'Godzilla: King of the Monsters' Review
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a 2019 monster film directed by Michael Dougherty and written by Dougherty, Zach Shields, and Max Borenstein. A sequel to Godzilla (2014), it is the 35th film in the Godzilla franchise, the third film in Legendary's MonsterVerse, and the third Godzilla film to be completely produced by a Hollywood studio. The film stars Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, and O'Shea Jackson Jr.
Members of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch face 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. When these ancient super species that were thought to be mere myths rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity's very existence hanging in the balance.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters was a film I was very excited to see. I loved the 2014 version of Godzilla as well as Kong: Skull Island. Both of them had their fair share of flaws, but overall I found both to be extremely entertaining. With that being said, this was the most split I've been on a film in a while. This film was as entertaining as it was boring.
Everything involving the monsters was great and entertaining to watch, but when the monsters left and the humans came, the film went down hill. The only purpose they served was to increase the runtime and offer exposition. They got little to no depth and development. In a Godzilla film I would definitely take great action over character development, but this film dedicated so much time to these characters. Because I didn't care about these characters, I found some of the film to be boring.
Looking back at Godzilla (2014) and Kong: Skull Island, both of those films struggled with their human characters as well, but they at least made them watchable. Plus they had Bryan Cranston and John C. Reilly. The characters in here, however, were there just to be there.
I also had one problem with the action. I thought it was great and beautifully shot. The cinematography mixed with the score made some really epic scenes, but they kept getting interrupted by the human characters. I don't know if it was just me, but I found it annoying. They'd start the scene out great for less than a minute before cutting to the human characters doing something we couldn't care less about, only to cut back to the action right before the fights over. At times the monsters felt more like background pieces then anything else
With all that being said, I still found the film to be pretty entertaining, but overall the film really suffers whenever the monsters aren't on screen. As a whole, I enjoyed the film enough, but I was a little disappointed.
The acting was fine. In fact, the acting was the best part of the characters. My favorite character in the film was Milli Bobby Brown's. 50% because of the acting and 50% because I like the actress. To be honest, I don't even remember her character's name. In fact, the only character's name I remember is Ken Watanabe's, but only because it's Dr. Serizawa.
Kyle Chandler was fine, but halfway through the film, I got irritated every time I saw him because I knew a 10-minute exposition dump was coming.
Vera Farmiga was good. She was my second favorite character mainly because she's the only one given depth. Ken Watanabe is an actor that I personally love. He was good in the film, but he's not really given much to do.
O'Shea Jackson Jr is an actor that I've come to really enjoy, but if you blink you might miss him. I didn't notice until near the end that he was actually in the film. One of the female Saviors from The Walking Dead (Elizabeth Ludlow) was also in the film. She was good, but again, if you blink you might miss her.
Overall, the acting was good, especially given how flat the characters were.
Godzilla: King of the Monster's story and plot could've really used some work.
It's definitely a lot better if you turn your brain off and try not to think about it too much, because a lot of the decisions these characters make are real head scratchers. It's almost as if the writers didn't watch the 2014 version.
The story was fine. A bunch of monsters get loose and Godzilla's the only one that can stop them, but the plot was a little irritating. It follows a group of presumably smart people (a general and scientists) make irritating decisions. Minor spoiler ahead—they try to kill Godzilla. Even after the original where he saves the day, and after it's determined that he's the only one that stands a chance. Another small spoiler is that they revive him. It's almost as if they just wanted to give these people something to do.
It made the middle feel a little sluggish, and the ending a little weak. They spend so much time doing something only to spend even more time undoing what they just did. It's just not that fun to watch something play out when you know exactly how it's going to end.
Overall, the film was very entertaining when it wanted to be, but when it didn't, it wasn't. The film switches from unable to blink because I didn't want to miss anything to I would rather be doing just about anything else so many times.
The CGI was great and I really loved the score. The scene where Godzilla and Ghidorah (three-headed dragon) first meet and standoff with one another was beautifully shot and epic with the score playing. It was one of the many scenes that sent chills down my back. Everything revolving around these monsters I loved.
The film, however, had many flaws. The characters were bland and dull, and the plot itself wasn't great.
Overall, I'd say this was my least favorite entry in the MonsterVerse. Overall, it's a very entertaining, but deeply flawed film. I'm pretty sure a lot of people are going to love it, but unfortunately I found it a little disappointing.
© 2019 Royce Proctor