What makes a good Godzilla movie? For many, that’s actually a divisive answer….not nearly as divisive as this MOVIE, but still divisive. People have a lot of expectation when it comes to Godzilla. If it has too many humans, people will say that it’s “Missing the point of the franchise” and “Not what the fans want to see”. If there are too many monsters, fans will say that it’s “Too obnoxious” and that it “Lacks a meaningful story to make it fully enjoyable”. In a sense both of these views are correct, you can’t have too much human interaction without showing the monster because at that point it’s teasing the audience and you can’t have TOO much monster stuff without it becoming boring and unimpactful. There’s a way to balance these conflicting points and I think King of the Monsters did an admirable job of that…but I still wouldn’t call it one of the Big-G’s greatest outings.
I didn’t come into this movie expecting a high tier story with extremely interesting characters and writing but for what’s on show here, I thought KOTM did a serviceable job at telling a story. I felt that the cast of human characters were MUCH more interesting than the majority of the last film’s characters (And by that I mean “Everyone that wasn’t Bryon Cranston”) and they never felt as intrusive to the spectacle as they did last time. Sure I couldn’t really tell you anyone’s names outside of “Mark” and “Serizawa” but I certainly wouldn’t call anyone annoying outside of a few..weird parts of comic relief (There’s for real a character that makes a gonorrhea joke). The acting, outside of a few odd bits from Kyle Chandler, I found to also be enjoyable with Ken Wattanabe, Millie Bobby Brown, and Vera Farmiga being huge standouts. My main issue with the story is that it’s…kind of nothing. While the stakes are high and characters are doing things, none of it is attention-grabbing, it more so serves as a reason to keep the movie going so it can get to The Big Lizard Man. There’s nothing in KOTM that’s going to stick with you or keep you truly invested and that’s a shame because DESPITE WHAT A LOT OF GODZILLA FANS TELL YOU YOU CAN, IN FACT, HAVE COMPELLING HUMANS IN A GODZILLA FILM.
You know what, though? If there’s one thing this movie does REALLY well, it’s the monster scenes. If you’re a long time Godzilla fan I think you’ll have a hard time not finding something to enjoy during these parts of the movie. Almost every scene has an easter egg or reference to the older movies and I got a kick out of it, the callback to the twin fairies being a personal favorite. The fact that they don’t shy away from the monsters this time around is also a huge step up from the last movie because, while they’re a BIT too frequent in this movie, they at least don’t tease you EVERY SINGLE TIME SOMETHING FUN HAPPENS.
I REALLY didn’t like Godzilla 2014, god.
Every monster in this movie had a distinct personality as well which I thought was a lot of fun. Seeing Godzilla and Ghidorah show a variety of facial expressions was super great and you know what I can officially say I know what an angry moth looks like now because of Mothra’s furrowed brow. A Thing I Don’t Think Moths Actually Have. Oh yeah, they did Mothra SO well in this movie, too…I don’t really have anything else besides that. She’s my favorite monster and they did her well.
To be honest…that’s all I really have to say about this movie. It’s an average action movie with fun monster fights that I think is a great crowd pleaser. Do I think it deserved the lambasting from critics for showing too much of the monsters? Not really, no. Do I think it deserved the wild amount of praise that it got from fans for showing nothing but monsters? Also no. Honestly, I don’t even know where either side of this argument are getting their viewpoints from. The movie showed both the humans and monsters for a near equal amount of time. Like I said earlier, people have a lot of weird expectations for Godzilla and what it means for it to be good that it’s kind of crazy. Godzilla can be loud, fun, serious, dark, colorful, profound, and slow. It’s not a one-note franchise and I feel like both critic and fan alike are starting to forget that. It’s at least a fun discussion point about the discrepancy between critic and audience, I just wish it was attached to a more interesting movie.