Nerdlocker Movie Review: Godzilla: King of the Monsters


From the get-go this movie never really interested me. The trailer was big and flashy and showed off a great cast but in the end it just appeared to be another generic disaster, monster movie. This is why I was a bit confused when seemingly everyone around me was so damn excited to see this thing. It’s instances like this that I want to be wrong, unfortunately I was right, nothing really to see here.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters isn’t exactly a bad movie, it’s simply an amalgam of thirty other movies squeezed into two hours of CGI predictability. Take away the visuals and what does this movie really have going for it? Not much, if anything. The great cast doesn’t really do much so without the monster clashing this is a flat, one note misstep. Let’s lay it out: Giant monsters fighting each other while destroying whatever (always) American city they happen to be in for some random, inexplicable reason. The smartest characters, the scientists and doctors and supposed experts of this particular problem all banding together to unquestionably make the worst decisions possible. A forced narrative that always places the main cast in the middle of every scenario no matter how useless they may be. Some McGuffin device to propel the loose plot in some direction resembling forward. So much CGI destruction it begins to look cartoonish, completely ruining any kind of believability. And of course, the one character who must sacrifice themselves to save the world because naturally there are no other alternatives. Tell me you haven’t seen any of this before and I’ll tell you, you’ve never seen a movie before.

The more I talk about it the more I question what I said about this not being a bad movie. I’ll admit I hate talking bad about movies so maybe I’m trying to see the good in this particular effort. And this particular movie leaves me with a question that I’m sure will be answered when Kong fights Godzilla but until then, I wonder: It stands to reason that each sequel should up the stakes so how can you blow your entire wad unleashing all the monsters now only to follow that up with Kong vs. Godzilla? Seems like a step backwards to me. Time will tell I suppose.

My greatest hopes lied with the director, Michael Dougherty who clearly had a stricter than usual guideline of where this franchise was to go. I’ve seen his previous, smaller works and the guy has a unique and imaginative take on the subjects he takes on. Trick ‘r’ Treat is a Halloween classic he directed and made into something truly unforgettable and amazing. He followed that up with Krampus which did (I don’t care what you say about this one) for Christmas what his Trick ‘r’ Treat film did for Halloween. What he needs to do now is halt all other projects and get going on the long gestating sequel he promised years ago, Trick ‘r’ Treat 2. Get on it, Michael! Sam must return! But no, even his presence couldn’t overshadow the predestined path of this franchise and basically acted as a filler director, someone whose name could be placed in the blank space after the words Directed by…

Finally given a role with actual speaking lines, Eleven, I mean Millie Bobby Brown is a bright point here demonstrating some real acting chops keeping up with the likes of Vera Farmiga(marry me) and Kyle Chandler. Although she does a great job she’s still left with a character making terrible decisions that of course, as I said, place her right in the middle of two or more giant, skyscraper sized creatures trying to hump one another for sexual dominance. Vera Farmiga(marry me) is one of the more interesting characters trying to find a moral balance between sanity and the ultimate outcome of the planet, something she believes is only achievable through drastic actions doused in crazy. Still, her actions are predictable and her ultimate outcome is laughable and eye-roll inducing out of sheer silliness and well I have to say it again, predictability. Predictable is the most apt single word description for this movie.

The action sequences are neat but again we’ve seen it in one form or another, Pacific Rim for example. The overall visual appeal of the movie is fine, it’s what you would expect from a big budget movie like this. The cast is serviceable doing what little they can to carry this sinking ship. But even then no one is really here to see them act and say their lines, we want Kaiju on Kaiju action. And to end it all with a complete lack of interest for what’s to come in future installments of the franchise is maybe the biggest failure of all. Okay maybe this isn’t a good movie. I wanted to like it but overall it’s just been done before and it could not hold my interest for two long hours. I don’t know with this one, I guess in the end I would say give it a chance, maybe you’ll like it; like I said, from the beginning my interest was minimal at most and only wavered from there so maybe I was never meant to like it. I just couldn’t get into it whatsoever.

Rated PG-13 For: sequences of monster action violence and destruction, and for some language
Runtime: 131 minutes
After Credits Scene: Two
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler, Ken Watanabe
Directed By: Michael Dougherty

Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 2/ Acting: 3/ Directing: 3/ Visuals: 4
OVERALL: 2.5 Nerdskulls

Buy to Own: Eh, have to say no.

Check out the trailer below:

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Chase Gifford

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world"-Jean-Luc Godard