Director: Michael Dougherty
Writers: Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields, and Max Borenstein
Producers: Yoshimitsu Banno, Shirit Bradley, Alex Garcia, Jon Jashni, Cliff Lanning, Roy Lee, Dan Lin, Ali Mendes, Richard Mirisch, Kenji Okuhira, Maricel Pagulayan, Mary Parent, Brian Rogers, Zach Shields, Thomas Tull, Barry H. Waldman
Unfortunately, this one just does not live up to its potential. While the epic scope of the action set pieces are absolutely spell-binding, from the glorious other-worldly visuals and cinematography, to the visceral sound design, to a captivating score from Bear McCreary that is on par with Alan Silvestri’s masterful work from last month’s Avengers: Endgame, there are simply not enough of these moments.
The middle part of the story drags with poorly developed drama, recycled plot beats, and a general convoluted mess of a narrative. The actors produce respectable efforts with the characters and roles they are given, but they are not done any favors by the writing. Certain decisions and choices made by the characters make hardly any logical sense, and their motivations for doing so are incoherent and unclear. Although there is some intriguing world-building and progression of the lore and mythology in this cinematic universe, these fascinating elements of the story are overshadowed by the narrative’s abundant fallacies.
For a film titled “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” I was disappointed with the lack of screen time for the eponymous monster. I would not have minded this as much if the dramatic build was better handled in the 2nd act, but it felt incredibly bland and incohesive. But, make no mistake, every single scene with Godzilla or any of the other Titans (Mothra, Rodan, and Ghidorah, among others) is astounding. Some of the moments in this film are as grand and awe-inspiring as anything I have seen this year, including the superhero epic, Endgame. This fact alone saves the film from being completely forgettable, and definitely makes it worth checking out on the big screen.
Still, I cannot help but feel that there are an abundance of missed opportunities that negated from the final product. Not a bad film by any means, but certainly underwhelming for me personally.
Nevertheless, the MonsterVerse is well on its way to becoming another beloved franchise and cinematic universe. The shortcomings of this film did nothing to quell my excitement for next year’s “Godzilla vs. Kong.”