It’s a problem that’s been around since the 1990s: America just can’t make a decent “Godzilla” movie. The 1998 version got everything wrong, and the 2014 version did a bit better but was a dud. 2019 is here and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” has been released in theaters and the pressing question is, did America finally get “Godzilla” right? The answer is an enthusiastic “HELL YEAH!”
Five years after the 2014 movie, an agency known as “Monarch” is trying to study the giant monsters that have popped up in recent years. Meanwhile, a group steals a device called the “Orca” that can communicate with these monsters and uses it to awaken them. Now “Monarch” has no other choice but to use Godzilla as a weapon to stop these monsters. The plot is basically like many “Godzilla” movies, which should please hardcore fans. This begs the question, “do the humans not suck in this movie?” Kinda. The best character is Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe.)
He steals the show with everything he does and says. The rest of the humans are pretty forgettable. However, this time around the writers realized that the point of the humans in “Godzilla” movies is to move the story along and spout exposition so we can get to the monster fights. Another big complaint about the previous movie was the movie constantly cut away from the monster action and spent way too much time on humans.
This movie kinda fixes that. We do see a lot more monster fighting. The fights are still done in the dark, but this time we can actually see the monsters and what they’re doing. There are still times where they cut back to the humans, but this time it’s done less frequently and we actually get to see the action instead of the aftermath. The fans wanted the monsters to have more screen time and this movie gives the monsters their well-deserved screen time. While the fights themselves are great despite the darkness, we see little city destroying. Granted, there are two scenes of this, but they’re brief. If you hated the MUTOs from the previous movie, this movie fixes that problem in spades. Besides Godzilla, there’s Mothra, Rodan and the biggest big bad King Ghidorah (who’s called “Monster Zero” for half the movie, a nod to “Godzilla VS Monster Zero,” but is then called Ghidorah for the rest of the movie.) They look absolutely amazing in this movie and even hardcore “Godzilla” fans will appreciate the designs.
Of course, the scene where we see Mothra in adult form for the first time just shows her as this huge ray of light. It looks amazing, but it’s hard to see the details of her until the final battle. One other major thing that’s been fixed is we finally get the “Godzilla” theme in an American “Godzilla” Movie. Granted, it’s a remix, but the remix sounds amazing. The cherry on the cake is there’s also a cover of “Blue Oyster Cult’s” “Godzilla” sung by “System of a Down” frontman Serj Tankian and, again, it’s awesome. This movie is a dream come true for “Godzilla” fans. An American “Godzilla” movie that’s actually awesome despite some hang-ups. The humans may not be great, but the monster designs, monster fights and the inclusion of the two songs make this the best American “Godzilla” movie ever made. Bets part, “Toho” once again has a reason to make another “Godzilla” movie and an American version of “Godzilla VS King Kong” is in the works. It’s a win/win for “Godzilla” fans.