Long Live the King

Godzilla: King of the Monsters Review

Godzilla King of the Monsters poster

In my last review, I made mention of the fact that I have gone to the theaters more times this year than any other of the previous five or so. While this statement is wholeheartedly true, there are also quite a few films I still managed to miss during their original theatrical runs. One of them that I greatly regret missing in that fully immersive experience is Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla King of the Monsters.

The Plot

Reeling from the effects of the damage wrought by Godzilla in 2014, in more ways than one, the crypto-zoological agency, Monarch, must continue their fight to protect the re-awakening ancient monsters of the world against the military, the government, and a group of eco-terrorists.

My Thoughts

I love all things giant monsters. Kaiju movies always fascinated me and I could not be happier with the resurgence of them over the last few years. Films like Kong: Skull Island and even Gareth Edwards’ 2014 rendition of Godzilla were great fun, so the idea of eventually seeing a film that pits the two titans against one another makes me giddy like a child on Christmas morning.

The one necessary step between that big fight flick making its way to audiences around the world is of course Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

I tend to steer clear of other reviewers’ thoughts on films, at least until after I’ve watch said film for myself first. Even still, I could not prevent myself from running across a few opinions about this one all across social media, upon its initial theater run.

It seemed that most of rumblings were in fact negative and while I can’t say 100% what these people seemed to dislike about the film, I’m sure I would disagree with most of what they had to say.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is, quite frankly, a hell of a lot of fun. Even if you are not a fan of the Toho kaiju flicks that kicked things off in the early 50’s, there is still a lot going on here that can be found enjoyable by most, I’d imagine.

Godzilla is no longer the one to fear in this new franchise entry. There are much worse things roaming the earth and it is up to the King of the Monsters to aide in keeping these new threats at bay.

Battles between some of the most iconic kaiju of all time can be seen once again in this 2019 flick. Writer/director Michael Dougherty, who most horror fans would know from greats like Trick ‘R Treat and Krampus, and his team of co-writers have done a tremendous job at expanding the Toho monsterverse for a new generation of moviegoers.

Godzilla versus the mighty King Ghidorah, Ghidorah versus Mothra, Rhodan versus Mothra, and any other combination you can think of amongst these humongous horrors are all epicly depicted during King of the Monster‘s 132 minute runtime.

The visual effects in this film are second to none, effectively bringing to life some of the greatest monster battles you’re ever going to see on the big [and little] screen.

In addition to the impressive visuals, audiences are treated to a rather talented group of actors. An odd list of names to rattle off, the cast seems to contain a who’s who from television and film of the last decade, as well as some new names from various newer titles.

The likes of Vera Farmiga (“Bates Motel,” The Conjuring franchise), Kyle Chandler (Argo, Super 8), Millie Bobby Brown (Netflix’s “Stranger Things”), Thomas Middleditch (HBO’s “Silicon Valley”), Charles Dance (HBO’s “Game of Thrones”), and even O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton) all work very well together on screen. Accompanying them are returning faces from KotM‘s 2014 predecessor, including Ken Watanabe (Batman Begins, Inception) and Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), along with new faces to the franchise, Ziyi Zhang (The Cloverfield Paradox), and Bradley Whitford (Get Out, Cabin in the Woods). Needless to say, there is an endless amount of talent on display here.

The Verdict

Maybe you didn’t like the last film starring the iconic Godzilla because there wasn’t enough kaiju action. King of the Monsters has that and so much more.

The acting is incredible, the story helps further development this universe’s monster lore, and the fight scenes between Titans are incredibly entertaining.

Michael Dougherty grew up loving the Toho property and it shows in his new iteration of the character. He put great care into this film and I believe it should be seen by all. It is a great standalone film, but it also is an essential part of a much larger picture that is the Toho monsterverse, old and new.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters will be available to own on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on Tuesday, August 27, from Warner Bros. Entertainment.

The home release includes tons of behind-the-scenes featurettes that dive deeper into the mythos of the monsters and give us, the audience, a look at what it takes for something of this size to be brought to life.

I had a great time with this one and give it 4.5 slumbering Titans out of 5.

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