Godzilla: King of The Monsters boasted a pretty epic trailer not too long ago and appeared to be the exact kind of special effects monster you’d want to see on the big screen. I missed the boat on that opportunity, but since our home theatre(s) are pretty powerful in the way of size, screen, and sound I was able to grasp what that experience may have been like. On that level Godzilla was pretty powerful. In other spectrum’s it was pretty terrible, but in the same breath it knew exactly what it was and didn’t try to hide how awful the ridiculous plot and characters were. It was awesomely bad. Like Dante’s Peak where the people are morons but everything else is spectacular. Ya dig?
If you’ve experienced the old Toho classics with the cheese and over the top stories then you may be ready for what you’re about to be spoon fed. Please don’t try to compare this to the likes of Pacific Rim though. They have very little in common save the monsters. The character’s in this story serve no purpose but to be plot devices to view the battles between glorious monsters tearing the world apart. In fact, you may be rooting FOR them to get eaten alive. I know I was.
We walk into the story where monsters already roam the world, Godzilla has danglers this time and so is “King”. We are cued into a a few characters, a split married couple and teenage daughter along with a crypto-zoological agency Monarch. These monsters or earth’s “guardians” are being woken to rid the earth of it’s most recent scourge: MAN. But the monsters don’t get along and human interference with the one and only sonar machine in existence can chill them out or piss them off. When they wake the terrifying three headed King Ghidorah things get really…..unreasonable.
The character’s may suck, but there is an awesome cast that nerd’s will just fawn over. Vera Farminga is reason to watch anything and almost, ALMOST makes her character seem reasonable. Ken Wantanabe is one of my favorite working actors and is Godzilla’s biggest fan. Ziyi Zhang is doing….I’m not sure what. Charles Dance is playing a remarkably familiar character. He even makes a crude comment about unworthy kings. Kyle Chandler thinks he’s Dr. Alan Grant without the charm or in fact being Sam Neill. Bradley Whitford plays a would-be witty/quirky genius type. He’s clearly supposed to be the comic relief.
Even Millie Bobby Brown from “Stranger Things” plays the daughter who is the “Carl” of the movie. She just can’t seem to stay in the house. Eventually she finally DOES go into the house and it is the worst possible time to ever go in the house. I can’t determine if these terrible archetypes and familiar faulty characters were done with tongue in cheek or were actually that bad. Either way it resulted in much face palming and laughter.
Parenting In Disaster/Monster/Alien Movies
My mom always told me horror movies can only exist if you have stupid people doing stupid things. That’s not untrue. BUT you can have GOOD horror movies without those things happening. Godzilla fully relies on the stupidity of it’s character’s. The daughter “Madison” fully propels the opportunity for more monster engagements. Like, she calls the monsters, but then is ultimately surprised when they show up even though the monster phone has worked over and over again. She the “forgets” to “turn off” her call and suddenly is in imminent danger. Insert face palm.
These terrible choices by Madison and the fact that she may have the worst parents on film or TV make it convenient for the cast to constantly be right in the middle of monster fights with their inept flying machines and weapons.
There’s a lot of visual moments that echo Jurassic Park and other monster flicks, like the T-Rex eye shot, but unlike a lot of the other less than thoughtful or cliche moments these seemed to be a call back to the monster movies that paved the way for a new Godzilla movie to exist.
Holy magical moments of glory Batman. This is what we signed up for. The sight, the sound, the destruction. It’s all on a level of it’s own. Watching the expressions of Godzilla himself is pretty impressive. The CGI and practical effects spared no expense and it shows. The colors are otherworldly and bursting out of the screen and the sound is wild and powerful. Using all of this sensory glory you are able to enjoy what the film wants you to enjoy…..monsters fighting and you won’t be disappointed.
Aside from monster battles we get to watch the world burn. There was something incredibly satisfying to see DC underwater and the world on fire. The apocalypse is in full effect and a dystopian future is before you. Roland Emmerich is sitting somewhere very proud. The monsters pulverize everything they come in contact with and this imaginary destruction is relatively beautiful in it’s own way.
If you’re looking for a solid plot, character development and events that make sense to transpire don’t bother watching “Godzilla”, but if you are a fan of a good monster squabble and special effects sign up now. Godzilla doesn’t care about what it’s lacking. It knows exactly what it is and it wears it like a badge of honor. This goes in my movie bank of “awesomely bad” films.
Rating: 2/5 Stars