Godzilla: King Of The Monsters has finally arrived half a decade after 2014’s Godzilla. It’s only the second ever live-action American version of the iconic monster/Kaiju (one that some fans have endearingly referred to as Fatzilla), although its Japanese incarnation has gone through multiple versions since the original 1954 movie more than half a century ago.
Fortunately, Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is a titanic sequel that towers above its predecessor in almost every aspect, which is great news for fans of the oversized lizard, as well as one that expands on the MonsterVerse established by both the 2014 Godzilla movie and 2017’s Kong: Skull Island.
Beasts Of The East
The biggest criticism directed towards the 2014 Godzilla movie was the titular Kaiju’s severe lack of screentime in his very own movie. Imagine watching a two -hour movie with barely 15 minutes of Godzilla appearing. Director Michael Dougherty has rectified this problem by showing us more of Godzilla, despite the fact that his movie features more than twice as many monsters than its predecessor.
The trailers for Godzilla: King Of The Monsters promised a smorgasbord of new monsters to accompany Godzilla’s return, and boy, does it deliver in spades. While there quite a few monsters featured in this movie, only four of them really received most of the screentime, including (in ascending order) Rodan, Mothra, King Ghidorah, and Godzilla himself.
There aren’t many surprises in store for viewers in terms of unexpected monsters. Almost none at all, actually, since the other monsters only appear in glimpses and passing moments of destruction. However, what everyone really wants is Godzilla fighting King Ghidorah, and in that sense, you will not be disappointed in the slightest.
The monster-on-monster action is on a scale of sheer epicness unrivalled by almost anything you’ve seen. You’ll be staring slack-jawed at the Titans brawling with each other amidst apocalyptic showers of death and destruction.
Remember when monster movies made you feel a certain sense of awe and dread? Prepare to feel that way again with Godzilla: King Of The Monsters.
Magnitude of God-zilla
Getting more of Godzilla was what viewers and fans wished for, and that’s what they’re getting in Godzilla: King Of The Monsters. That said, the human parts in 2014’s Godzilla were the most panned parts of that movie, as they were described as bland and with the drama lacking any emotion. We simply didn’t care at all for the human characters, with the sole exception of perhaps Bryan Cranston’s, who died way too soon at the beginning of the movie.
I’m glad to say that the human characters in Godzilla: King Of The Monsters are no longer the weakest link in the chain like they were in 2014’s Godzilla. This time around we have a family consisting of our main protagonists; ex-spouses Dr. Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) and Dr. Emma Russell (The Conjuring‘s Vera Farmiga), as well as their daughter, Madison Russell, played by none other than Millie Bobby Brown of Stranger Things‘ fame.
Their relationship forms the emotional core of the movie and is important to the plot as well. They are bolstered by an exceptional and memorable supporting cast in the form of Dr. Rick Stanton (Bradley Whitford), Dr. Sam Coleman (Thomas Middleditch) and my personal favourite (and MVP) in the entire movie, Dr. Ishirō Serizawa (Ken Watanabe).
Watanabe steals many scenes reprising his role as Serizawa, without whom the movie would have suffered greatly, as he plays a colossal part in the movie’s plot. The movie is made all the richer with him in it.
Unfortunately, there had to be at least one weak link in the chain, and it’s Colonel Alan Jonah (Charles Dance), the human antagonist of Godzilla: King Of The Monsters. Dance is an actor of the highest calibre, whose forte is playing dastardly wicked villains, including the likes of Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones. He’s not given much to do in the movie, but that’s ultimately not his fault.
Long Live The MonsterVerse…
What some people might not realize, especially if they haven’t been paying much attention to the post-credit scenes and subtle easter eggs in 2014’s Godzilla and 2017’s Kong: Skull Island, is that Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is the third movie in the MonsterVerse.
The MonsterVerse is Legendary’s attempt at making a cinematic universe featuring iconic monsters like Godzilla and King Kong. The mightiest praise I can give Godzilla: King Of The Monsters (and by extension, the MonsterVerse) is that this might turn out to be only the second cinematic universe after the Marvel Studios’ MCU to really justify its existence and fulfil its potential.
What do I mean by that? Look at both Warner Bros’ DCEU and Universal’s Dark Universe. While the DCEU still technically lives on, its original plans have long been scrapped and it has only recently been revitalized by the likes of 2018’s Aquaman and 2019’s Shazam, both of which have been mostly solo outings. Meanwhile, the Dark Universe miserably failed at launch, with its debut movie 2017’s The Mummy bombing at the box office.
The next movie in the MonsterVerse after Godzilla: King Of The Monsters will be releasing just next year, with Godzilla vs. Kong slated for a 13 March 2020 release date. Could the MonsterVerse be the next billion-dollar movie franchise? It’s very likely to happen at this point.
…Forever May It Reign
Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is a movie that has to be experienced in a movie theatre (preferably IMAX) at least once. Nothing beats the intense cinematic experience of watching enormous monsters on the big screen as the whole cinema shakes with every roar and mighty stomp.
I can’t fully describe Godzilla: King Of The Monsters without going through a bunch of expletives and inaudible sounds of me shrieking not unlike Godzilla himself.
If you liked 2014’s Godzilla and 2017’s Kong: Skull Island, the most important thing you need to know is that Godzilla: King Of The Monsters gives you everything you want in a monster/Kaiju movie.
If (however unlikely it is) you’re not satisfied with Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, don’t forget that you’ll be getting a lot more in only a year’s time with Godzilla vs. Kong in 2020. One last piece of advice: there’s a post-credits scene at the end of Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, which you surely don’t want to miss.
FINAL SCORE: 90/100
Godzilla: King Of The Monsters opens in Malaysian cinemas on 30 May 2019. We caught the movie via IMAX 2D press screening, courtesy of Warner Bros. Malaysia Sdn Bhd.