The King is back. Godzilla stomps back into theaters with the follow up the 2014 film from Legendary Studios. This time with a slightly different vision from the previous film. How does Director Michael Doughtery take act as the next step in the Kaiju franchise? And more importantly, how does it stand up when compared to the long list of Godzilla films?
Well let’s start by ripping the bandaid off that is this film’s weak point, the story. Like a majority of Godzilla films, the story is rather simple and lackluster. The only exception to the franchise being the first Godzilla movie from 1954. There Godzilla was an allegory for the devastating effects of nuclear weapons. Once more this Godzilla story focuses on an environmental message.
This isn’t a spoiler because it’s in the trailer. Humans have ruined the Earth, and the Earth will fight back by unleashing the original inhabitants, the Titans. Now this story is also littered with random plot points and stereotypical characters. So what does this mean?
IT’S A GODZILLA MOVIE!!!!!!!!!
I don’t know how many of you watched any of the Toho Godzilla movies growing up, but Godzilla: King of the Monsters feels very much like one of those films. Only this time with amazing graphics.
It felt to me that everyone working on this film loved Godzilla. The designs of Mothra, Rodan, King Gahdora, and the rest of the Titans are awesome. There’s a perfect mix of being new while also paying homage to the originals. Even the sound design for the Titans are mixed with the original sounds used in the Toho films.
All of the monster fight sequences are entertaining to watch as they are what you want to see. Mostly wanton destruction and primal beast brawls. But there are a few things to note with these sequences. The first is that they suffer from the curse of an all CGI scenes, it’s dark. A majority of the scenes with the monster are in low lite areas. These include at night, in a storm, in a cave, underwater, and starting in a cave at night then emerge into a storm. Now, these scenes are constructed this way to help CGI artist hide some mistakes.
Another thing that comes off as a little disorienting are some of the camera placements and effects. In certain scenes, the “camera” used in full CGI sequences is completely fake. Yet the camera will have these moments of moving in or out of focus. Or show dust particles or water droplets on the lens. While it does add a certain flair, it mostly seems unnecessary.
But these flaws aside, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a fun movie. It’s a great follow up to the 2014 film and acts as a hype man for the upcoming Godzilla vs Kong film. It builds up hope for more fun and insane monster fight movies. The film acts as a giant fanservice piece for Godzilla fans. Even going so far as to remake Blue Oyster Cult’s Godzilla, making this moviegoer smile as he walked out. Overall I give Godzilla: King of the Monster 3 out 5. So grab a ticket and order some popcorn.
Yes, this review is not done just yet. For you see this film is just the latest in the Kaiju franchise of the staring monster. So while the film is fun, how does it stack up when compared to the other 34 films? Well, it’s easily the best of the American produced ones. It answers to the critique of its predecessor, and it’s definitely no pile of fish that Godzilla 98 was.
But when compared to the Toho made films it’s very middle of the pack. If you judge off of Rotten Tomatoes then Godzilla vs Destoroyah, Godzilla(1954), and Shin Godzilla are the top rated films.
In terms of raw action, there is only one Toho film that matches the monster carnage of Godzilla: King of the Monsters. That film is Godzilla Final Wars. And to determine which film is better, then keep your eyes open for a future article from the Alpha Nerds Guild.