King Kong vs Godzilla (1962)

Director: Ishiro Honda

Writer: Shin’ichi Sekizawa (Screenplay) Paul Mason, Bruce Howard, John Beck, Willis H O’Brien (Story)

Starring: Tadao Takashima, Kenji Sahara, Yu Fujiki, Ichiro Arishima, Jun Tazaki, Akihiko Hirata

Plot: A pharmaceutical company captures King Kong and brings him to Japan, where he escapes from captivity and battles a recently released Godzilla.


Tagline – The Battle of the Century!!

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Monster Battle

Story: King Kong vs. Godzilla starts when the Americans disturb the resting place of Godzilla releasing him upon the world to attack Tokyo. In Japan Mr Tako (Arishima) has discovered a miracle cure berry which he wants to profit from, this sees him sending a team including Osamu Sakurai (Takashima) and Kazuo Fujita (Sahara) to the island of King Kong to retrieve more.

With Godzilla now terrorising mainland Japan, the only hope is to let King Kong loose after he is captured from his home island, which will see the two monsters face off.

Thoughts on King Kong vs. Godzilla

Characters – Godzilla is the monster of legend in Japan, he has once again been awoken and heads to Japan to take control of the land, he destroys everything in his path. King Kong has been taken from his island where he rules, once he gets free, he heads to Japan which will see him go head to head with Godzilla to see who is the king of the monsters. Osamu Sakurai is part of the team that go in search for the berries which will offer the miracle cure, he does need to help control Kong once he is free. Kazuo Fujita is in search of his girlfriend after she ends up in the path of Godzilla.

StoryThe story here follows two different scientific teams that accidently bring King Kong and Godzilla to mainland Japan and must use them to defeat each other to stop Tokyo getting destroyed by the monsters. This is mostly mad to let the two giants fight, both sides of the story are showing signs of greed with the motivation for reaching Kong’s island being around being able to cure disease for profit, while the Godzilla discovery is about gaining power from the unknown in the ocean for military reasons. The way the story is told, feels like a large media report with a guy filling in the gaps for us whenever something is happening or between the incidents too, before sending us back to the live action. I understand this is one of those creature features that isn’t going to need a deep story which is why it does everything it needs to without being complicated.

Action/ Sci-FiThe action in the film is the destruction by the two monsters which is massive in scale, with the sci-fi elements of the film showing how the monsters have come about.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to try and show us the Japanese background for the monsters to travel through.

Special EffectsThe film was made in the 1960s which wasn’t the biggest time for special effects, what this movie achieves does impress throughout too with the big monsters just being people in costumes.


Scene of the Movie – The final fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The first meeting feels like something of nothing.

Final Thoughts This is one of the fun easy to watch Godzilla fighting another big monster in King Kong.

Overall: Simple and Easy to watch.

Rating

Elizabeth Olsen Weekend – Godzilla (2014) Revisited

Director: Gareth Edwards

Writer: Max Borensteing, Dave Calaham (Screenplay) Ishiro Honda, Takeo Murata, Shugeru Kayama (Character)

Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins, Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche, Carson Bolde

 

Plot: The world is beset by the appearance of monstrous creatures, but one of them may be the only one who can save humanity.


Tagline – The world ends, Godzilla begins

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Godzilla Movie

 

Story: Godzilla starts the Brody family, Joe (Cranston), Sandra (Binoche) and son Ford living in Japan where the parents work in a nuclear reactor when a disaster strikes that Joe believes he sees coming, Sandra is killed and the town is evacuated.

15-Years later Ford (Taylor-Johnson) is married to Elle (Olsen) with his own son Sam (Bolde), he serves in the military and finally under leave, when he must bail his father out of a Japanese prison and reluctantly goes into the quarantine zone in search for answers. The Brody’s learn about that something is being covered up by Dr Ishiro Serizawa (Watanabe) and that secret is about to escape becoming a threat to the world with MUTO and Joe is assigned to try and help bring the creature under control with a little help from Godzilla.

 

Thoughts on Godzilla

 

Characters – Ford Brody was raised in Japan where he lost his mother, now a solider he is used to being away from his own family, giving his father one last chance to forget about the past. Ford finds himself on a mission and journey to get from Japan back to his family in San Francisco, he somehow always ends up in the location of the attacks, doing the right thing without wanting any thank you from the people he saves. Dr Ishiro Serizawa is the man leading the investigation into the first appearance of the creatures, he has studied the cocoons they have emerged from and has ideas on how to stop them. Elle is the wife of Ford’s who is a nurse that stays in town when the attacks start in an attempt to save lives where she can, she doesn’t really do much more than this. Joe is the father of Ford that worked at the nuclear power planet which saw his wife killed, he believes there is more to what happened and is determined to figure it out, risking his life too often.

PerformancesAaron Taylor-Johnson is an actor who has gone onto do bigger projects that have tested his acting, this isn’t a film that will show off much acting, mostly because his character is so painfully average. Elizabeth Olsen suffers from this too which brings both their performances down to solid. Ken Watanabe and Bryan Cranston bring the best performances with characters we just want to see more from.

StoryThe story brings us the first chapter if the universe, without needing to make a big point about it, which is the weakness in other films, such as 2017 The Mummy. By doing this we get an introduction to Godzilla the one creature that can save humanity from another deadly creature that is using radioactive material to grow. We do have a human side to this story as we follow the military try to do battle against the creatures that are killing millions. Unlike the 1998 Godzilla we do keep the beliefs of what makes the original brilliant in the story behind their origin. The weakness in the story comes from the idea that our main human character just happens to always be in the location of the latest attack surviving against all the odds.

Action/Adventure/Sci-fiThe action in the film plays into the less is more, we get teased early on about the giant creature battles which could frustrate the fans because they will want to see them fight, but the wait for the final battle is worth it as Godzilla gets involved in one of its biggest battles to date. The adventure side of the story must be the focus on Ford and his journey home, just being unlucky when it comes to being in the middle of the battle, with the sci-fi side of the film uses the idea that the giant creatures have been created through our own human errors.

SettingsThe film does go for iconic locations which is understandable with the final battle being in San Francisco providing the watery side for Godzilla’s entrance.

Special EffectsThe film uses the effects that Gareth Edwards is most known for, the less is more idea which makes the film feel like it has the original motivation behind the attack making the fights feel real.


Scene of the Movie –
The big battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The blandness of our human characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant monster movie, that action is giant destructive and worth the wait for, while the human characters could be considered slightly bland, the beginning of this universe is worth the wait.

 

Overall: Must watch monster movie

Rating