Godzilla: King of The Monsters is a clear response to the reception of the 2014 Godzilla film. Both films are American Godzilla films. The original Godzilla films (1954) were Japanese films and Godzilla was a metaphor for the nuclear bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima in World War II.
In the 2014 film, much criticism was directed towards the lack of Godzilla being in the film until the end. Godzilla: King of The Monsters picks up those criticisms in spades by immediately going out of its way to show Godzilla’s destruction at the very beginning, and introducing other classic Toho monsters, like Mothra and Rodan.
Godzilla: King of The Monsters takes place some time after the first film. The world is still recovering from the previous attacks by the Mutos and Godzilla, when suddenly, more ancient giant monsters rise up, including Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah. This forces the zoological agency, Monarch, to summon Godzilla, in the hope that he will be able to defeat the other monsters.
There is fairly solid computer generated animation (CGI), especially every scene involving Mothra, who was just fantastically used. There are also more monster battles than in the first film, a decent soundtrack from Bear McCready reusing the classic Godzilla theme and the Mothra song from 1961. My favorite thing about the film is it helps further push the “Monsterverse” mythology. There were many other monsters in the film, who we were just given brief glimpses of, including a Wooly Mammoth creature I would really love to see them use again in future installments, or in the forth-coming Godzilla Vs. Kong film.
The action is very good, but unfortunately, much of it is in darkness. It’s one thing to have a few fights at night, but it would have been good if the director, Michael Dougherty and his crew, could also have had battles during the day. King Ghidorah’s dark whirlwinds, while awesome visually, got old fast because they were repeated too often. The characters in this film weren’t that much better developed than the 2014 film. Sure, there were some interesting new characters this time around, like Charles Dance, an eco-terrorist, who is wonderfully villainous but underused; Kyle Chandler, a communication specialist, who seems to be holding down the fort; and Ken Watanabe as Dr. Serizawa (one of the only three returning characters from the first film), who is as game as ever. Vera Farmiga, as Emma Russell, makes some odd moves, but when push comes to shove, she’s more than willing to protect her daughter, Madison (Stranger Things’s Millie Bobby Brown), which seems somewhat contradictory and baffling. The star of the show, of course, is Godzilla, who isn’t the “bad guy” as we knew him in the past, but he’s not a hero either. He’s really just a morally grey character.
The people behind this film are clearly huge fans of “The Big G”. It shows, and overall, I did enjoy the movie. I would say that my idea of a “perfect Godzilla” would be combining the mysterious atmosphere of the 2014 movie with the action of Godzilla: King of The Monsters.
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