Film Review | Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Their reign begins

Director: Michael Dougherty

Starring: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Charles Dance

Genre: Action/Fantasy

Release Date: May 29th 2019

Certificate: 12A

Five years after the events of Godzilla, the future of the planet is once again put in danger when a group of eco-terrorists start waking the giant monsters that Monarch had been secretly discovering all over the planet.

I really feel for the makers of Godzilla films, when the last one came out in 2014 I loved it but did understand the argument that it focused a bit too much on the humans and you didn’t get to see Godzilla as much as you would have liked and missed out on some fight scenes, this time however the makers listened to the feedback and although they’ve still given a fair chunk of the film over to the human side of things, you tend to see a lot more of the monsters and their fights, prompting people to moan that this time you don’t get as much character development because the human side of the story isn’t as prominent, the filmmakers can’t seem to win.

By now you will most likely have seen the critics slating Godzilla: King of the Monsters (hereafter called Godzilla 2) for various reasons and hasn’t so far managed to match the taking of the previous couple of films to come out in the so-called MonsterVerse, but this doesn’t mean that I agree with others’ assessment of the films entertainment value or quality, in fact overall I rather enjoyed the film and despite a couple of issues I believe still works well as a summer popcorn blockbuster.

The last Godzilla movie was praised for an excellent opening filled with emotion and great character development, this time however the filmmakers chose not to bother with something that was well received in the previous movie and gave us pretty much the same exact intro as DC gave the audience of Batman vs. Superman with the films main hero on the site of the destruction in the prequel and a group of senators debating if they should trust or distrust this new all-powerful being, before going on to introduce us to a group of strangely highly equipped eco-terrorists and Monarch’s secret ocean base, worrying signs but luckily the film does improve.

The makers of Godzilla 2 have clearly listened to the complaints people had in the first film that there weren’t enough monster fights and we spent too much time following a very bland Aaron Taylor-Johnson around, this dedicating more time to the creatures and showing a lot more of the action, while the main lead Mark Russell (Chandler) is much a more charismatic character to follow as he attempts to get back his estranged wife (Farmiga) and daughter (Brown) from the eco-terrorists lead by Alan Jonah (Dance).

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

No one comes to see a Godzilla film for the human stories, they come to see monsters fighting and destroying cities, Godzilla 2 certainly contains ample amounts of both, with Rodan, King Ghidorah, Mothra and the king himself Godzilla popping up throughout in exciting and visually stunning battles all over the world, Mothra is especially impressive and it was fun seeing the creatures team up like a giant monster Justice League to fight each other.

This isn’t to say that the film doesn’t have problems, one of the main ones being that once you strip back on the humans to focus on the creatures, you limit how much time you can devote to giving them proper backstories/character arcs, meaning you end up with a whole group of characters that feel inconsequential to the plot and one character that it becomes painfully obvious halfway through won’t be making it to the end of the film due to the actions they have taken.

Another being Vera Farmiga’s entire performance, which not only feels like a drag on the entire film but also because of the lack of development her character makes decisions that are never fully explained, while the film is also guilty of criminally underusing Charles Dance, here’s me hoping this is merely a setup for the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong movie.

4 Panda

Godzilla: King of the Monsters could of so easily been the hit non-superhero popcorn blockbuster of 2019 but despite the makers attempting to the listen to the audience, the film still ha issues that take away from the films overall enjoyment, Here is me hoping that Adam Wingard is able to do a better job in next year’s Kong vs. Godzilla.

If you liked: Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island, Pacific Rim


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