Due to its glaring issues, breathtaking visuals and incredible action sequences are not quite enough to elevate ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ to greatness, although it is undeniably a lot of fun.
A few years later after the events of the first ‘Godzilla’, the world finds itself with the dilemma of what to do with the so-called “Titans” before it’s too late for mankind, or the other way around.
Mike Dougherty takes over the helm this time around from Gareth Edwards, who crafted, in my opinion, a beautifully artistic blockbuster back in 2014, albeit a bit hollow in terms of its human characters. Dougherty and Warner Bros., probably taking the criticism of that film to heart, miss no time in introducing amazing creatures and creating some fun mayhem, and in that it mostly succeeds. For the first time in a while, Godzilla becomes a truly fleshed out character that is the beating heart of the film, along with some amazing visuals and CGI that bring the character to life better than before. Mother, Rodan, and particularly Ghidorah are also all greatly realized, and the battle sequences are a beauty to behold that show Dougherty’s talent in that field, even when you can tell he’s lacking on other parts.
The script by Dougherty and Zach Shields is, unfortunately, riddled with problems. While dialogue shines with poetic monologues mostly delivered by Ken Wantanabe, they’re constantly injecting mostly unfunny humor that feels out of place and creates an overall tonal problem with the film. Whereas in some parts you’re feeling the majestic god-like proportions of the creatures with engaging drama, in other parts it feels like a ridiculous logic-free comedy. And while both can work by themselves, you never know if the film is favoring one.
Much controversy has arisen from the human characters in the film, with some calling them subpar and other even unnecessary and boring. I have to mostly disagree. Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga and Millie Bobby Brown (mostly) deliver solid performances with very interesting characters. Dougherty and Shields I feel, created deeply interesting characters and an uncommon family dynamic not often seen in blockbusters, but the problem is that they seldom take their time to develop them further than what they tell us, and it becomes a mix of missed opportunities. I believe the problem with this is that the film feels so crowded at times that no one, not even the so-called”main” characters are getting enough screen time. It often feels like a mess: by the third act, you’re jumping location from location seamlessly and enough characters to lose track of what’s actually going on.
But, despite its convoluted plot and glaring script issues, the film remains a lot of fun throughout, reminiscent of Ronald Emmerich’s best disaster flicks. Paired with some incredible visuals and action sequences, it becomes the perfect popcorn film for the summer, even if you might want to turn your brain off first and let yourself enjoy the final product despite its many flaws.