Godzilla: King of the Monsters is big dumb monster clashing fun that should be seen on a big screen.
Score: 3.5 / 5
The rightful king has arrived to claim the throne! Unlike a certain popular HBO show, Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla: King of the Monsters gives you a satisfying conclusion to a battle for the crown. This sequel to Godzilla is actually a natural progress from 2016’s Kong: Skull Island in regard to monster on monster fights. Like the other two monster films in this kaiju monster franchise, King of the Monsters attempts to inject a human plot to explain things and create a structure around the massive fights. Just like the other two movies, this ends up being the weaker part of the film.
Let’s break it down though, let’s start with what we are all looking for from this movie, Godzilla and other monsters going toe to toe. Yeah, this movie blows the other two out of the water. Where the first Godzilla kept him leashed till the end, this movie does not make the same mistake. Even when Godzilla is not around, the other monsters from the Godzilla universe fill in nicely. Ghidorah, Mothra, Rodan, they are all awesome. By the end there an insane number of monsters that I’m very interested into seeing how they decide what is going to happen in Godzilla vs Kong.
The battles themselves are also for the most part easy to follow. There are still a few moments that focus more on the humans during the big battles and then you lose some sense of what is going on other than earth shattering battles. It is a much rarer occurrence than in the first Godzilla though. What we do get is some pretty fun satisfying battles. By the end you believe that yeah, Godzilla is the King of all these other titans (their name for big huge monsters). The special effects in this movie are top notch and it looks especially great in IMAX. There are so many shots that could look like an epic poster or painting. I can’t stress enough that in the visual department this movie is excellent.
So the action is great, much improved over the first Godzilla, but what about the rest of the movie. Well that’s where Godzilla slightly loses itself. Slight spoilers here as it’s going to be necessary to bring up one point to discuss this human story. The plot involves a scientist figuring out essentially a translator for monsters built into a briefcase. This in theory would allow them to control the monsters. Which could have been an interesting plot. Instead the movie has this character believe that all we need to do is wake up all the titans to bring balance to the world. The character isn’t evil just really dumb for a smart person. A fact that a different character brings up, and it just makes very little sense. It’s that silly this-is-so-ridiculous-let’s-call-it-out humor. This happens a lot and some characters play it off better than others.
My favorite character of the humans is Mark Russell played by Kyle Chandler. Russell is the most level headed of the bunch, like a surrogate of the audience so when he calls out the ridiculousness of some plot point or says the logical thing we are all thinking, it sure keeps the plot from completely collapsing in on itself. He’s the glue of the movie, but I won’t lie that it’s not fun to see Charles Dance being a big old bad guy (Game of Thrones missed you Mr. Dance) or Bradley Whitford being the quirky guy who is playing completely into the cheesiness of the plot.
At the end of the day though, it all comes down to what you are looking for in a big monster movie. If you are looking for massive battles that look awesome and don’t mind goofy human plots around it well you’re in luck, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is your movie.