It is just me, or is it getting very hard to tell the difference between Ron Livingston and Kyle Chandler. I see Kyle Chandler in Godzilla: King of the Monsters and I see Ron Livingston in Tully or The Conjuring (which also just so happens to star Vera Farmiga) and they practically look like the same person, to me at least.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a sequel to Gareth Edward’s Godzilla movie that was released all the way back in 2014.
The original idea, I believe, was that Edwards would go off to direct Rogue One and then return for this Godzilla sequel after the Star Wars film had wrapped. Well, Rogue One wrapped alright, but Edwards then decided he wasn’t feeling Godzilla: King of the Monsters anymore and left the project.
The studios then handed it off to Trick ‘R Treat and Krampus (both of which are movies that I very much enjoy) director Micheal Dougherty, which brings us to present day.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters opens with the climactic battle of the 2014 Godzilla — only this time, in a way that reminded me a bit too much of Batman vs. Superman, we see it through the pedestrian’s perspective.
Dr. Mark (Chandler) and Dr. Emma Russell (Farmiga) are desperately trying to both survive and keep their family — that being their daughter, Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) and son, Andrew — intact while the attack of San Francisco takes place around them.
As you might have guessed by the lack of actor’s credit assigned to the character, Andrew doesn’t make it.
Fast-forward five years and Mark and Emma have since gone their separate ways in efforts to cope. Emma has decided to give all her time and energy to this Monarch project, which is the Titian Initiative thing that was clumsily introduced during the post-credit scene of Kong: Skull Island, while Mark ran away to Alaska so he could take pictures of wolves.
During that time, nobody has heard from or even seen Godzilla — but they have found a number of other monsters.
Godzilla and Kong aren’t the only two beasts to roam this world, it appears. No, Earth was once home to dozens and dozens of these gigantic creatures — and many of them are still alive today, hibernating safely somewhere underground.
While Monarch’s goal is to protect and preserve these lifeforms, there are other, far more sinister people and organizations that have different plans in mind.
Through some ambiguous villain motivation that really doesn’t make any sense at all the longer that Godzilla: King of the Monsters chugs along, the monsters unanimously decide to rise up together and destroy, well, pretty much everyone.
With a three-headed dragon named Ghidorah being the leader of the bunch, Godzilla is the only chance that humans have of surviving this plague as the giant reptile has to fight the lot of them, one-by-one.
The concept of Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a smart move on the studio’s part. While I’m one of the few people who will defend 2014’s Godzilla, people’s main complaint with that film is that Godzilla and any other monsters are hardly in it. Promising to put all of Godzilla’s foes for one big brawl in a single movie is ambitious, but it guarantees that you aren’t going to hear the same complaint from people for this sequel.
That being said, would it be too much to ask for Godzilla to fight in the day, for once? The battles are cool and all, but I’d really like, you know, some proper lighting and everything so I can actually see what’s happening.
Let’s go back to those monster battles, though, because that’s what you really came to see. If that is quite literally the only thing you want out of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, then you’re going to leave satisfied, too — the fights are awesome. The movie may not be as stuffed full of them as the trailers want you to believe as Godzilla really only fights two, maybe three, monsters total throughout this thing, but Godzilla: King of the Monsters still has that John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum quality to it in that you’re going to be ridiculously entertained in some moments even if you don’t love everything else about the film.
It’s the human characters that really aren’t doing Godzilla: King of the Monsters any favors.
The thing I like about 2014’s Godzilla is that they spend a lot of time properly building up that climatic battle so that it pays off in a satisfying way. Now, you could argue that the humans in that movie are a bit of a wet blanket and I won’t fight you too hard, but they’re still helping us get to that glorious sequence at the end.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters has a lot of downtime with the humans, too — the difference is that none of them really go anywhere all that interesting and wind up just bloating the runtime in between the battles.
Chandler, Farmiga, Brown — they all give good performances, they’re characters are just built on clichés we’ve seen time and time again. Same goes for the supporting characters, as Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Game of Thrones' Charles Dance, Long Shot's O'Shea Jackson Jr. and Get Out's Bradley Whitford are all fine actors, but none of them really have anything to do.
Again, you came for the monsters and you’re likely with how they portray the monsters. Godzilla, Ghidorah, Mothra and Rodan are all cool — cool enough that I want to see this franchise continue, even if I’m not in love with this one. Godzilla: King of the Monsters doesn’t feel like the whole package, though, as I found myself wanting to skip past Whitford’s failed attempts at comedic relief or Chandler’s internal crisis that goes nowhere just to get back to those titan brawls.
Let’s hope that Godzilla vs. Kong can do it just a little better. I have faith in you, Adam Wingard (Blair Witch and You’re Next are both great, even if his Death Note kind of sucks).
Watch the trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters here and then let us know, in the comments below, what you thought about the film!
'Godzilla: King of the Monsters' - Now that's what I call a monster mash7