Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Godzilla: King of the Monsters ★★★

I kinda like what this film is trying to do. It takes loads of elements from previous Godzilla films and remixes them together to create a sort of tribute to the series. Sometimes it works really well, like the nuclear meltdown Godzilla that’s straight out of Godzilla Vs Destroyah but other times it’s a complete misfire, like the film’s total mishandling of the Oxygen Destroyer, which abandons any thematic depth present in the 1954 original and reduces it to a convenient weapon.

The action scenes are occasionally spectacular and, particularly in the four way rumble at the end, they capture some of the excitement of the Toho movies. But too much of the CG action takes place either in the dark or with a weird blue filter over the top to spoil the spectacle.

The characters are forgettable at best and maddeningly stupid and illogical at worst. Still, they’re ever so slightly more interesting than the plodding cast of the 2014 movie and at least this film has the good grace to actually show the monsters!

I also really appreciated how many of the classic Toho music themes are used here, though I wish the filmmakers had resisted the urge to reorchestrate them. Nevertheless, they work well to give each monster their own feel and suggest that someone involved in this loved and respected the original works.

Overall this is the best American Godzilla film I’ve seen so far (one more to go) but it still pales in comparison to most Toho movies. There’s just something that seems a bit too easy about the CG monster fights. They look cool but they’re nowhere near as impressive when compared to the miracles Toho pulled off with some men in suits. By comparison they feel as hollow as “Hollow Earth” itself.