Review Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters film review by Huge-Ben
Written By Huge-Ben on 2019-06-01 16:25:56
Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters MovieLearn More
WARNING! WARNING! This review contains spoilers and is written by a Toho purest. It's Godzilla meets Rampage!
This movie is far from perfect and seeing all the high praise from the fans saying, "it's the best since the original Gojira," really leaves me to scratch my head. Is it one of the best? No! It is a fun movie, however, and if you enjoy Destroy All Monsters and Godzilla Final Wars, this movie is definitely for you.
The movie begins with a fractured nuclear family consisting of two Monarch scientists, Dr. Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) and Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) with Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown) searching for their missing son, Andrew Russell in the ruins of San Francisco during the events of 2014 that are memories as Emma Russell remembers them while sitting on her bed. The parents ultimately separate due to the grief and philosophical disagreement over how to deal with Godzilla and the other titans. Mark Russell believes that all of the titans should be wiped out, while Emma Russell believes they can be manipulated through a special sonar device called "The Orca," that mimics the dynamics of whale songs. This device is all-too-familiar in that of Rampage, which brings the monsters under control, or even to another location as we will see later in the film.
While Madison is cooking breakfast for her mother, she stays in close contacts with her father through email. When Madison reveals to Emma that she has been emailing her father, Emma tells her not to worry about him. Suddenly, with activity shaking the land and the cameras, Dr. Emma Russell is contacted by another scientist inside Monarch Outpost 61 in China. Emma and Madison discover inside the Temple of the Moth, an enormous egg hatching. The Mothra Larvae makes her presence on screen calm and peaceful at first, but when Monarch try to contain her, she unleashes her wrath, webbing a few Monarch operatives. Emma sees this as an opportunity to test her finished Orca device to calm the baby titan down. When Emma seems in trouble, Madison rushes to her mothers aid. Emma finally receives the alpha frequencies she needs and activates the Orca, calming the baby Mothra. When everything seems in control, bombs set off as the Echo Terrorists arrive, killing all of the Monarch operatives and taking Emma and Madison hostage.
At a government meeting between Monarch, the senators, and the military, Dr. Sam Coleman (Thomas Middleditch), tries to explain the theories on which of the titans pose a threat and which titans are here to protect. The matters are not taken seriously as Dr. Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) tells the senators mankind must find a way to coexist with these animals. The meeting is cut short, however, as Dr. Graham (Sally Hawkins) receives a phone call and the scientists leave the facility.
Photographing some wolves eating on the carcass of a dead animal, Dr. Mark Russell is paid a visit by the scientists. They reveal to him that his family has been taken hostage by an unknown organization, with the Orca in their hands. Mark isn't on board of joining Monarch again, but he has no other alternative in order to save his family. On a flight to Monarch Outpost Castle Bravo 54, Mark is given a tablet containing data on all of the titans. There are a total of 17 and counting. Dr. Serizawa tells Mark that some of these titans are malevolent and are not a threat, but Mark has a different opinion. When the team finally enters the underwater base, where they have been tracking Godzilla, a meeting takes place in discussion about Emma and Madison being kidnapped. Monarch believes that the Echo Terrorists are still hiding somewhere in China, where Mothra has now cocooned herself in a nearby waterfall. Mark begs to differ, however, as he believes it would be a duck-hunt. Mark believes since the terrorists now own the power of the Orca that they are heading somewhere else. Why would they want to be in the same area when they have all the power at their disposal?
The terrorists, heading to Outpost 32 in Antarctica, have something else up their sleeves. They kill all the Monarch operatives there as well, taking Emma and Madison below the surface. There, they discover a titan frozen in ice. Monster Zero. The terrorists layout bombs all across the silhouette of Monster Zero and plan to awaken the frozen beast. Godzilla, portrayed by TJ Storm, makes his presence at the underwater base at Castle Bravo, intimidating all as he erupts his light-show. Mark understands that Godzilla felt threatened and wants to know all of Godzilla's territories. They soon discover that Godzilla is heading to Antarctica as that is where the Orca is displaying the frequencies Godzilla is tracking. The G-Team dispatch in the Argo in hopes to save the day, but it's already too late. The terrorists have completed laying bombs all across Monster Zero's silhouette and now know that Monarch has located them. The G-Team walks straight into an ambush. Dr. Mark Russell now takes matters into his own hands and sets out to rescue his captive family. One of the terrorists holding the detonator is killed, and Mark tries to convince his daughter to come to him. Emma Russell, on the other hand, tells their daughter to stay with her as she picks up the detonator and sets off the explosives. As the terrorists make their escape, so too do the heroes, but things are about to get worse. Hovering airbound in a helicopter, Emma activates the Orca and awakens Monster Zero from his long hibernation.
Ghidorah makes his entrance revealing one of the two tails, rattling like a rattlesnake, followed up by the right head, portrayed by Alan Maxson, the left head portrayed by Richard Dorton, and finally the center head portrayed by Jason Liles. Rising up like a demon from Hell, Ghidorah begins his rampage. The G-Team open fire on the titan with machine guns, which does absolutely nothing. "Oh, Shit!," is right. Ghidorah suspends his gravity beams upon the G-Team. As the heroes try ever so desperately to escape, Ghidorah senses the presence of another monster. Emerging from below the ice is Godzilla, who challenges Monster Zero to a fight. It's a knock-out match-up until Monster Zero flies away in a freak storm.
Dr. Mark Russell awakens after being knocked out aboard the Argo as Monarch tries to figure out why Emma Russell did what she did. An emergency broadcast from Isla De Mara, Mexico is retrieved as Emma Russell explains what her plans are. She believes that mankind is to blame for the mass extinction that has already begun. War, pollution, and over-population are all of mankind's mistakes. Emma wants to release all the titans in order to save the Earth. Mark is not at all impressed, as is Monarch, and he explains to her that she is out of her mind, which she is, and that nothing will bring Andrew back. Emma then tells Monarch that they better take refugee inside their secretive bunks all across the world. She then releases Rodan from his volcanic slumber in Outpost 56.
Rodan, portrayed by Jason Liles, makes his presence as Monarch then realizes that a freak storm they have tracked has changed course. They discover that this freak storm is actually caused by Monster Zero, who is now heading towards Mexico. Mark knows that Monster Zero is heading there strictly because of Rodan's cries. The evacuation of the city is incomplete, and Monarch attacks Rodan. This causes Rodan to take off, leveling the village below him, sweeping up the humans in harsh winds as if they were paper flowing in the wind. Rodan's battle with the squad of G-Team is a very nice aerial battle sequence, as Rodan does a barrel roll, taking out all of the planes. Rodan in hot pursuit on the Argo quickly dispatches as Monster Zero enters the battlefield.
Another nice aerial battle consumes the viewer as Rodan tries to take on Monster Zero. This sequence was well thought-out, and the Mo-Cap actors steal the show here. It's a losing battle for Rodan, however, as Monster Zero blasts Rodan out of the sky with a shot of his gravity beam. As Sgt. Barnes and team land inside the Argo, Monster Zero isn't far behind. As Monster Zero closes in, Godzilla comes from nowhere to battle again. Things seem like Godzilla has everything in control, but things are about to be worse. The military has already contacted Monarch and has told them to evacuate the area as a prototype Oxygen Destroyer is about to be dropped on the monsters. Godzilla and Monster Zero do battle in underwater, where Godzilla rips off the left head of Monster Zero. As the battle continues underwater, the Oxygen Destroyer hits both targets.
Hundreds of fish begin to popup as the aftermath of the destructive power of the Oxygen Destroyer. However, Monster Zero rises up out of the ocean, unaffected. Godzilla, however, is ultimately injured and presumed dead. Monster Zero makes land on top of Rodan's volcano and regenerates his missing head. Letting out a triumphant cry awakening all of the other titans from their long slumber, "long live the king." Monster Zero is now the alpha predator as Rodan bows to his new master.
In China near the waterfall, Dr. Brookes has lost contact with Monarch and looks for Dr. Lee, who is standing in front of the cocoon inside the waterfall. As the moon is revealed behind the clouds, Mothra soon hatches from her cocoon. Her wings stretching as far as the screen is in theaters. Dr. Mark Russell is trying to pick up the frequencies of Godzilla, but to no luck. As he heads out to the helicopter, a glowing, bright light as if the sun had moved closer to the Earth, reveals that Mothra has appeared before Monarch. She is communicating with Godzilla who is beneath the ocean's surface. Monarch comes up with a plan to nuke Godzilla. During this time, it is discovered that Monster Zero is not apart of the natural order and is a demon who fell from the stars, giving him is alien origin. They also now refer to Monster Zero as Ghidorah, the one who is many.
Monarch sets out with the plan, as Ghidorah nests in Washington DC. Ghidorah, now controlling all of the titans, has them to destroy the planet. He is a false king and must be stopped. Monarch soon discover Godzilla resting inside a forgotten civilization temple where he was once worshiped as a God. The plan was to fire radioactive missles to restore his strength, but there's a problem, the weapons system has been damaged. The only way to give Godzilla his energy is for someone to physically take the bomb and detonate near him, but it's a suicide mission. Dr. Serizawa takes it upon himself to carry out the plan.
In an emotional farewell, Dr. Serizawa continues on with the plan. There were no other alternatives. He recorded more information down in his notes about Godzilla, and passed his book on to Mark Russell. Dr. Serizawa then travels up a fleet of ancient steps where Godzilla is resting. He places the bomb near Godzilla, places his hand on the monster and says, "Goodbye...my old friend," as the bomb explodes. This is a total callback to the original Serizawa from 1954, only instead of killing Godzilla, it was to restore his energy. As the submarine with G-Team rises up out of the ocean, Godzilla follows behind, rising up super-charged and bigger than ever. Godzilla unleashes his new power up in the sky, and shares a moment with our heroes before he heads to Boston. Madison Russell has activated the Orca in Fenway Park in Boston with all of the titans heading that way. Ghidorah has entered Boston, and nearly kills Madison until a shot of radioactive breath catches him off guard. Godzilla makes his way to Ghidorah for the final showdown. It's an all-out monster mash as Godzilla battles Ghidorah for the fate of the world. Mothra soon enters the battle, teaming with Godzilla to take on Ghidorah. Ghidorah calls out, and Rodan enters the battle to take on Mothra.
The Russell family sets out to search for their daughter, who has ran away to home. Upon their arrival, the house is destroyed, leaving the viewer to expect that Madison is now dead. They discover her buried beneath some rumble inside the bathtub, and she is alive. Rodan, still battling Mothra, is about to finish Mothra until she delivers a stinger-shot into Rodan's side. Ghidorah, still battling Godzilla, finally picks Godzilla up and takes him near the stars, dropping Godzilla back to the Earth. This is a sequence all-too-familiar as well. Gamera Guardian of the Universe anyone?
When Ghidorah moves in to finish off Godzilla, Mothra appears on Godzilla's back, trying to protect him. She flies towards Ghidorah who unleashes all of his gravity beams on her, killing her. Her sacrifice won't go unanswered, however, as her energy is transferred to Godzilla in a GMK-esque. Her energy while flowing through Godzilla gives him the power he needs to kill Ghidorah. As if the plot of the film had thrown in the same plot from Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, Godzilla is about to explode from all of his power intake. Godzilla soon rises up in a "burning" type mode and unleashes his nuclear pulse attacks. The heat from these attacks is so hot that it burns everything it touches, which in the end melts away Ghidorah when Godzilla finally stomps on Ghidorah's chest, exploding in the process. Boston is totally destroyed. When the monster's appear on the screen, the viewer believes Ghidorah is still alive, only to find out that what's left of Ghidorah is dangling from Godzilla's mouth. Godzilla unleashes a shot of his radioactive breath through the neck of Ghidorah, melting away the final remains.
As Godzilla stands in the ruins of Boston, all of the other titans arrive to see that Godzilla is victorious. Rodan returns and Godzilla looks at Rodan as if he blames him for the death of Mothra and for turning his back on him. Rodan then submits to the king as all of the other titan do. Godzilla lets out a victorious roar, submitting himself as the king of all monsters.
When the credits are over, we are then treated to end credit scene with Alan Jonah retrieving the decapitated head of Ghidorah from the battle in Mexico. Where is this going to lead? End.
The movie leaves more questions as it does answers. This is a fun experience for the viewer, but for the critic it is a bit of a let down. This is really a "turn your brain off" film. The movie suffers from a lot of plot holes that never go anywhere within the film and the cast is at all forgettable. Kyle Chandler oversells his acting performances here, and is basically the new Ford Brody as he has to return to his family. The script is definitely an all over the place, fast paced drama. Godzilla: King of the Monsters has a sense of wonder, even if everything else isn't executed perfectly. The errors that occur fall mainly under the heading of failing to get out of its own way, but its imperfections are compensated by magnificence.
Michael Dougherty and Zack Shields set out with a love letter to all of the Godzilla fans out there. Their goal was to make a film for the fans by the fans. Although not everything is executed perfectly, they did make a fun experience.
The characters come off a bit wooden at times, but the movie never falls into the boring category as opposed to that of Godzilla (2014) or a few others. The overall message isn't something new, but rather a message about the disasters that mankind is responsible for. The main characters are a bit wasted in this film, however, as they didn't have that much development to them. Alan Jonah, the Echo Terrorist leader, is by far the most interesting character, although, he is not given that much of a backstory or is the main attraction. The monsters here, however, steal the show. The monsters are actually given their characterization a little more inputting than that of our main cast. Packed with almost non-stop action, this film comes off as a fast paced experience, similar to Final Wars.
The balance of the film between the monsters and the cast, however, is 50/50, leaving the viewer grasping for more monster fights. The film gives the audience what they wanted, a monster brawl, but following the overall plot of the film leaves one to question as to why they jammed packed it with so much stuff. Godzilla: King of the Monsters tries to blend the approaches of the monster action and the human drama together, but it suffers ultimately from its inability to trust the audience to understand both the substance and the implications of the action that it presents so boldly and intelligently onscreen. While the trio of Chandler, Farmiga, and Brown acquit themselves, everyone else is easily forgettable. Too many of these characters seem intended to explain everything in plain English or in an ineffective sense of humor that doesn't work.
The monsters, although great with the performances by the Mo-Cap Actors, don't come off as awe-inspiring as opposed to the 60's tokusatsu counterparts. The rain hiding the poor CGI is becoming tiresome. However, it appears to be expected anymore at this point. I'd rather see these monsters duke it out in plain daylight. The CGI for the most part, is executed nicely, although, I think the CGI artists did a better job on G14 and Kong Skull Island.
As flawed as the movie is, this was a nice experience to take my nephews to see. They ended up liking the movie even with its heavy flaws. This is definitely a upgrade from G14 and serves as great sequel to the MonsterVerse.