Godzilla is the new Thanos. Sigh. Yet again, a major blockbuster – from Marvel’s Avengers to Star Trek to Aquaman – has given us baddies who simply want to make the world (or universe) a better place. Hurrah for their intentions. Yawn for the cinematic dead end this all too often traps the film and audience in. When this movie allows the bonkers arrays of flipping enormous monsters rampage, it’s huge fun. Sadly it also wants to, you know, be taken seriously. Frankly, Godzilla should have stamped his big scaley feet all over that silly idea.
Godzilla save us from yet another villain who has the Earth’s best interests at heart.
Eco-terrorists are terrible villains. Partly because we sympathise with many of their valid points about humanity’s destruction of the planet and partly because eventually they have to go all ‘everyone must die’ psycho so that we can hate them. It is lame, laboured and confusing.
This film doesn’t even succeed in making their mission very clear. Charles Dance, as always, does his best with hammy material, while another major character is part of the secret plot ’twist.’
Except, who cares? There is more nuance watching ginormous titan monster-gods bash each other and entire cities to hell than there is in the plot of this movie.
The cinematography has some glorious moments when the monsters are allowed to shine.
Silhouette shots of Ghidora’s three heads against a stormy sky, Rodan atop a volcano or Godzilla with his spine lit with atomic energy are stunning.
Unfortunately, it is not enough. Even the numerous titanic monster smack-downs become repetitive. Worse still, the painterly palette and grainy, rainy, grimy cinematography make everything hard to see.
Worst of all, though, by far are the leaden plot and script.
Stranger Things star Billy Bobbie Brown acts most of the adults off the screen – especially her tedious and dreary father, resolutely played with one dimension by Kyle Chandler. Vera Farmiga is great value as always but hamstrung by ludicrous character decisions. Ken Wannabe takes everything so seriously he veers between almost mythic and ridiculous (and prompted many of the sniggers at the main London screening).
The same can be said of the film. It veers between truly grand and grandstanding widescreen moments and far more numerous, endless scenes of exposition and pointless character (non) development.
The introduction of a fan-pleasing parade of legendary Godzilla monsters has certain splendid moments – Rodan clapping his wings together and spiralling into the sky, Godzilla thundering into battle flanked by fighter jets or Mothra’s ethereal beauty and one particular kick-ass impalement – but too often the deployment of the rest is muddled and rushed.
The entire movie is waiting for Godzilla to go atomic on everyone’s ass and nuke them all to hell. If only he’d done the same to the script.
GODZILLA KING OF MONSTERS IS OUT NOW
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