Too many special effects, cheesy one-liners, and pointless narrative
Call me a monster, call me cynical, and call me a jerk all you want. I still thought “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is one of the most bombastic Sci-Fi sequels I’ve seen in years, ranking with “Independence Day: Resurgence” and “Jupiter Ascending.”
This is the next chapter in the Monsterverse, which began win 2014 with the “Godzilla” reboot,” and continued two years later with “Kong: Skull Island.” I liked those two guilty pleasures for their unique abilities to be fun, but “King of the Monsters” relies on so many special effects, that it’s often difficult for me to tell whether they’re impressive or not. Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t.
It may continue the Japanese legacy, but it has to rely on too many actors (Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, among others) with some annoying dialogue, and story which goes all over the place. I’ve heard claps in the audience during the monster battles, but I was bored out of my mind.
We don’t need to watch Boston getting obliterated by Godzilla’s fight with Mothra and Ghidorah or Washington DC looking like the alien battles in the “Independence Day” movies. And yet because of the advertisements, it doesn’t matter what we critics say, because people are just gonna go anyway. It’s their instincts, as far as I’m concerned.
The plot has to involve a prototype, which can bring the monsters together like some sort of beacon, and an ecoterrorist (Charles Dance) kidnaps a paleobiologist (Farmiga) and her daughter (Millie Bobby Brown of “Strangers Things” fame). The mother even plans to wipe out half the human race, because the monsters were here first, the environment can be restored, and her deceased little boy can be avenged.
Chandler has to play the routine father, who must make things right with his family, by rescuing them, despite his wife teaming up with the ecoterrorist.
And the movie has to featured tired old comic relief characters from a wisecracking Rick Sanchez-type scientist (Bradley Whitford) to the plucky Director of Technology (Thomas Middleditch) to the mythologist (Zhang Ziyi), who thinks it’s comical to call the traitorous paleobiologist the “B” word. And all O’Shea Jackson, Jr. did was stand, talk, and run. Nothing unique from Ice Cube’s boy.
Writer/director Michael Dougherty uses some impressive effects on the monsters, when they light up blue or orange, depending on their outcome; but I can’t say the same for the characters, dialogue, or writing. It goes all over the place, and leaves me bored out of my mind. In fact, I found the perfect time to use the John during the movie.
As far as I know, there’s no personality in the monsters; they’re just here to fight and obliterate cities and countries. And I was annoyed by how generic, annoying, and standard the Mille Bobby Brown character was. She deserves better than this, and so does Chandler as her father, Farmiga, and every other fine talent wasted here.