The prospect of Godzilla facing off against an entire rogues gallery in a sequel to the highly decent Gareth Edwards film is enticing for anyone who is a fan of big things breaking stuff. Much like Kentucky Fried Chicken might be enticing to a fast food fanatic. In hindsight both also share a common enjoyment to regret ratio.
It all looks good on the outside but it’s tasteless unsatisfying crap on the inside.
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Some background info
Gareth Edward’s 2014 Godzilla was the 34th film in the franchise and achieved a fair amount of success, so much so that a sequel was green lit on its opening weekend with Edwards slated to direct and this was going to open up a trilogy (part two being Godzilla King of Monsters which we’re about to get into in this review) and concluding with Godzilla vs Kong. Although, Godzilla vs King Kong seems like no contest to me, but that’s probably a conversation for another time.
In 2016 Gareth Edwards walked from the production because the studio wanted to push ahead with production while he was still caught up with Star Wars.
Who wrote this crap?
Enter director Michael Dougherty, who comes to the party with a less than impressive resume as far as writing credits go. He’s worked on scripts like X-Men Apocalypse and Superman Returns. Both of those movies were incredibly underwhelming and it looks like he’s not learned much since writing the screenplay for Godzilla King of Monsters. Although he does share the responsibility with co-writers Zach Shields and Max Borenstein.
The story did have potential, the premise being since Godzilla surfaced in 2014—and destroyed San Francisco but saved humanity from some other big mutant—there’s titans similar to him scattered all over the earth in hibernation. This top secret company called Monarch monitors each of the creatures and are working on a technology called Orca, which was previously used to ward off whales or some shit and emits frequencies only titans can hear which can be used to render them docile or cause them to attack.
The woman responsible for the technology is kidnapped by ecoterrorists along with her daughter and they have to be rescued by her estranged husband who is recruited out of the blue by Monarch to help. The titans are woken up and Godzilla has to battle his most legendary foe, King Ghidorah. The reason why the titans exist is because they are apparently some kind of cleanup crew that only surface to restore balance to the planet when things become out of whack, so there’s a message in there about people’s impact on the environment or something but who gives a shit? That’s what green shopping bags are for.
Who’s in it?
The cast are all competent actors but what they have to work with is trash. Vera Farmiga plays Orca developer and top Monarch scientist, Dr Emma Russell. Kyle Chandler plays her estranged husband turned wildlife photographer Mark. Millie Bobby Brown, who is no doubt a star on the rise cries and screams her way through this as their daughter Madison. Ken Wantanabe plays Monarch boss Dr Ishiro Serizawa. Ziyi Zhang best known for her nominated role in Memoirs of a Geisha plays some other doctor. Bradley Whitford plays a wise cracking doctor and Charles dance phones in an out of the box bad guy performance as the ecoterrorist bad guy.
All great actors right? But the dialogue in this movie is so asinine and driven by big dumb moments of exposition that audiences will feel their IQ drop as their brain cells wither and die with every word that comes out of their mouths.
There are plenty of huge monster moments and some great special effects. Godzilla going to battle and getting to see Mothra, Rodan and Ghidora is no doubt awesome for fans. The scale is really impressive the collateral damage they inflict really hammers home the scale of the whole thing.
However, between all of these scenes of carnage are the human characters and their shitty dialogue. You’re probably thinking that it’s foolish to expect this to be anything more than a run of the mill brainless blockbuster—and yes there’s been some really bad movies about big things destroying cities and the like in the past—but the 2014 Godzilla showed so much promise that it seemed highly plausible King of The Monsters could have taken that to the next level. Instead it is merely a vessel to deliver us to Godzilla verses Kong, which is pretty hard to care about after seeing this.
It’s like going on a blind date and meeting up with a straight ten. They look beautiful and you can’t believe your luck because even on your best day you’re about a five. You’re thinking it’s too good to be true and it’s not until they speak that and realise they’re a total moron.
That’s exactly how you’ll feel about Godzilla King of The Monsters, your idiot dream date will probably love it though!