“Godzilla: King of the Monsters”: Fun action, weak everything else

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“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” was directed by Michael Dougherty and stars Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe, Thomas Middleditch and Sally Hawkins. The film is a sequel to 2014’s “Godzilla” and is about the awakening of multiple “titans” around the globe, which leads to humanity depending on the almighty Godzilla to take down their foes.

The trailers to this movie were truly some of the most incredible trailers I have seen for an action movie in quite awhile. The visuals, the music choices, the colors, it all looked absolutely stunning. Along with that, this cast is completely loaded, which left me beyond excited to see where they would take this series past the vastly underrated 2014 film.

The Good

Much like the trailers promised, “King of the Monsters” is a visual delight. These titans are crafted beautifully for the big screen, with fantastic uses of color to make each respective monster pop in a different way. Mothra and Ghidorah look especially spectacular, and the way these two both interact with the titular monster bring some of the most exciting moments of the film to life.

Where “Godzilla” managed to succeed with its build up, and eventually masterful payoff, “King of the Monsters” shines through when the action is at its peak. Watching Godzilla and Ghidorah charge at each other never gets old, and especially when it comes to the pair of them brutally destroying a city in the process. The action is a bigger chunk of this movie than five years ago, and each of these times are the clearly best part of the plot.

Chandler is often tragically held to a supporting role in a bevy of movies in his filmography. Here, he is the clear lead, and he is great in the part. Chandler brings the most genuine emotion, as well as the most likable and rootable character in the film. With so much CGI being thrown around, Chandler helps to be a backbone for the rest of the movie to rely on.

The Bad

The visuals, the action and Kyle Chandler. That’s where the positives sadly come to a halt.

It’s not that “King of the Monsters” is a terrible movie, it is simply unbalanced. Whenever titans are battling either the people or other titans, this movie comes to a screeching halt, with not much of the story building or human element working for it at all this time around.

The opposite could be said for Edwards’ 2014 film, that makes a smart move with its decisions to have the humans be the big topic, and to do so in a way that was effective. Here, the same is attempted, sort of through Farmiga, Chandler and Bobby Brown, but I just did not care about it much at all.

This has a lot to do with the characters being poorly written this time around, especially with poor Ken Watanabe. After saying Godzilla in a cool accent one time five years ago, this man is forced to have an absolute obsession with the large reptile to the point of absurdity. Also not helped by the script is Hawkins, who feels so brutally underused for such a fantastic actress.

Bradley Whitford is all of the comic relief in one character, and though he did grow on me a bit at the end, most of his efforts for laughs just felt very forced. But not quite as forced as Middleditch, who feels like he’s stuck in his Verizon commercial role from start to finish.

Conclusion

“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” was, all in all, quite a let down. The action is pretty fun, and the visuals are some of the best you will see all year, but there just wasn’t that wow factor I was hoping for.

“Godzilla” relied on storytelling to keep you around, and somehow managed to be great with only a handful of moments fully featuring the beast. That’s because when those moments arrived, oh baby, did they arrive.

Here, there are more pieces of action, but even less to write home about anywhere else, making the film feel much more mediocre than it should be considering these actors and these effects.

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