Let’s hail the king.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters promises action as the other Titans are unleashed and it is up to Godzilla to save us all. You will go into the theater expecting epic fights, cool monsters, and all kinds of destruction. However, you will see:
People arguing some more.
People moving around doing stupid stuff.
People being annoying.
People watching monsters fight via a monitor.
People talking about monsters.
People watching monsters.
People talking about nothing.
People in a monster movie.
That’s right, folks, we have another monster movie where the titular monster doesn’t even bother showing up for about 45 minutes. This time around we are centered on a family drama—sure you haven’t ever seen that before.
Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) and her daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) are kidnapped by ecoterrorists headed by Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) with the intent of unleashing the Titans to rebalance the planet. The government drags Emma’s estranged husband (or ex-husband?) Kyle (Mark Russell) into the mess for reasons. I suppose it could have worked in some universe if Russell had more emotional range than a potato. (Look, the guy is fine in comedies, but here he was too clunky).
After some long-winded plot points, we finally get to see some monsters fight, for about two minutes. Then, we are back to the interpersonal crap of people we don’t care about. I honestly think some of the actors were sick of this as enough of the big names from the first are basically reduced to cameos or killed off early.
At a mind-melting 132 minutes this film could have easily cut over 45 and left us with a much more enjoyable experience. By the time the fight finally (and I mean finally) gets under way all I could think about was how long my feet and ass had been asleep. I don’t mind long films (hell, I find Bela Tarr films excellent), but there was nothing here. We all knew how this movie would end and we are stuck with obvious filler.
The real question is why would they do this? I can’t imagine test audiences had a crack at this—it is simply too overstuffed to mean anything. Do the monsters look cool? Yeah, but I don’t want to wait an hour in a Godzilla film to see Godzilla! A youtube compilation of the fights would probably only be about 15 minutes.
The fact that this film is underperforming at the box office shouldn’t be a surprise. I felt like it was an endurance test—and there was no payoff at the end. What should have been a fun night at the theater became a boring chore. The story doesn’t matter—no matter how much they tried to force in a climate discussion and humanity’s role as stewards of the Earth. These moments were too blunt to mean anything. With no emotional resonance it just feels like a hollow exercise of CGI destruction.
Aside from a bad script, the fact that we are already plugging the next installment in the monsterverse should make everyone a little ill. Instead of trying to pull a new franchise out of the rotting carcass of the original Godzilla, maybe try making an interesting film? Not everything needs to be the new Marvel (despite idiot producers saying the opposite). This formulaic and overwrought crap isn’t going to inspire many to watch King Kong (notably absent from this film) and Godzilla duke it out.
Don’t waste your time. Easily one of the worst films of the year so far.