Following up from the disappointing 2014 film ‘Godzilla’ (disappointing mainly down to the horribly low screen time of Godzilla), the famed Japanese monster returns to our big screens to continue Legendary’s MonsterVerse. ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ is the third attempt by Hollywood to replicate the success Godzilla has with its Japanese audiences. It is clear it’s successful due to the 32 different Godzilla movies that have been made by Japanese studios. Not quite sure that Hollywood will replicate those numbers, but stranger things have happened. In this new outing, Godzilla returns (with more screen time, I promise) and the story has picked up where the 2014 movie left off. Godzilla hasn’t been sighted for years and the world is panicking at the thought of more monsters turning up and wrecking their cities and governments debate whether to destroy Godzilla or use him as a weapon of war.
Due to the let-down that was the Gareth Edwards directed Godzilla film back in 2014, I didn’t go into this new film with much expectation or hope. The trailers hadn’t blown me away but I was slightly hopeful at the prospect of seeing the wonderful Millie Bobby Brown in her feature debut. I was actually very surprised at how much I enjoyed this rendition of Godzilla. From the get go, the film sets its course as a fairly tongue in cheek blockbuster movie, and to be honest, that’s what we expect for a film of this type, right? I allowed myself to be immersed in the experience and take it for what it is. And as a blockbuster movie, it ticks all the boxes. It has a great cast, including Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Charles Dance, O’Shea Jackson Jr and as mentioned before, Millie Bobby Brown. The great part about the acting in this film is that they were all able to bring human emotion into a blockbuster, and that’s a rare thing to do. Good acting is usually sacrificed in a film like this but good performances are in abundance in this. Additionally, there is a lot of action, and I mean a lot of action. To go with all that, it’s fast paced too which helps with its over two hour running time.
Visually, the film is impressive. At times it does suffer from ‘Game of Thrones: Battle of Winterfell’ syndrome where I couldn’t see a thing but those moments were few and far between. This has been my favourite of the Hollywood versions of Godzilla as we had plenty of times to really take him in and appreciate the titan that is Godzilla. I put this all down to director Mike Dougherty who I think has done a fantastic job with the story that he had to tell. It’s not the strongest of stories, yet Dougherty has managed to make this visually pleasing with some great set pieces and a great eye for a pleasing shot. My favourite had to be one particular scene where Godzilla is approaching a submarine underground, and the titan is hiding within the darkness of the waters, but can only been seen by the flashing light from his spine. Hard to imagine when reading it, but when you see it, you’ll understand.
By all means, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ isn’t the best film you’re going to see this year. But if you’re looking for good fun, to be entertained and just be able to sit in your cinema seat, eat all the popcorn you can possibly shove down your throat in just over two hours, then this is the perfect movie. It’s not perfect, it certainly has its flaws but those can be overlooked (well in my eyes anyway).
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