Godzilla: King Of The Monsters - Review

Godzilla is a property that will never go away. It has been around for decades, and will always be in the pop culture lexicon in some way. The latest version, Godzilla: King Of The Monsters shows that the franchise still has a bit more work to do.

This is a direct sequel to 2014's Godzilla, and it is only slightly better. There will always be a human element to these stories, it is the way to keep the relatable. But it is a delicate balance that hasn't been figured out yet. King Of The Monsters had a bunch of human scenes, but they were all exposition scenes that loosely tied together the fight scenes.

The only vaguely interesting human in the film was Stranger Thing's Millie Bobby Brown. Her journey was fun to watch. Everyone else was only there to serve the plot, which was threadbare at best. Ken Watanabe was the only person to return from the 2014 entry, and he was as squandered here as he was there. Even though this one had a different director (Michael Dougherty took the reigns from Rogue One director Gareth Edwards) he still utilized the extreme close up of Watanabe saying "Godzilla" about 47 times throughout the movie.

The motives of Vera Farmiga and Charles Dance's characters make no sense, but the fight scenes are entertaining enough to be able to suspend that disbelief that a human would actually want this.

The supporting cast: Aisha Hinds, Bradley Whitford, O'Shea Jackson Jr., and Thomas Middleditch did perfectly fine for what they were given, but most of them were cookie-cutter archetypes that you would find in The Big Book Of Movie Character Types if there were such a thing.

Kyle Chandler however, was in a completely different movie than the one everyone else was in. I am not sure what movie he thought he was filming, but it was a different one than the rest of them. It was weird to see his performance and take melded with the other human characters.

While Godzilla is on screen more than he was in 2014, it still wasn't a lot. For a movie with his name in it, there wasn't much of him to be seen.The way he was used made sense within the confines of the story, but one would expect to see more of the titular character.

The visuals of the fights are great, though sometimes things get muddled in a Michael Bay way during the carnage. The sense of scale that Edwards brought to the 2014 version were memorable, though few and far between. Dougherty's scene's were bigger on action and faster in pace, so both were memorable for different reasons.

By far the greatest thing the film has to offer is the music score. The soft moments, the intense moments, the exciting moments, and the quiet moments are all spectacular. Bear McCreary is the real MVP of Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, and he enhanced nearly every aspect of the film.

The ending is perfectly satisfying from the monster aspect, but doesn't lend itself very well to next year's Godzilla Vs Kong, though it was teased a bit. There is really only one way it can go, which makes sense in the grand scheme of things. As for the human aspect, there were some far stretches, and it ended their stories with a fizzle, just like how it started.

This is the third American made Godzilla movie. It is also the best. But when you look at its competition, that isn't saying much. The last one was a movie that killed Bryan Cranston off in the first 15 minutes, and he still got more screen time than Godzilla himself. The other one was pure 90's junk from Roland Emmerich starring Matthew Broderick. So progress is being made, slowly but surely.

Once the balance between human and monster can be found, where both aspects are equally intriguing, then the franchise will really soar. Until then, we'll just have to deal with it.

Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is in theaters everywhere.


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