Yep, I’m reviewing a movie that came out almost a month ago. And really the main reason is that I wasn’t too excited about it at first. I didn’t care for the super slow and serious Godzilla of 2014, and Kong: Skull Island was merely worth the price of a Redbox rental. What convinced me to finally go and see it? The crappy reviews of course. Critics seemed to dislike Godzilla: King of the Monsters because it didn’t have enough plot or human drama. Those are precisely the things I don’t want in a monster movie so I finally got off my ass last weekend to check it out. I’m assuming that you’ve either seen it by now or don’t care enough if I give spoilers.
So that point where I was looking forward to a big-ass kaiju brawl quickly faded as we start in on the plot. I accept that there are going to be some people and some story. It’s gonna be a small audience if it’s nothing but giant CGI monsters kicking each other around for two hours (that small audience and I would have a great time though). Setting up that the main characters are motivated by the events of the last Godzilla movie is fine. They need to have some sort of motivation for whatever the hell it is they’re doing here. But there’s nothing original or interesting about them so I don’t know why they bothered. A family that’s split up, and the father has to save his kid from world ending danger? Gasp! I’ve never seen that happen in an action movie before. Other stupid cliches include: the bad guy played by someone who is obviously playing a bad guy (Charles Dance is getting typecast), the plucky teen who just wants her family back together, a funny guy (Thomas Middleditch just kind of being there not funny at all), Asian scientists who respect Godzilla, the black guy who’s only there to be a black guy, Bradley Whitford being wacky as fuck, and the father who blames Godzilla for his son’s death but turns over faster than his son can roll in his grave. And Eco-terrorists? What fucking year is this? Did I get tricked into watching that stupid second Jurassic Park movie again?
What story there is makes no sense. Godzilla protects the planet? What about all the destruction form the first movie? I don’t really remember it, but they sure show a lot of it’s aftermath at the start of this one. Vera Farmiga’s character says something about the radiation the Titans give off renewing the planet. I’m pretty sure that’s not how radiation works. If it did Chernobyl would be a paradise by now. Waking up all the Titans in the world to “heal” the planet is not the greatest idea. There wouldn’t be a movie without that though. And we also wouldn’t have gotten the few cool things we got out of this movie. I just wish that Pacific Rim hadn’t taught all monster movie directors that kaiju fights had to take place in blurry environments. It’s always dark or storming or raining lava when more than one monster is on-screen. Since those parts are what I was most looking forward to I was understandably annoyed when I couldn’t tell what was going on. When we did get to see them it was always too brief, and then we had to cut back to idiots doing things or feeling some kind of way. There also just aren’t enough monsters. I know they’re setting up the whole King Kong vs. Godzilla thing, but what does that have to do with the rest of the Titans? If they all bow down to Godzilla, and just fuck off home then they clearly aren’t all going with him to Skull Island. Why not show more of the Titans destroying shit? Or even just show them coming fully out of the ground. According to the character’s maps and conversations there was a Titan under Stone Mountain, Georgia. Shit, that’s 20 minutes away from me. I had to turn to Google to find out what that, and all of the other unseen Titans were all about. So just let me diverge here for a minute in case you’ve been too lazy (or have a life) to look them up yourself.
The Titans we see:
Rodan (who has a face like a Skeksis)
MUTO (one of those things from the 2004 movie)
King Kong (but only in old footage)
The ones we don’t see:
Tiamat (this is the one near my house)
I wasn’t a fan of how Rodan and Godzilla looked. Why doesn’t Godzilla have shoulders? He’s built like a professional wrestler, but the best part of the movie is when he gets all radioactive. The sound when his spines start glowing as he’s powering up is about the best thing I’ve seen in a monster movie in a very long time. Mothra was a little too pretty and ethereal, but Ghidorah looked very cool and dragon-y. I really needed a whole lot more of those Titans to wake up. Are they just sleeping in? Maybe they’ll show up in the next movie, but I doubt it. The movie gives a massive spoiler at the end. If I was heavily invested in Godzilla vs. Kong I would be sad. Since the last scene shows Charles Dance retrieving one of Ghidorah’s severed heads it can only be assumed that he’s going to make a new one. Kong and Godzilla will duke it out, but then have to come together to beat super improved Ghidorah. Or maybe Mecha-Ghidorah. I can only hope on that last part. I know I’ve got this reputation for hating everything, but I tried hard to like this movie. I don’t think I would have been so disappointed if we hadn’t gone to the nice theater. There’s a not completely shitty theater where tickets are only $6 no matter how late you go. Unfortunately, I didn’t get off my ass to see it there in time. For $15 I expect something fairly special. Instead I seem to have left with more questions than answers.