Go big or go home.
Such is the mantra of most big budget monster disaster movies, and it’s one of the main reasons why many devotees of the genre love them. There are certain things most fans want in a kaiju movie too, and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” delivers on all counts. This large scale, action-packed adventure stays true to Godzilla lore and even includes a few nods to the old school monster B-movies of the past.
Crypto-zoological agency Monarch is at it again, this time creating a man-made battle for supremacy between an army of monsters, including Mothra, Rodan, and the terrifying, three-headed nemesis, King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species rise again, an epic battle ensues, leaving humanity’s existence hanging in the balance. Can Godzilla be the savior hero the world needs? That answer is yes.
There’s not much plot to speak of, but there is a decent amount of subtle social commentary about humans screwing up the environment. The plot is as predictable as they come, and a better screenplay would’ve made this a slightly better movie. The writing is nothing to get excited about (I wouldn’t quite go so far as to call it bad, but it’s certainly not very good), but we all know that’s not why you are going to see a movie like this in the first place.
It’s the fights, stupid.
And boy oh boy, are the action sequences a ton of fun. The CGI effects are impressive (especially in 3D), creating a seamless world inhabited by monsters as they destroy major cities, the military, and each other. (I never thought of Mothra as beautiful before, but this animation changed my mind). There are plenty of emotionally satisfying, rousing moments to thrill fans. If you don’t feel like pumping your fist in the air when Godzilla rises again with his mighty roar, you definitely aren’t the target audience.
The trend of casting talented actors to fill in the blanks proves useful here too, with better than average background performances that take a back seat to the thundering action onscreen. Vera Farmiga and Millie Bobby Brown give especially strong performances, with solid supporting nods from the likes of Ken Watanabe, Bradley Whitford, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Kyle Chandler.
When put up against other movies, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” isn’t going to land anywhere near the top of the list. But when compared to similar films in the kaiju genre, it’s a grade A effort.