A new franchise has continued where all others have fallen flat.
The return of the big bad lizard king to the bigscreen arrived Thursday, and with it came about 20 new monsters that, up until this point, had been non-existent in the way of plotlines throughout the universe of Godzilla.
Yes it is a universe, sort of - in a very loose fashion - like Marvel.
Spoiler Free Review
If you are looking for an entertaining summer movie that gets you out of the house and holds your attention, then this movie is great for you. If you are a Godzilla nerd, looking for a long term run on the big screen for the series, well..... Good luck.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is headlined by a rather big shot cast that includes Milly Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), and Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), among many other familiar names, which should certainly help to at least make it more interesting for some.
As I always used to tell people at Family Video about the first Godzilla, it is essentially big things hitting other big things with lots of noises and explosions. The sequel for Godzilla himself did not deviate much from this course, instead opting to up the ante on the explosion and action.
One thing to note, since it is hinted at, but not explicity stated, making a trip to the video store or onto your amazon prime account to watch King Kong would be helpful for about one subplot, but otherwise, the world building that had been promised through multitudes of internet articles has yet to come to pass on this franchise.
Spoiler free IMDb rating: 6.9/10
*continue reading for a full review of the movie*
I will try to keep this as compact as I can.
Every single studio in the country is watching Marvel roll in money, and are now trying to find their own mega-series to build, but no one has continued to fail in the same way that Warner Brothers has. They have effectively created their own league of dumpster fires.
DC tried to work it with the Justice League, Warner Bros. doubled down on the attempted series building with King Arthur, and now you have Godzilla, you guessed it, another Warner Brothers production.
If you didn't realize it, Justice League was produced by Warner Bros.
Here's the thing: I was very excited for this movie.
I thouroughly enjoy the oppurtunity to walk into a movie theater knowing full well that a movie isn't supposed to be a critical success, but rather a big moshpit of action and fighting.
As a fan of Marvel and Game of Thrones, I was ready for a fun, seemingly pointless movie full of familiar faces including GOT's very own Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance). And to be completely honest, on this level, Godzilla dilevered.
The movie is actually quite impressive on the CGI work, creating about as realistic and personal experience with Godzilla as a movie studio can. The pacing seemed fine, though again I didn't really use my fine tooth comb on this movie.
What clearly hit me halfway through this movie was the fact that this was actually supposed to be a finale to a trilogy of movies beginning with the first Godzilla, then Kong: Skull Island, ending with Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
For anyone that has seen all three movies, let that sink in.
While I had known of this plan for a while, I was then shocked to hear this foreshadowing at the end of the film that there was soon to be a show down with Godzilla, where he is in fact fighting humanity flanked by his Titan followers. Maybe that was just a metaphor that eventually humanity will ruin earth and Godzilla will be forced to protect it, but let's explore my idea.
If this universe were to continue on, they have two real options, both of which would have to include Kong and potentially Tom Hiddleston.
The first would be to make a sequel to the original Kong movie where Hiddleston plays an older, well aged, version of himself once again facing down Kong, but maybe singing a slightly different tune. In this version, you would have to assume that Kong eventually finds his way off Skull Island and into the playground of Godzilla himself setting up for one more Godzilla movie.
In outcome number two, we skip the foreplay and go straight to a Godzilla vs. Humanity show down, one where humanity has now somehow found a way to defeat a foe who, until this point in the series, has shown no real weakness in the face of humanity, except for this Oxygen bomb that, much like everything in this movie, came out of absolutely nowhere.
In this story line, Kong would probably be the only one making a return, but seeing the cast list for the latest installment should show that there is actually validity to the idea that a sequel could lure back Hiddleston for a Godzilla/Kong mashup.
For those of us who have seen the movie, my explanation of the future, coupled with your knowledge of the most recent movie, should leave one pretty giant answer: why the hell was King Kong the one to get a spinoff movie before any of the other Titans?
Because from where I stand, King Kong would get steam rolled and then some.
There's this weird, positive relationship that this series has tried to breed between its main characters and humanity, a relationship that shows Godzilla and King Kong respectively as protectors of the human race, real world gods. So I guess in that sense, many of the Titans we saw in this movie probably wouldn't have had that measured side to their persona.
But then, how do we only truly see two of these primary characters before this world ending show down?
I suppose this is the lack of concern for script writing, where the writers are more concerned about high octane, shock and awe shots, that leave the audience entertained, and not truly moved by the films.
I will say early on, starting with the Godzilla under water scene, I was hoping to see this most recent installment as more of a scary movie. Sort of a, "Let's see what it's like for humanity to be terrorized by all of these creatures", style movie.
With the strength of Vera Farmiga, a well established scary movie actor who has brought great performances to franchises like the conjuring, and this early underwater scene that saw Godzilla actually make me recoil in my seat, I saw the exciting potential for crazy jump scare moments that never came through.
Instead, what you got, and what everyone probably expected, was a hell on wheels inferno of a movie, that only served to put bodies in the seats and not take a loss in the box office.
Again, I didn't hate the movie, probably won't watch it again for another 5-6 years, but it entertained me once through.
And where the hell did Mothra come from? I suppose I need to rewatch the first Godzilla to see if any of these characters were alluded to.
Collin's IMDb rating: 6.2/10