HE'S GOT A PURPOSE FULL OF GRIMACE AND A TERRIBLE SMELL, HE PULLS SPINNING HIGH TENSION WIRES DOWN!!!!! HELPLESS PEOPLE ON THE SUBWAY TRAIN, SCREAMS BUG-EYED AS HE LOOKS DOWN ON THEM!!!!! HE PICKS UP A BUS AND THROWS IT BACK DOWN AS HE WADES THROUGH THE BUILDINGS TOWARDS THE CENTER OF TOWN!!!!! OH NO!!!!! THEY SAY HE'S GOT TO GO!!!!! GO GO GODZILLA!!!!!! OH NO!!!!! THERE GOES TOKYO!!!!!! GO GO GODZILLA!!!!!! Yes, the King of Monsters turned 60 a few days ago. Let's have a huge birthday bash for our favorite giant T-Rex Stegosaurus Gorilla Whale Creature Thing by reviewing his very first movie. THE ENGLISH VERSION, BECAUSE THAT'S THE WAY I ROLL!!!!!!
What can be said about Godzilla that I haven't already said, He's been in 30 official movies in Japan and America, Yes I Count the 1998 version because that has significance too. So what do I think of his first big break? Find out today on Anonymous Yoshi Reviews...
A history lesson is required to understand the production of this movie... in 1945, the Americans dropped a bomb on Hiroshima (the nuclear bomb that ended World War II). This caused a lot of trauma to Japanese People and was one of the most unpleasant experiences for the country (right up there with the 2011 Touhou Earthquake and Tsunami). However this was the event needed to ease and smooth down Japan's relationship with America. So if we didn't have this event, we wouldn't have the Video Game resurgence of the 80s, The anime/manga boom of he 90s, or the recent explosion of officially released tokusatsu that's still happening, heck we wouldn't have this movie, which I'll explain why NOW!!!!! Why did I give you that history lesson? Because Godzilla (or Gojira) was a symbol of nuclear paranoia and destruction during the second half of the 1940s and the 1950s. What's the actual story? American Reporter Steve Martin came to Japan To do some investigation. Meanwhile Japanese scientist dropped a nuclear reactor into the the sea and created the titular monster we all know today. While investigating he sees the monster and Japan gets ready to defend themselves. They do everything in their power to defeat the monster and a lot of crap gets destroyed in the wake of the monster. It's an interesting story, but it's not quite as intriguing as the 2014 revival, has the charm or goofiness of later Showa Era Films, or even the in depth story of the Heisei or Millennium films, but in the story's defense, it was an allegory for the nuclear paranoia that was going on at the time of this films release, so the film DOES actually mean something.
Godzilla is the show stealer of the movie. He destroys buildings, he breathes nuclear breath, and he's terrifying as HELL!!!!!! I already told you what he meant to Japan at the story, but what about the humans? They're not as interesting, they play as the ones who react/defend against the monster. Not to mention they're all sterotypes/character tropes, The mad scientist, the reporter, the natives, the girl, they're not worth mentioning. However they keep the story from being an hour and a half of a monster destroying cities. Besides, the characters become more interesting as the series goes on.
I'm not a big fan of B&W movies, but that doesn't matter here. This film set the standard for what modern toku should be for years to come. Mini-cities, rubber suits, Monsters, the works... However this film hasn't aged well as far as film standards. The acting isn't that great by the domestic actors, and Japanese Tokusatsu should NEVER, EVER be dubbed in English unless it's spliced with American actors. and is it's own thing. However Godzilla movies are unwatchable subtitled too, because if I want to read, I'd get a book. I know I watch subbed anime and toku, but just because toku's hard to watch in any form doesn't mean it's bad, you've just got to suck it up.
If you're looking for a Godzilla movie to watch and you're looking for just one, skip this one, there's much better movies featuring the character, Heck King Kong VS Godzilla is worth watching for it's pure novelty, and the Heisei era has good balance between monster action and human story. However for ones for getting into Godzilla for the first time, you could do far worse. I give this 2.75 Oxygen Destroyers out of 4. Whether you want to watch the original 1954 Japanese version or the 1956 edit is your choice.
Happy 60th Godzilla, I can't wait for my Birthday.