Godzilla! Again… The guy’s done a lot of impressive things over the years, saving many people (while also destroying their cities), but maybe most impressively of all is how he keeps coming back. Even when maybe he shouldn’t. He’s not the hero we need, but he’s the hero we deserve for relentlessly bringing him back to the big screen.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters… I don’t want to say that I hated this movie. That would be harsh. I laughed and smiled a couple of times… though, to be fair, I’m not sure whether I was laughing with or at the movie.
Films like this are preposterous. That’s okay. That can work. Look at The Meg — it embraced its absurdity and delivered a wonderfully silly movie that I adored. King of the Monsters almost does that, but always seems to want to revert back to reverence, destroying any chance of delivering on pure fun. You’d think that all of the techno-babble and giant monsters would require the suspension of disbelief, but really it’s the over-earnestness of its characters that require the biggest leap.
It’s not for lack of acting, either. Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe, Charles Dance. They all bring their A-game, perhaps even saving the movie from being a complete and utter dumpster fire. The drama between the humans is believable and heartfelt, with a few surprising twists and shocking revelations. One not-surprising twist, however, is that when you see Tywin Lannister show up, you know he’s not there for comic relief. Dude is menacing, y’all.
On the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got the monster drama, which is often a fun spectacle. They settle their drama with fighting, and that’s mostly entertaining. This time around, you get Godzilla’s whole rogue’s gallery: Ghidora, Rodan, Mothra. The gang’s all there, along with 13 other “titans” that are thankfully only referenced. For a minute, it seemed the movie was going to devolve into an NBA bracket of monster-fighting.
There’s a lot of nifty world-building that I quite enjoyed. This movie shares a universe with the recent Kong: Skull Island and this movie will NOT let you forget it for a second. King Kong is one of the titans, but only mentioned here. They gotta save that bad boy for some Godzilla/Kong fight club in the future, which I will watch no matter how disappointing this movie ultimately was.
If you like movies with big monsters that fight each other and humans that make no sense, then this movie is for you. There are better versions of it, like Pacific Rim or even the aforementioned Kong: Skull Island. But you’ve probably already seen those, so you could do worse than to scratch your itch with Godzilla: King of Monsters. You probably won’t remember it next week, but it pairs well with popcorn in the now.
Rating: 3 stars
Should you watch it? Only if you like this type of movie
Should you take your kids? It might be frightening for the young’uns, but no problem for 13+
What you should watch first: Godzilla (2014), Kong: Skull Island, the other 32 Godzilla films if you’re a masochist