So, Godzilla: King of the Monsters…sigh…
Sometimes a movie is exactly what it’s supposed to be.
It doesn’t matter if there are more holes than plot.
It doesn’t matter if there’s continuity, or even believable events within the context of the story.
It doesn’t matter if one or more character’s entire dialogue is nothing but different clichés that might as well have been randomly selected from a bag of fortune cookies (this is so obvious that there’s actually a joke about it in the movie).
All that matters is if the movie resonates.
I have vivid memories of sitting in my dad’s lap in his gold La-Z-Boy recliner watching old Godzilla movies. It was a similar experience to when we watched wrestling, which I also didn’t get but still enjoyed as quality time. I would ask, “Who’s the bad guy” and depending on who the opponent in the particular movie was daddy would explain while I looked up watching him smile. I learned it was usually the monster Godzilla was fighting, unless he was fighting King Kong, in which case King Kong was always the good guy.
Now, thirty-five plus years later, I’m married to a guy who, like my dad, loves Godzilla. I mean, he’s not a super-fan or anything, but if there’s a terrible kaiju movie out there, you can guarantee that he’s going to want to see it. Sometimes they’re good (Pacific Rim). Sometimes there, well, terrible (whatever that failed Godzilla reboot was with Matthew Broderick). But it doesn’t matter, he loves them all and, just like with my father, I can look over at any point and see that he is smiling.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters actually has a lot going for it. I mean, there’s Godzilla, so that’s not for nothing. Then there are a lot of other monsters that look pretty cool (Mothra more than others). Godzie (I call him Godzie now, we’re tight like that) unleashes some pretty awesome radioactive powers and, as the movie clearly states, asserts his place as King of the Monsters. The effects are as good as can be and there’s even a little emotional pull for that big green titan.
Unfortunately, that’s where the pro list gives way to the cons. I was so busy rolling my eyes during most of the movie that I missed a solid portion of it, but it’s safe to say that any part with people in it is just as disappointing as you might expect. An exception might be that one part that you see in the trailer when the fighter jets scramble to escort Godzie—that was good, although now that I think about it even that scene is more about the awesome jets and less about the people.
If you expect the plot of the movie to be, “Godzilla fights a giant three-headed dragon,” then that works and it was a great endeavor.
If you expect the plot was meant to hinge on literally anything involving the non-CGI cast, then it was abysmal and so, so very lazy. There was one really good twist that I genuinely respected, but for whatever reason they wouldn’t even let that stand and ended up making the villain all redeemable, much to the detriment of the story.
In regard to the acting everybody did as much as they could with what they were given. Millie Bobby Brown was a major bright spot, but not even Eleven could do anything about this upside-down script.
All that being said, I don’t think anyone involved in the movie has any expectation of an Oscar, so sometimes a movie is just about making something a kid will love watching with their dad (or the nostalgia thereof). In that respect, Godzilla: King of the Monsters genuinely succeeds: it resonates as a fun popcorn movie that made me remember my dad.
So is it just a popcorn movie? Most definitely.
Is that enough? It was for my husband, and would have been for my father, so who am I to argue? I only hope and trust this movie will forge as many happy memories for a new generation.