Following the emergence of several ancient monsters, Godzilla returns after five years to fight the apex beast known as Ghidorah.
I was not a fan of Gareth Edwards’s Godzilla from 2014. The sequel, which is directed by Michael Dougherty (Krampus and Trick or Treat), has more monster fighting and even larger-scaled visuals, but the burgeoningly useless characters and the dissident screenplay is what sunk the experience into the same level of tedium on display in its predecessor.
Bigger does not equal better. The highlight is the monsters. From Godzilla to Mothra to Rhodan to Ghidorah, the spectacle that was brought by the clash of the titans was able to relieve me from all the other kludgy missteps.
There are some killer good visuals, some of which are genuinely majestic and it does elicit that feeling of feeling so small. It was really cool and the CGI was overall very impressive.
What kills this movie are the human characters. I have never seen such a high-profile cast be so balefully under-served. The dialogue is pretty bad, the humour is sordidly inconsistent, the characters are not fleshed out. The drama between Chandler, Farmiga and Bobby Brown feels like such an afterthought that it never leaves the impact that it wants to leave.
King of the Monsters feels like two different movies, neither of which wants to conflate, neither of which can’t flow naturally as a gestalt. It’s really terrible. At times it’s an over-the-top Kaiju battle flick, other times it’s a dour drama.
The path that led to the emergence of these monsters? The reasoning behind why these bad boys are here? It was nothing short of fetid writing. The lapse in logic that the characters suffuse into their actions is honestly insane. The characters feel so boneless and thoughtless that I don’t even really remember their names, the actors turn in okay performances but with their track records? They’ve been way better.
Another reason why the characters don’t work is because they speak in exposition, after every scuffle between the monsters, and the movie would regularly have them spoon-feeding information. It’s just explaining. No real conversations (very terse at best).
The worst part is that the human characters feature in it so much that it just becomes an experience where the viewer languishes in a state of lassitude. How can this be a fun mindless B movie when a melodramatic tone is what it’s aiming for? How am I expected to feel consistently entertained with something so chafed and so confused of its intentions? What is this movie trying to be? I don’t know.
It’s entertaining in parts, I really dug some of the shots and the massive scale but Godzilla: King of the Monsters left me languishing in a state of lassitude. A self-stymied sequel with no substantial merit. Personally, I’d steer clear.
Written by Seán Mac G.