We are a year away from seeing the ultimate fight of two of Hollywood’s giant monsters in Godzilla vs. Kong. But before that, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is the perfect appetizer before the main course were our favorite giant lizard is going to be battling the recognizable monsters hardcore fans will know my heart. Though does it make it any good for a summer blockbuster?
What’s the Story: After the destruction of San Francisco, the U.S. government isn’t having it with the agency Monarch and the secrets that go on behind closed doors after everybody has found out monsters truly exists. As more Titans are about to make their way to Earth to destroy it, they must summon Godzilla to fight against mighty Titans like Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah to see who’s the real king.
When Gareth Edward’s version of Godzilla came out in 2014, most would assume that it turned out to be a letdown due to the fact that the titular monster barely showed up and the fact that Bryan Cranston’s performance was wasted. It wasn’t until the first Comic-Con trailer that changed my mind after taking notice of its visuals and having a strong feeling that Warner Bros. listened to the complaints. It was safe to say I was a bit excited about what this follow-up would show. Yet, I left Godzilla: King of the Monsters majorly unimpressed.
Let’s start off with the main positive that every single person is going to love about this is every scene involving Godzilla and the other monsters. Pretty much the reason I go into these movies is to sit down and watch some sweet Kaiju action and them destroying buildings in the process. Whenever it comes to any sequence with the monsters fighting, it gives the movie that boost of energy and every scene delivers. Capturing everything with the stunning visual effects were amazing. There weren’t stakes, but it’s enjoyable.
Director and co-writer Michael Dougherty (Krampus, Trick ‘r Treat) was an odd choice to direct something like this on a huge scale when he’s known for doing horror movies that have garnered cult followings. That being said, he does a good enough job capturing the stuff fans love on a massive budget. What can be said that’s different from Edward’s predecessor is the lack of tension found.
But by far, the weakest element that made this barely mediocre is all of the human characters that are a part of this story. This was my main fear of walking into the movie, and it’s a problem. And I know what you’re thinking, “The title of the movie is literally called Godzilla: King of the Monsters, why should you care about any of the characters?” Yes, I know. Although when it’s about Godzilla, a script should be able to get the audience to actually care about any of humans that might be in peril, and not a single moment illustrated that point.
Given a talented ensemble that includes favorites such as Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, Ken Watanabe, and many others, one would expect that they would be given material that’s better for them. But they had to work with a dull story that doesn’t come off as exciting unless Godzilla shows up. Besides Bobby Brown, the rest of the performances were fine enough.
Most of them are basically talking in a room trying to figure out what’s there next plan is through lousy exposition we don’t need. Those scenes are what made this Godzilla movie actually boring, which I wasn’t expecting. Yes, the pacing throughout this is terrible. Just when the plot is set up right before the first battle, it’s completely ridiculous and knew then it won’t be good. Never did I care about Kyle Chandler. This was even the same issue that I had with Kong: Skull Island two years ago, but Monsters‘ story was more uninteresting.
If the first Godzilla was like Jurassic World (the better of the two), then it’s probably unlucky to say this is the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom of the franchise.
Maybe it’s me, but I’m just not having that much fun with Legendary’s “MonsterVerse” like I wanted when I first heard about this idea. With a shared universe that has Godzilla, how are none of these movies getting me excited about a next one? Godzilla: King of the Monsters really had promise when we all wanted this to be a spectacular sequel to outmatch the original, but everything outside the awesome fights isn’t enough, unfortunately so.