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REVIEW: Godzilla: King of the Monsters – Return of the King

 
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Overview
 

Directed by: Michael Dougherty
 
Produced by: Alex Garcia, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent, Thomas Tull, Brian Rogers
 
Written By: Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields
 
Starring: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditchm, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Ken Watanabe, Zhang Ziyi
 
MTRCB Rating: PG
 
Genre: , ,
 
FG RATING
8.0
8/ 10


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Raves


Godzilla finally returns to form after too many subversive reboots

Rants


The movie just ends


Five years after his first appearance, Godzilla comes out of hiding when humanity is threatened by the return of his deadliest enemy: the three-headed dragon King Ghidorah

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Posted May 29, 2019 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

Godzilla may have had three reboots in the past 20 years, but they didn’t feel right. Two of them felt like subversive arthouse versions of a rampaging nuclear lizard, while the one from the ‘90s is utter garbage. Godzilla: King of the Monsters, a sequel to the most recent American revival, fixes matters by being the one thing the reboots weren’t: fun.

Godzilla Returns

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Godzilla: King of the Monsters [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

King of the Monsters is a vintage Godzilla movie at heart. From bickering scientists to the fight between Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Rodan, this sequel could’ve easily been mistaken for Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster if not for the absence of stuntmen in goofy rubber monster suits.

The key difference is that this sequel updates the established Kaiju movie formula. Everything that made the Godzilla franchise charming and/or corny is given depth. For once, the scientists and soldiers are relatable and compelling instead of being scene fillers or fodder. The Titans are also given surprising amounts of depth and care, defining them as more than just menacing giants with superpowers. Even the monsters being metaphors for topical issues is worked in, with the characters’ debates about stopping the apocalypse by way of Kaiju fights being appropriately overdramatic and unreal.

Unlike the reboots, this Godzilla celebrated the campy and schlocky appeal of the franchise, with earnest homages to the previous Showa/Heisei-era movies such as certain backstories, musical cues, plot devices, and more. But in successfully reviving the old movies’ fun, King of the Monsters overlooked some aspects.

Monster Mash

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Godzilla: King of the Monsters [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

Overall, King of the Monsters is an effective monster movie that does exactly what it sets out to do, but it hits a few minor bumps. Depending on who you ask, these are either nitpicks or minor issues that do little to topple the nuclear lizard.

Despite featuring four of the most famous Kaijus, this sequel may have been better off just focusing on two. Due to their rivalry, Godzilla and King Ghidorah understandably have the most presence, but this renders Mothra and Rodan almost irrelevant. Outside of their awe-inspiring entrances, the two barely have any impact on the plot and final fight. These iconic fliers deserved more time and characterization, especially since the monsters are treated as actual characters here.

However, the weirdest yet most glaring gripe about this sequel is the highly anticipated finale which, for lack of better words, just ends. Everything before and about the clash feels meticulously planned and perfectly built-up to, but then someone forgot about the finishing blows. Without spoiling, the killing strikes happen because someone got a suicidal power-up that wasn’t that life-threatening anyways, making the fight strangely anti-climactic despite the epic score blaring over the closing scenes.

Go Go Godzilla

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Godzilla: King of the Monsters [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

Godizlla: King of the Monsters is the most Godzilla movie ever made, and it’s what fans of the big G have always dreamt of. Unbelievably massive and entrancing, this sequel not only vastly improves on its frustrating if well-intentioned predecessor, but declares itself the king of the entire franchise.


Angelo Delos Trinos

 
Part-time artist and writer, full-time critic/overthinker. He believes that Samuel L.Jackson is the greatest actor on earth and he misses video stores.


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