Watch Gojira

"Godzilla, a weapon of science, a great battle of wonder and terror!"
  • NR
  • 1954
  • 1 hr 35 min
  • 7.5  (40,348)
  • 78

Gojira, released in 1954, is a monumental work of art that altered the way we view monster movies. The movie is the story of the inception and emergence of a giant monster with wicked intentions. Tōhō Studios produced the film, and it was directed by Ishirō Honda. The movie is set up to take place in a world that has fallen to the wreckage of nuclear and atomic bomb experiments in the years following the second World War. In the beginning, a group of fishermen, who are out to make a living, encounter something strange while they are out in the sea, and they are surprised to find many of their boats missing, and the ones that remain are cut in half.

The mystery surrounding the missing boats is brushed aside by the Japanese government as a typhoon, but the scientists who take an interest in the phenomena conclude that the reason behind the boats' destruction is something more mysterious and fearful. They suspect that a large sea creature, awakened by atomic experimentation, is responsible for the devastation. The suspicion soon turns into reality when the creature arrives in Tokyo Bay and stirs up devastation and chaos.

Several characters are introduced throughout the course of the movie, including Ogata, a young naval officer who instantly attracts the attention of Emiko, the daughter of scientists who got trapped into a loveless engagement with Serizawa, a former colleague of her father. Serizawa is the one who develops a weapon that will be mighty enough to stop the creature, but it requires a compromise that puts Serizawa in a difficult position. He can't help but worry about how it will affect humanity if it falls into the wrong hands.

As the monster keeps moving towards Tokyo, it becomes increasingly obvious to the people that this creature is a disaster that goes beyond any conventional means of combat. It's at this point that the people of Japan are forced to accept the devastating reality of their actions and how it has given birth to something beyond their control.

The visuals in the movie are striking and have been revered for decades for being incredibly creative given the limitations of special effects back then. The creature design, which takes inspiration from a T-Rex and an Iguanodon, is genuinely impressive with its realistic design and menacing presence.

The fantastic visual effects serve to heighten the emotional impact of the character's terror as they brace themselves for the intense fear that is coming their way. The film's message is that military might alone isn't always the effective way to solve problems like the monster attack; Science is a powerful tool when wielded correctly.

The movie also stands out because of its use of contemporary visuals to highlight social commentary. In particular, it highlights the importance of topics such as nuclear testing, radiation sickness, collective trauma, our indifference to violence, and its impact on the environment. Moreover, the movie provides commentary on the US occupation of Japan that occurred post-World War II.

The music of the film is another standout feature; it's ominous, haunting, and uses the repetition of the monster's name, Gojira (more popularly known today as Godzilla), to create a memorable score that immerses the viewer in the film's tone.

The actors lend solid performances to the movie, and it is well known that some of them, such as Akira Takarada and Akihiko Hirata, went on to star in other popular movies from the era. The movie's most underrated performance is from Takashi Shimura, who plays the role of Dr. Kyohei Yamane, the paleontologist who studies the creature, and he portrays his character with grace and a sense of urgency that accurately portrays the sense of dread of the time.

In conclusion, Gojira, the 1954 classic monster movie, remains a triumph of cinema and stands as a cinematic masterpiece that continues to impact pop culture today. The film's exploration of collective trauma, its frank discussion on atomic and radiation fallout, and its poignant commentary on post-war Japan's state makes it more than just another monster movie.

Gojira is a 1954 thriller with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 78.

Where to Watch Gojira
Gojira is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Gojira for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (40,348)
  • Metascore