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Published on June 6th, 2019 | by voxx


Godzilla: King of the Monsters

I love giant monster movies. I have ever since I was a kid seeing the original black and white King Kong, and becoming a fan of the Godzilla movies. From the gritty 1954 film to ‘Final Wars’ I can find enjoyment in them. However, like the 1998 and 2014 versions, this film is once again disappoints on most levels. What’s a shame is that it had all the ingredients to be great, destructive fun, and yet it still failed to deliver.

The story revolves once again around humans finding a large group of titans across the globe. After the events of 2014, an evil organization releases the titan Ghidorah, the three headed dragon from space that awakens all the other titans and forces Godzilla to confront his ultimate foe with the help of Motha. Sounds great, right? Well, too bad, because 90% of the actual film is about human exposition or dull family drama that goes absolutely nowhere and constantly gets in the way of the monster fights, which are merely a background thought. I wouldn’t mind if it was well written, but unlike ‘Bumblebee’ or ‘Pacific Rim’ it’s handled poorly, letting the product down as a whole.

The visuals are great when you can see the monsters, and some really impactful shots of Ghidorah and Godzilla are still effective. A chase with Rodan had me excited for five minutes. Unfortunately, however, all the action takes place behind other characters, so these fantastic models clashing through skyscrapers become nothing more than a backdrop to a car chase, which is a shame. Overall, it looks great, and it would have been so much better if we’d seen more of the actual monsters rather than leaving them as props.

The pacing is surprisingly bad too. It’s hard to describe what’s wrong with it, but nothing flows well. The first act is done well, but acts two and three are just awful, with bad dialogue and scenes that dump expedition rather than interesting character arcs, or scenes that focus on the military rather than the monsters. I mean, why does a modern Godzilla movie need human villains that add nothing? Why? ‘Kong: Skull Island’ was able to balance a decent human cast with likeable goals along with the threats of Kong and the giant creatures at a great pace, so what’s this film’s excuse?

On the flipside, while not at all memorable, the soundtrack overall has some great tracks, the best probably being the ‘Godzilla’ theme itself. It’s rare that I ever like classic themes that have been redone, with Disney reboot soundtracks and ‘Star Wars’ themes, for example, not quite working as they attempt to make them sound new yet familiar. Godzilla, however, feels updated and fresh, with a bizarrely intense combo of the classic horror and action pumped base that it’s enough to hype you up, even if for nothing. As problematic as the film is, you have to give credit where it’s due, and some of the set pieces do have some hauntingly brilliant melodies.

More than anything, I’m disappointed with this movie. It has so many great looking moments and an amazing concept, topped off with a great score. They just got it wrong having the action take place in the background in favour of awful, boring human characters who can’t keep a good pace. With each build up I felt let down to the point where it became very annoying. It continuously teases a grand moment that never fully comes. After the last few movies in this universe, I have genuinely lost a lot of the excitement I had for it. Maybe the real king of the monsters can save a sequel, but until then the title of king is for now firmly with Kong.

- By Samuel Wood

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