Godzilla: King of the Monsters review
If there's another shared film universe aside from Marvel and The Conjuring, then the Godzilla series just might work as well. Though the series is riding off of the 2014 remake, most people recall Godzilla as a guy in a suit destroying Tokyo as far back as the fifties. It's spawned over thirty movies and created a monster that’s good enough to stand with other classic monsters like the Frankenstein monster or the Xenomoprh from Alien. Even those that don't watch Godzilla movies are already likely to know what they are. It just matters if they want to watch monster destruction or not.
I still standby that the 2014 Godzilla was a fantastic movie that knew how to use the Godzilla monster more then the 1998 version and was able to take a Japanese idea and translate it into an American story. I do understand the complaint that people were waiting too long to see the destruction of the monster. I guess the producers took note as the previews for the sequel have teased a lot more monster action. So let's see if this newer monster mash can raise the stakes in Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
It's been five years since the events of Godzilla. The world is now in a place where several giant monsters, called titans, have been discovered and there's been a debate about what to do with them. Many governments and military would rather have these things destroyed. Other scientists think their essential to the planet and not all are bad. An organization called Monarch as run by scientists Dr. Ishirö Serizawa (played by Ken Watanabe) and Dr. Vivienne Graham (played by Sally Hawkins) is dedicated to containing them and studying them. Though more titans including Rodan, Mothra and Kong have been uncovered, no one's seen Godzilla in years.
One scientist, Dr. Emma Russell (played by Vera Farmiga) and her daughter Madison (played by Millie Bobby Brown) are kidnapped by an eco-terrorist group for the use of her invention, the Orca, which allows them to communicate with the titans. Emma's ex-husband Dr. Mark Russell (played by Kyle Chandler) is recruited by Monarch to help rescue them. They locate them in Antarctica where the Orca is used to awaken a giant three-headed dragon called "King Ghidorah" . While escaping, Godzilla appears to fight him. Ghidorah escapes and starts to call the other titans to rampage further. Will Godzilla be able to defeat him?
Here's what I'll say about Godzilla: King of the Monsters; this is a movie that lives up to it's promise of monster fights. Even though the titans are all CGI, they look amazing and the movie knows how to shoot them to give us their size and scale. It's not just rampage they create, but lots of it from Mexico to Antarctica to Boston. I wont spoil them, but each monster gets their turn and I didn't even blink once when something was going on. We've got monster throws, fire breathing, lightning, flight and nuclear explosions!
Does this make it a great movie? Well…the movie still has problems and it's big. It not with the monsters but rather the people. We have a lot of big stars that we've seen in better movies, but their either too bland or underdeveloped. Much of their reactions are the same. The look in awe at the monsters, run from them, or try to find them. I wouldn't have a problem with that if the characters were at least more established on why their running or studying. Jurassic Park is a good example on how to have great characters and still have cool creatures.
The other problem is a little too much attention is put on the people. While I didn't have this problem with the 2014 Godzilla, I have that problem here. Many of the scenes with the people is just story exposition which make it a lot longer then it needs to be. It needed at least twenty minute cut to get to the action a little faster. Had it taken a John Wick approach, in which it was a continues chase (which is what I think they were trying for), I would have loved it more.
I'll give this three and a half King Ghidorahs out of five. Call it a conflict. I don't want to watch the people again, but I would love to watch the monsters fight again. There's a good story trying to get out, but the producers need to figure out what their priorities are. It's a roar of a movie, but one that I'd fast forward through next time.