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Review Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): An improvement on it's predecessor but still not quite there yet!

genre: kaiju, science fiction, action, adventure, drama





Director Michael Dougherty took the criticism of Godzilla (2014) to heart and changed up some elements to make it more appealing to the fans. According to himself he has succeeded. But is this true? 

One of the problems of the first film in the franchise was the fact that Godzilla wasn't in it as much. And when he finally appeared he was barely visible. They fixed this alright. Godzilla is prominently featured in the sequel. However don't get too excited. While it is an epic moment for sure to see him in all his glory the first time he appears on the screen you still don't get to enjoy him as you should. Most of the action takes place in dark, foggy and rainy settings that it often is real hard to make what is actually happening. Now I have heard almost all the excuses people made for this but sorry to say. This is a kaiju film. They are the reason why I watch films like these in the first place. If you are going to make a film about them you better make sure you get to see them kick ass properly. 

This brings me to another problem tied to Godzilla. He seems to have grown and is much larger and certainly looks more impressive. Still not as good as the original Japanese one but I won't go into that or I will never stop ranting. So he looks the part but can he walk the walk? And it's here where this version of Godzilla really is a letdown. He is easily the weakest compared to the versions I have seen. One kick or bite from King Ghidorah and this Godzilla is down. It takes him forever to get back up and in two cases even needs help from the humans just to be the sheer force he used to be. Granted in one scene this provided some of the best moments. Still this is not the kind of thing that belongs in films like these. 

Another huge problem is the mistake of giving humans such prominence that the monsters (kaiju) become side characters. I didn't care for any of the characters. Well perhaps the characters portrayed by Kyle Chandler and Ken Watanabe. At least they tried to make them likable. The drama these characters are involved in just isn't compelling. Yes, death of a child is tragic and can lead to a lot of heartache and misery. But even then you need to establish the characters enough so that you want to root for them. This very rarely happens. Somehow though this human drama takes precedence of the monsters battling it out and is once again proof that the people involved in this film don't really understand what makes these films so popular.

There are more enjoyable moments and that definitely shows the franchise is heading in the right direction. But they still are from what they should be. So far the only one who has grasped it is Jordan Vogt-Roberts with his Kong: Skull Island. Here is hoping Kong versus Godzilla will be more like that than this one.





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