Having picked up the pieces from the awakening of Godzilla in the first film, we now return to the shadowy Monarch organisation who are continuing their research into the appearance of the ancient monster and its kind (the Titans). However, another mysterious organisation has shown an interest and they are about to unleash even more powerful monsters on the planet.
So how does Godzilla: King of Monsters stack up against what has gone before?
First and foremost the monster scenes are nothing short of awe inspiring. Any criticisms levelled at the first film for not showing enough monster action are remedied here. It is great to see an all-star line-up of Kaiju here, including the debut of Godzilla’s long running nemesis King Ghidorah; a giant three-headed dragon of a scale never before seen on the big screen. Fan favourite Mothra gets in on the action as well, and the visual effects team have outdone themselves here. It is their creations that produce some genuinely beautiful shots that you wouldn’t normally associate with a monster movie. Make no mistake, this a film made by fans of the Toho Studios for fans of the Toho series.
That being said, it’s a shame the budget seems somewhat constrained (surprising for a film of this scale). We get very few daylight scenes, and much like Pacific Rim you will be yearning to see the fantastic creature design in the full light of day. It’s understandable as the budget would probably have needed to double to achieve this, but it’s no less frustrating as a result and this has become all too common a problem with big action scenes.
Darkness isn’t the film’s biggest problem though. If you aren’t invested in the monsters then there really isn’t much here, the rushed story is so thin you barely notice its exists and the overblown cast of human characters are given so little development that you struggle to care about any of their motivations. The only thing that really rescues any of the human interactions is that the cast is relatively starry and everyone is watchable. It is unforgivable to waste Charles Dance as a forgettable villain and giving Millie Bobbie Brown no really opportunity to shine really is a waste of talent.
If you are going for monsters and lots of them, coupled with a sense of nostalgia for the earlier Toho days of men in rubber suits, then you are likely to be able see past the film’s obvious weaknesses and King of Monsters may end up being one the most enjoyable films of the year. For everyone else though, you may want to steer clear.
Author: Paul, Bath store