Godzilla : King of the Monsters aka annoying family ruins movie

image courtesy WB via imdb.com

(spoilers ahead!)

Pacific Rim — the gold standard

A few years ago, there was this movie called Pacific Rim. It opens with these two soldiers, suiting up, getting into a giant robot, and then punching the hell out of this Kaiju. It was awesome. After that, we get some story and setting up, and then, its non stop kaiju action for the rest of the movie.

That is why I watch Kaiju movies. I want to see these huge, larger than life monsters decimate cities, punch each other and all that. Its a movie. Its fiction! I already know what I am getting into. I am okay if entire cities explode and I have already checked my brain at the movie entrance. I am down for some destruction stuff.

Pacific Rim, got it right. It knows what it is. King Kong : Skull Island got it right. Then, Godzilla (2014) did not get it right. Godzilla was barely in that movie. Now, I thought, they will fix the problems in Godzilla 2. They kind of fix it, because, there are indeed more fights and more Godzilla in this one.

Please stop the family drama!

At the same time, they double down on some crap about This couple, divorced couple. They have a child, and the entire movie is about this family of three. It does not matter that the whole world is coming to an end. This guy has to run and rescue this child. That woman has go and rescue this child. She is running, right in the middle of the battles. Movies dont kill children, so its impossible to build drama around kids.

Who cares that there is a humongous monster rampaging around. We need to see this little child run around!

The Kaiju are battling each other. It’s awesome. We get more fights on the screen this time. Its sort of well lit. Its not as well lit as Pacific Rim (which is the gold standard), but it is relatively well lit. The problem is, too much time is spent focusing on this family. What is so great about this family? It’s like they wanted to make a movie about a divorced couple with a child, and then added Godzilla and others later to it.

I get, they are trying to ground the movie in reality. I would like that, if that was done honestly. If this family had good reason to try and stick together. They are divorced. The dude has removed himself from the family equation. Now, just because monsters are attacking, he wants to get back to his daughter? You left your family dude. Godzilla has nothing to do with your reconciliation with your daughter.

Let it go man! Let it go.

The mom is the bad guy — lol!

Also, spoiler alert, the mom is the bad guy? Why? She apparently invents this device for this company, Monarch. This Monarch is a huge organisation with its own air force and bases all over the world. You are telling me, there is not a single person other than her who knows how to operate this signal device. Come on! They had to shoe horn that family drama, so they kept sidestepping whatever logic and realism they were trying to maintain.

It hurst the movie’s flow every time. Pollution and climate change is the real reason she wants everybody to die? Wow!

Also, this mom had shared her world killing plan with her child! For years, and the baby girl does not leak to anyone!!! What!!!

Truly Awesome Battles!

I was able to sort of let the family drama play it out(it is a huge chunk of the movie, and none of the other characters get any screen time), and then, the movie becomes truly awesome. Last movie, there was Godzilla (for like 5 minutes) and some generic spider like things. This time, we got all the good ones. They look amazing. You got Mothra, being super cool and badass. You also have this Rodan dude trying to take on the big bad. Of course, the big bad, the true monster, is Gidhora.

I love Godzilla (obviously) but Gidhora is the true king of monsters. Godzilla or Gojira, he needs constant support. He is also a bit of show off, always posing for the camera, which is sort of funny. He needs the humans to keep helping but he also does not attack humans on purpose. There is that. Gidhora, he does not care, and is the true king and villain. He takes out anybody who comes after him, he fights it out, and is extremely smart. He knows his movies (he can create hurricanes, and his recharge time between his power/current/electric attacks are fast!) and he knows his plans.

For Gidhora alone, the movie is worth watching again. Mothra has this nice supporting thing going on, which is really cool. Godzilla himself, as usual, has less screen time. For extended times, he is removed from the action, taking breaks and taking his own sweet time to reach where the action takes place. He also needs constant attention from others. He is a hero, but is a vulnerable hero. Sort of like batman in the justice league. That makes Gojira/Godzilla, a little more relatable, and we can root for him.

The music is pretty ordinary, the human characters, the acting just sucks. They have not been blessed with good material. They are not even funny or silly. They are super serious, but they dont have the context or the lines or the acting neccesary to justify that seriousness. They keep doing stupid things, and they keep falling back to the whole family drama. Its hard to take these characters seriously.

At one point, an entire block of city is attacked by lightning. But the child of the divorced couple survives? Another point of time, she is looking at Gidhora through a glass on some top floor, and the very next second, she is running on the ground. I dont want to care about this, but because the movie is so serious, you start noticing these things.

It becomes annoying because the camera keeps moving away from the monsters and focusing on this child, and her parents. I did not come to watch this divorced family fix their relationships. I came to see fights. You are not giving me enough of that.

Godzilla is Badass!

(self note — use more exclamation symbols!!!)

What decent amount of monster action there is, the special effects are amazing. The lighting is definitely better, the camera shakes less and we do get some good proper look a the monsters. They also do some mythology building around these monsters, which is sort of good. It adds that extra weight to the premise. We have a decent amount of justification as to why these monsters are around, where they come from and what they are doing. World building, essentially. I liked those parts.

Godzilla himself, gets a lot of ‘posing’ shots, as mentioned above. He really looks badass. He knows exactly where the camera is, and huffs and puffs like a hero. Its funny, and I cannot help but laugh it. Still, its very enjoyable when he starts stomping towards Godhira and proceeds to kick ass (after having been handed his own ass a few times, in the earlier fights). The special effects, I wont complain. They are amazing, and the character of Gojira is really well written. He is definitely in the building, man.

Godzilla man!!! GOJIRA!!!! Ah, I screamed in the multiplex so many times. When he showed up for the first time, my entire body got riled up! Just awesome.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps the most dissapointing thing is, the same studio made the really well made, action heavy, Kong Skull Island. What happened? All said and done, if you can get over the loosely pieced together family drama, this is a good monster movie. It will become even more enjoyable with home video or streaming, where you can fast forward to the good parts and skip all the family scenes.

I work as a full time freelance software developer and coding tutor. Hire me at UpWork or Fiverr. My personal website is here. I also have a Podcast. Thanks for reading.

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Freelance Tutor — Coding, Generative Art and Photoshop. Full Name : Vijayasimha BR

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