Are you excited to see yet another version of the classic monster movie? Well, if you’re looking for hat tips to earlier versions while finally getting a new spin, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is where you belong.
While there have been extreme mixed responses to the latest Godzilla movie, I found it to be a different angle that has been much-needed. Not only did we get to see some of the typical things we’re used to, but we also got some overdue storyline about how this monster reality could be possible.
Before we go on, please do keep in mind this is a review of the film and there will be spoiler content from here forward. If you haven’t yet seen Godzilla: King of the Monsters, you can always come back here after you do, if you want to avoid knowing some of these details. If you’re ready to go forward, let’s have a look at this newest Godzilla installment.
Much like I felt when I saw Kong: Skull Island, I was surprised a bit by how easily I walked out of the theater thinking, “Holy [redacted], this could even really happen.” To take something so fantastical on the surface and find a way to make it seem plausible in the modern-day is no simple feat, in my opinion.
And these magical tricks are coming from the minds of great writing folks, including the main man, Michael Dougherty (Krampus). Not only is he the front writer (co-writing with a number of talented minds), but he also directs.
Check out the trailer, below:
So many people had complaints about how much of the plot involved human drama or monsters. But we know you just can’t please everyone. Some critics even seem to be playing both sides of that fence, and it isn’t going unnoticed. Critics and fans are divided though, with tomatometer scores currently sitting at 39% vs 87%, respectively.
But even with the hypercritical shenanigans of the internet, Godzilla still took the lead at the box office for opening weekend, even surpassing the much-anticipated Aladdin. Although the numbers started strong, they tapered through the weekend. Still, the variable amount that’s consistently over $20 Million wins the weekend.
I found Godzilla KotM well-balanced when it came to human vs monster plot. We got an intro with backstory for our main characters, a family involving two scientists and their surviving teen. The family had endured the previous Godzilla wrath, (see Godzilla, 2014) and this took place later.
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You’ll recognize a lot of these faces, as well. That mature and free-thinking teen called Madison Russell is believably portrayed by Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things). This was a great choice for her feature film debut, as well.
Obviously, you won’t want to miss her mother, Dr. Emma Russell, played by the never-forgettable Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel).
She performs as captivatingly as expected, leading as the scientist behind this global mayhem. When Emma’s awesome invention turns out to be a little more than a way to chat with the waking Titans, there’s a fat plot twist. I’ll save that for your theater experience.
These titans are the crux of the story and include a lot of names you’ll probably remember from years gone by in the monster movie world. We’ll talk more about them in a sec.
Madison’s father, Mark, is played by Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights). He and Emma have differing ideas about what should happen with the missing titan, Godzilla, who they hold responsible for the loss of their son, Andrew.
Both are driven in their own directions by that loss and that’s basically the entire human plot aspect of the movie. But as we all know, Godzilla is the King of these Kaiju characters and he has been missing since he took out cities back in 2014. Everyone seems kind of chill about how they can’t find him, though. That was a little weird.
Leading the efforts to find the monster, Dr. Ishiro Serizawa is played by Ken Watanabe (Memoirs of a Geisha). If you ask me, he had one of the best roles in the film. I loved his dedication to Godzilla, as a principle.
He had a suiting exchange with the titan at one point which I felt was one of the top moments of the movie. He had a visible respect for the legendary status of the creature.
What I thought was the coolest aspect of this film is that we already got to see Godzilla make his basic debut back in the 2014 version. Now in King of the Monsters, we are able to dig deeper into what makes him tick. If it’s more of the same you’re after, you won’t find it here.
I also loved that there was absolute tribute paid to the classic sounds, look, and even story of the legendary lizard. There is always the single scientist who understands him, the sounds he makes when we see him enter the set, and of course, the fight scenes.
There were tons of hat tips and Easter eggs that only seasoned viewers will notice, but also plenty for the newcomer. We also get a huge experience with the other creatures. We see glimpses of several as they ravage towns at the command of Monster Zero (Ghidora). With him, Rodan and Mothra see the most screen time with Godzilla.
I thought it was particularly excellent to hear and see the weaving of the myths into a plausible story. We find out that there are some titans that are symbiotic with each other, while others are rivals, and with good reason.
And wait, just wait until you see Mothra in action. Absolutely stunning is the only way to describe the spectacle.
On top of that, we heard some mention of common conspiracy theory topics like Hollow Earth, lost civilizations, and secrets in Antarctica. It’s a very intricate and totally believable scenario that gives all these ideas links to each other.
With today’s technology, the intensely creative scenes that were whipped up for this film were incredible. There is no stronger word I can think of than epic, but believe me, it’s not quite enough. My favorite visual amazement was the way the sky was done during the chaos sequences.
There’s a passing comment in the film that they were seeing disasters they didn’t even have names for yet. These skies and storm scenes accurately and impressively reflected that notion. The cloudy presentations and their ominous swirlings far surpass any disaster movie you’ve seen to date.
They were indescribably unique, and the very concept of them ever manifesting in reality was pretty frightening. When the storms and movements of the environment in the film are as intimidating as the characters, you know you have yourself a gem.
I know I am going on a lot about it, but the visual intoxication of this film was a reality. I wasn’t the only one who walked out of the theater and impulsively looked up to the sky.
I could see it right there, the turmoil in the atmosphere, it left the theater with me. It was at that moment that I realized I had to stamp this film “epic.”
Hopefully, you will make it to the theater and see it in all its jump startling, visually undeniable glory. The light shows, the surround sounds, and the extra intimidating storm and destruction scenarios are well beyond worth the price of the ticket.
And by the way, whether you do head out with popcorn and darkness or wait for the home showing, make extra sure you stay for the closing credits.
There are some mock news headlines and some storyline explained through the ending that clearly tie us into the exciting next round of the Avengers-like world of monsters.
Currently in post-production stages, Godzilla vs Kong is slated to release in 2020, and will feature some of our stars from this flick, so stay tuned for more!
Are you planning to see Godzilla: King of the Monsters in the theater? Do you have a favorite scene already? Let us know in the comments below!
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