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Monday, June 03, 2019

Godzilla: King of the Monsters Movie Review



Godzilla: King of the Monsters is loud, dumb, and silly as hell. In other words, it's the Godzilla movie we've always dreamed of.

Taking a hard left from the first movie's grounded approach, Godzilla: King of the Monsters leans heavily into the "monster" part of the genre, putting the mysterious organization called Monarch center stage to deal with the 2,000% increase in the world's giant monster population. After the events of 2014's Godzilla, the world now knows that MUTOs Titans walk among us, with Godzilla taking on the role of apex predator. But a shady mercenary group led by Alan Jonah (Charles Dance) plans to awaken an ancient and dangerous Titan to not just challenge Godzilla's reign but also bring about a new era of monsters ruling the earth, and the only ones standing in their way is Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and the Monarch organization!


The complaints from the first film was that there was too much screen time for the puny humans and not for the Big G himself, but in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the humans are rightfully helpless against the unrelenting giant monster assault. But did they really have to make them stupid? The human villain's plan involving the monster villain Ghidorah is illogical at best, downright idiotic at worst, and characters act and speak so unnaturally that I'm surprised none of them are CGI. Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown does what she can with her big-screen debut, but she's relegated to crying and screaming at whatever the director is pointing at. Nothing much can be said about the rest of the human cast, who are obviously just written to bring us from one giant monster action scene to the next. What an unfortunate thing to say about a cast that has such luminaries like Ken Watanabe and Zhang ZiYi!

But it's all moot when the Titans start slugging it out, as Godzilla: King of the Monsters delivers an all-out assault on your senses and sensibilities. Each monster-centric set piece is vicious, lavishly-rendered, and loud enough to make your teeth chatter.  Not only that, but the monsters are surprisingly faithful adaptations of their Japanese counterparts, so much so that old-school Godzilla fans will find lots to love with this movie, despite the director still making the mistake of cutting to the humans mucking about while Godzilla and Ghidorah are beating each other up naught but a few meters behind them.

Don't make the mistake of expecting anything more from Godzilla: King of the Monsters. It's job is to give us Godzilla fucking up Ghidorah and other giant monsters six ways to Sunday, and in that respect the movie is a rousing success.

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