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Review Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

By Michael Dougherty | USA, Japan
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From the moment the fantastic first trailer was released in comic-con, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” quickly became my most anticipated summer blockbuster of this year (seeing how “Endgame” is technically released before summer). It promised to be big, loud, and downright epic from beginning to end; giving us the rightful spectacle we’ve been waiting for since Edwards’ 2014 “Godzilla” fell a bit short in hand. So, does it deliver in that regard? Or is this yet another example of how the Americans have always failed to grasp the essence of the Japanese monster icon?
To keep it short, I’ll say upfront that this film, to me, accomplished its goals quiet thoroughly. It is nothing more than the giant monster rumble I wanted it to be. Dougherty obviously took the complaints of the last movie and ran with it; showing us more monsters than the two previous film of the franchise combined. Godzilla, King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Rodan were brought to live in the best possible way a modern kaiju film can do, making this a much more rewarding experience to long time fans but also welcoming for newcomers who never watched a single Toho Godzilla movie. However, with all that, “King of the Monsters” sacrificed some competency in terms of its story and how it stood as a singular film rather than a product of a long running iconic series.
For starters, the film suffers from a common problem found in these larger than life creature (or sometimes robot) flicks: the humans just aren’t as interesting enough. Though I must say it’s a massive improvement from Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen’s wooden chemistry, the three lead characters of this installment still couldn’t measure up to the presence of an overwhelmingly iconic character that is Godzilla. Every time Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, and Millie Bobbie Brown is on screen, it’s hard not to sigh and procrastinate for more Godzilla action. Of course, a film with only monsters beating each other up for two straight hours would seem incomprehensible. But I just couldn’t help but to imagine how less boring and much more fun that be than watching people starring at computer screens, spouting unecessary expository dialogue. Thankfully, the weak main cast is supported just enough by a surprisingly stronger secondary characters: a chatty Bradley Whitford, a badass Aisha Hinds, and an intense looking Ken Watanabe came to mind.
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At the end of the day, one must ask themselves before watching this movie: what am I really expecting? A nuanced and though provoking film about how humanity is ruining the earth? Or a mindless, ridiclously loud ride full of ancient titans and apocalyptic thunderstorms? If the answer is the latter, than “King of the Monsters” will probably be the best thing you can get these days.
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