Godzilla: King of the Monsters
The trailers and promotional marketing for Godzilla: King of the Monsters has been nothing short of exceptional, brilliantly building anticipation and excitement around the release of this next instalment in the Warner Brothers franchise. The original trailer was a masterpiece! With new leading cast additions including the likes of Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Charles Dance and Millie Bobby Brown alongside a few familiar faces, the premise and foundations of this film look incredibly promising from the outset. Targets have been set for the movie, with fans crying for more Godzilla and giant monster fights rather than tedious scenes of serious dialogue and, well, the writers listened. They got what they wanted.
A number of years have passed since the events of San Francisco and although the world hasn’t changed physically, the awareness and understanding of the gods that inhabit and protect the earth, collectively known as the Titans, have become a focal point in political debate. With Godzilla not seen since he returned to the ocean, the zoological-monster organisation Monarch has set about finding the resting places of the Titans, studying their movements, makeup and genetics in order to appreciate and protect these creatures. However, there are others out their that wish to use the monsters’ powers for other purposes. When Colonel Alan Jonah (Dance), Dr Emma Russell (Farmiga) and her daughter Madison (Brown) awaken a number of darker, more evil creatures, including the three-headed King Ghidorah, Monarch must attempt to bring Godzilla back to their cause, or risk losing the survival of humanity itself.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is exciting, there is no doubt about that. The concept is engaging and creative, leaving the audience keen to find out more of the unknown secrets the planet is keeping and on tenterhooks as to when the next large-scale fight between mythical creatures will begin. Taking advantage of the cinematic advances even in the last five years, the movie boasts immense detail and a luminous colour palette adds to that sense of treading the unknown. AND those who were calling out for an all-out wrestling match between some of the biggest beasts the planet has ever seen get a lot of it. Fan service: tick.
The problem mainly lies in two factions. The writing and a sensory overload, and the converging of the two into a product that consists of a lot of mindless action, hyper editing, in which we see the world crashing down around our central characters, and lack of narrative direction. All this makes the experience more and more uncomfortable for the eyes, ears and brain as each battle goes on. Half the time viewers will simply not know what is going on.
The writing is quite horrible, with a script packed full of on-the-nose one-liners, gags and unnecessary references that detract from the horror and fear that is rupturing around the characters. As the movie reaches its second act, a continuous theme of problem after problem after problem emerges, leaving the dialogue, which is a stale taste of pessimism that not even the incredible CGI can counteract. Some plot strands also beg the question of “why?”, which is never a good sign when trying to keep an audience on its toes, particularly for a 132-minute film.
The cast do their best to build relationships and chemistry in amongst the cheesy lines and colossal carnage. Millie Bobby Brown continues to show what a talented young superstar she is, providing the purest visible emotion and sense of humanity, especially alongside her onscreen mother Vera Farminga. Charles Dance is presented as a kind of low-budget Thanos in his motivation to save the planet through deadly means, but the writing of his part falls flat as the flick progresses, even so much as to not even have a conclusion. Perhaps we haven’t seen the last of Alan Jonah just yet.
The film and the franchise can be fun when executed correctly. The great big grizzly Kong from Skull Island will return in Godzilla vs Kong next year and it will be interesting to see how the writers choose to carry the story forward. Desolate wastelands do not make for good human habitats, but then there really is no point in rebuilding the cities that now lie in rubble because, no doubt, the two big monsters will probably carelessly knock them all down again. We shall see. No doubt the trailer will be good.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is released nationwide on 29th May 2019.
Watch the trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters here: