This week I saw Godzilla: King of the Monsters. I’ve never seen a Godzilla movie before, so I might be the wrong person to review this. It’s possible that Godzilla: King of the Monsters is would not be the best introduction to the series. But director Michael Dougherty gave us Krampus, which I loved, so I had high hopes. And I’ve seen kaiju movies before, there have been good ones. Would this one hold up without a Charlie Hunnan-type character?
The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah.
One thing I will say for Godzilla: King of The Monsters was that it was ambitious. After all, if one giant monster is good, then a dozen or so must be better, right? Making all that work and is a tall order but I like it when movies swing for the fences. There was obviously a lot there that had to fit into the previous movie and the mythology on the whole. The problem there was that you had to see the 2014 movie (at the very least) to understand what was going on. The characters seemed to be unclear as to what they should be doing, too. The pacing, in fact the entire plot, wandered a lot.
There were definitely some great moments and I thought some of the animation (of the dragon heads, amongst other things) was pretty good. The problem was that there wasn’t enough of that. The point of a Kaiju movie (in my mind) is to show the scale, the sheer size difference to invoke awe. Sure there was a lot of tiny-human-huge-monster stuff there, but it didn’t hit me on a visceral level the way it had in other films. (Pacific Rim comes to mind). Some of the greatest scenes, where they could have really blown us away with some visuals, were instead obscured by smoke/clouds/breaking glass/etc, so it felt like I was missing the best stuff. This may have been deliberate for budget reasons, but even so, that’s cheating.
So is Godzilla: King of the Monsters worth watching then? Maybe, if you’re a rabid fan of the series. I know you’re out there (sorry about this review). As for me, I just have too many criticisms. It’s too long (2 hours, 11 minutes) and badly in need of a rewrite. There was no fan service. And I found the idea of Godzilla’s diet distracting. What did he eat? I guarantee his turds would be the size of train cars.
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