Godzilla ★★★★★

" The human plot-lines in Godzilla films have a tendency to be less interesting than whatever the monsters are up to. This is a problem more-so with the sequels than the original, which works as a straight laced drama for much of its duration. There is a compelling mystery in the first act, as villagers are shocked by their sunken fishing boats and destroyed land. Even loss of lives. There are rumblings of monster talk, but the beast remains unseen. There is a growing anticipation in his debut, with a payoff that's a little more gruesome than todays generation of viewers might expect. The towering figure grazes the city streets, lumbering, but destructively. Each step shattering the buildings and roads beneath his feet. Telephone poles stripped from the ground. Fires nearly as high as the monster itself blazing behind him. In the foreground people are manic, running as fast away from the chaos as possible. The film occasionally cuts from the action to close-ups of people, in packs and individually, looks of horror painted on their faces, some huddled in corners; too close to the monster to escape in time and accepting their cruel fate. The accompanying sounds are an overlap of composer Akira Ifukube's doomsday score, and the screams of everyone across Japan, afraid for their lives. Godzilla's reputation in the West tends to lean towards his campier exploits of the 1960s and 1970s. It doesn't help that the original film was released in the United States in mangled form in 1956, as Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, eliminating 16 minutes of footage from Godzilla and including newly shot exposition scenes. The truth of Godzilla, however, is one of horror brought on by the atomic bomb."

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