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Godzilla: King of the Monsters Review

"Long Live the King"
The time has finally come to get back to it. The follow-up to 2014's amazing Godzilla is here and though this review is technically late, there is no better time than the present to get into Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

This film begins where the previous one ends amid the destruction of San Francisco following Godzilla's epic battle with the MUTOs. We open on a family who is searching for a missing child only to be brought to the present day, five years later, where we learn about the current state of the family. When Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) and Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) are kidnapped by ecoterrorists led by Alan Jonah (Charles Dance) following the birth of the larva Mothra, Dr. Mark Russell is brought into the mix to help sort everything out. This is what gets things going.

[caption id="attachment_105212" align="alignnone" width="800"] Image via Warner Bros.[/caption]

Before long, Godzilla will be intertwined in various conflicts with monsters of the elite and storied monster rouges gallery. When that happens, heaven help us all.

This film seems to move faster than its predecessor. It takes seemingly the requisite time to introduce us to the human players in the proceedings, yet something feels lacking when it comes to the humans and the pacing might be part of that issue. Another factor could be the fact that you have to set up and address several major characters in Rodan, Mothra, and Ghidora, while reminding us of why we need to respect Godzilla. There almost seems to be too many moving pieces for you to really care about the humans.

[caption id="attachment_105213" align="alignnone" width="800"] Image via Warner Bros.[/caption]

This isn't to say that the acting isn't great, because Kyle Chandler and Vera Farmiga and others, turn in strong performances. As does Ken Watanabe who returns with the gravitas. One of the bigger disappointments in the acting category has to be that of Millie Bobby Brown. Now, before you rip my head off dear reader, I did think that she was solid here. My problem with her in this film was how there didn't seem to be enough room for her to show what she could do. This is more of a script and pacing issue than anything else. I really wanted a bit more of her.

The visuals here are as strong as they should be. Each monster is rendered very well and fully realized. Each feels like a living creature with its own sense of agency. I would have liked to have seen more of Mothra, the only female monster in the mix. There is something that struck me in the way of her agency or lack thereof (depending on how you see it) and how she seemed to serve the Godzilla that bothered me a bit, but aside from that, she too was a beautifully realized creature.

[caption id="attachment_105214" align="alignnone" width="800"] Image via Warner Bros.[/caption]

The score was equally strong, though for me the highest point of it all has to be the inclusion of the Godzilla Theme (or Gojira Tai Mosura). It's one of those seminal themes, like the Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back, or James Bond theme. Musical cues that come in to let you know that a force is coming. You aren't disappointed when it comes up in this film. Especially if you're a fan of Godzilla. Though, I will say that I half hoped the beat from the Pharoahe Monch song would drop Simon Says would drop. For all you youngsters out there, check it out. And for good measure, here's the one from this film.

Overall, the film was solid, though if I'm choosing between this one and the previous 2014 film, I would pick the former film. Still looking forward to Godzilla vs. King Kong though!
  • Amazing visuals
  • Decent acting
  • Excellent musical score
  • Lack of resonance for the human characters


Meet the Author

About / Bio
Steven Armstrong is an editor and staff writer for Entertainment Fuse's Movie Department. He also is a creative writer of fiction and poetry, an occasional filmmaker and electronic musician who enjoys reading, writing, video games, movies and any good story.

Should you be curious, he can also be found talking about movies for the Center 4 Cinephiles (C4C) on YouTube.

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