great underdog lead, and even if fans hate that version of Godzilla, he or she is an expressive creature that the movie is solidly rooting for the whole way through. Also the movie is just solidly fun.

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All Godzilla movies are good, even the 1998 one if you just accept it as a weird goofy spinoff.

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I love Edwards’ Godzilla so much. The pan up to Godzilla’s first roar at the airport is my equivalent to Austin’s “Luke watching a binary sunset in the Last Jedi”.

I’d disagree a little that the movie does much to pump up the military; I think it presents a view where well-intentioned, even noble individuals (Johnson, Strathairn) do not redeem an institution that is ineffectual at best, and dangerous at worst. https://twitter.com/jameswheeler/status/513406813304553472

I’m very much of the view that complaining about the humans in a Godzilla movie is missing the point, but obviously that’s an oversimplification, as King of the Monsters demonstrates. In attempting to address concerns about Godzilla’s blank lead, that movie serves up an under-cooked family drama that really does detract from the (well-animated but ultimately inferior) monster action, despite stopwatch fans having several more minutes to log.

I appreciated the team’s point that Godzilla and the MUTOs are largely oblivious to humanity for the bulk of the runtime, which gives the moments when their attention is caught that much more impact. This is another area where King of the Monsters goes wrong: it may crib Edwards’ visual aesthetic, but these titans immediately seem intent on crushing each individual human within reach, which again overemphasises one of the worst-scripted human conflicts I can think of.

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I ultimately enjoyed King of the Monsters more because I’m a long-time Godzilla fan and that film was grown in a laboratory specifically to pander to people like me. It has a great many flaws, and honestly just as many as Godzilla '14, but I found the positives out-weighted the negatives. Same with Godzilla '14. I also enjoyed that film immensely. That said, KotM is half the movie Godzilla '14 is. Edwards knows how to frame and shoot film. He knew how to give the audience a sense of scale with these titans and put in neat visual cues or flares in scenes to reflect the mood.

Both suffer from military depiction, though. The military is and should never the focus of any of these films. They are a foil for Godzilla. They exist as a response who swing their paper sword at this creature before being obliterated. I didn’t like the fact that they were the central characters we followed around or were a constant presence around said characters.

I think it’s hilarious that a titan, who brings balance to the world, is working side-by-side with the world’s biggest polluter. But that’s just Hollywood being an arm of the military and pushing that propaganda on us.

And for the record, I think Shin suffers from this too. But it’s not military, it’s politicians. While in that film the main character and his colleagues are framed as underdog misfits, the black sheep young’uns of the political process, they’re ultimately more reactionary than the older, status quo politicians who take a “wait and see” approach. What I took away from the film is that Anno wants decisive politicians who uphold the status-quo more than he wants revolutionary politicians to change it.

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I do think the end of Shin Godzilla with the reveal of it’s tail and what looked like humanoid characters breaking free of it was a really fascinating direction to take Godzilla. The idea that in the way the new wave of younger politicians saw a way to handle the Godzilla situation whilst the older politicians saw all of Tokyo doomed, Godzilla sees them as the next step in evolution. Makes me want a sequel. What would that even be? Secret Godzilla people entering politics to push Godzilla’s agenda? Or would it just be godzilla people entering society and the authorities finding a way to deal with them from a soci-political way.

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Wow, I didn’t realize that Godzilla (2014) was that good. Enjoyed King of the Monsters (Heard it was reminiscent of the classics, which got me in). Think I’ll have to go back and watch 2014 and clearly Shin.

I don’t know if I totally agree with that. Like the old guard want to destroy Godzilla so things can return to normal, and when that proves impossible they’re rendered helpless. The younger ones realize shit is changed forever by definition because Godzilla exists and can do what it does - their solution is the exact opposite of a return to the status quo because it ends with Godzilla as a massive frozen gestalt of dead bodies in the middle of Tokyo that will inevitably reawaken. Like it’s a giant living monument to how the older politicians and the idea of returning to a status quo is dogshit.

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