Simple Review: Go, Go Godzilla!
Isn’t it amazing that a movie made in 1954 staring a guy in a rubber suit stomping on a city model could have lead to a 35 film franchise that made a household name out of a giant, radioactive lizard? Yet, here we are in 2019 and movie-going audiences are still craving more kaiju mayhem. Enter Godzilla: King of the Monsters which brings back our friendly neighborhood prehistoric reptile with a few cuddly friends, and some not so cuddly. This follow up to the appropriately named 2014 film, Godzilla, looks to amp up the monster action by throwing as many gargantuan creatures at our hero as can be fit into a two-hour flick. Does Godzilla: King of the Monsters crush all that stand in its way or does it make you yearn for the days of Mathew Broderick and French commandos? Well, grab your loved ones and run as fast as you can before I drop my big ole foot on this movie review!
Travel back with me, the Movie Psycho, through the mists of time to the decade of synth pop and big hair, the ’80s, and the joy of local cable channels. As a child, I would wake up early on Saturday mornings and rush to the T.V., armed with a bowl of some cereal that had way too much sugar, to watch cartoons. You see kiddos, back then we didn’t have cartoons on all the time so we had to wait until Saturday morning to bask in the glory of Scooby, Bugs Bunny, and the Flintstones. As exciting as those trips into animated worlds were, the highlight of the day came after the last cartoon was over and our local T.V. station would play a different Godzilla movie every week. I was too young to care about the silly special effects and bad voice dubbing instead I routed for Godzilla to vanquish this weeks colossal foe. It was a simpler time that is being rehashed non-stop in various streaming network shows and remakes of movies with scary clowns hiding in drainage pipes so I know most of you are tired of hearing how much better it was. Well, it was better so suck it!! But I digress. It is this innocent view of Godzilla movies that may cloud my review for Godzilla: King of the Monsters since all I really want is to see giant monsters fight it out!
If you are like me and do not ask more than to watch giant monster skirmishes then this latest Godzilla movie will definitely scratch that itch. It is clear the director Michael Dougherty has an affection for the Godzilla movies of the past and, unlike the 2014 film that kept Godzilla to a minimum, Dougherty puts all of the monster’s front and center in this film. Visually Godzilla: King of the Monsters is gorgeous to look at with the creatures given beautiful detail and epic shot after epic shot. Dougherty gives each of the main creatures a satisfyingly updated yet faithful to the old version look, which was a perfect blend of new and old. Mothra is absolutely breathtaking when she emerges from behind a giant waterfall spreading her neon blue wings. You’ve probably seen that shot in the trailers and believe me, it is even more jaw-dropping in the theater. There are great shots of Rodan emerging from a volcano and his battle in a small Mexican village is one of the highlights of the film. King Ghidorah, with his nasty three heads, is the perfect threat for our heroes and if the movie didn’t have Godzilla in the title I would have been sure he was going to win this time. As for Godzilla, he is pretty much the badass you want him to be and more than once I got goosebumps as he showed why he is King of the Monsters! Yes, your inner 11 year old will thank you for buying a ticket to see this one.
Fortunately for this movie, the action pieces are edge of your seat exciting and keep the movie from dragging, for the most part. Unfortunately for the film, the human element to the plot does get in the way sometimes and you will want to push the fast forward button to get to the next monster duel. The cast is filled with excellent actor after excellent actor and they give believable and fine performances that never fall into the bad or over-acting realm. However, the script gives them barely anything to do except spout exposition. The writers should be credited for bringing a larger scale Godzilla movie than it’s 2014 predecessor, but sometimes simpler is the better way to go especially in this genre of movie. There are good guy scientist and bad guy scientists all spouting the typical dialogue you’ve seen time and time again. It does get old fast with only two moments that really stood out from the human side of the story. One character finally has a moment with the creature he has been chasing his whole life that is surprisingly emotional. You won’t need tissues, but if you have a heart it might pluck a string or two. The other moment is one I wish the writers would have followed more closely as it would have made for a more interesting story. The main child character ( I am not putting her name as who really cares what a human characters name in a Godzilla movie is?!?), played by everyone’s favorite prime number from Stranger Things Millie Bobby Brown, realizes maybe one of her parents isn’t what she thought. It was a brief moment in the film, but that would have been a much more interesting thread to follow as the characters track the giant monsters. Instead, we get a government agency that rivals S.H.I.E.L.D. and villains that have an agenda that makes no sense. Plus we get a ton of characters talking via Skype (is that still a thing? I am old) and swiping through exposition on their computer devices.
We have reached the point of this blog where the President of the U.S.A has no other option than to drop a nuclear bomb on the review in hopes of stopping it, and he whispers ” May God have mercy on our souls.” As I stumble out of the explosion to prove how unstoppable I am let me recommend Godzilla: King of the Monsters if you are a fan of the big, green lizard. There are some amazing visuals and the monster fights are exciting and, believe me, the filmmakers do not hold back in that department. The human plot is not that great and could have used some work, but let’s be honest if you are interested in this type of movie you couldn’t care less about the human characters. So, go to the theater, get a big ole tub of popcorn and enjoy a satisfying Godzilla adventure!
I hope you enjoyed this review and if you did please like, comment and share with your friends so we can take over the world!
As always, thanks for your time.
The Movie Psycho