Behold the King, the King of the Monsters! Godzilla is back and better than ever in the newest entry in the Godzilla franchise. Directed by Michael Dougherty, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is the sequel to Gareth Edwards' highly successful 2014 film “Godzilla” and the third entry in Legendary's MonsterVerse.
Following the events of “Godzilla” five years earlier, the cryptozoological agency Monarch is faced with the threat of giant monsters, called Titans, wreaking havoc on the earth. These Titans include Godzilla, the apex predator and "King of the Monsters"; Mothra, the giant moth and "Queen of the Monsters"; Rodan, the pterodactyl-like monster; and King Ghidorah, the three-headed dragon and archnemesis of Godzilla. When these ancient beasts — who once ruled the planet before humans existed — rise again, they all vie for supremacy leaving the survival of mankind hanging in the balance.
I've been a Godzilla fan since childhood. As a kid, I enjoyed watching the old Japanese films that were made in the 60s, 70s, and 90s. You know, the ones that were hilariously dubbed in English where the voices didn't sync with the mouth movement and the voice acting was very cheesy. Those were the days! When Gareth Edwards rebooted the franchise in 2014, I was really excited because at the time, there hadn't been a new Godzilla movie for a decade, and the previews looked promising. It sure looked like we would be getting a proper American Godzilla movie, unlike the 1998 version.
The film came out and I was impressed. Gareth Edwards did a great job with the 2014 film and when it was announced that a sequel was in the works with Edwards once again at the helm, I couldn't have been more excited. Unfortunately, two years after the first film Edwards left the project and was later replaced by Michael Dougherty. I was not only saddened by the news of the change of directors, but also by the news that the sequel wouldn't be released until 2019, which meant I had to wait a long time.
In the meantime, we got “Kong: Skull Island,” a reboot of the King Kong franchise and the next installment of the newly established "MonsterVerse" by Legendary and Warner Bros. The ending of that film hinted what was to come: the long-awaited Godzilla sequel, and the monsters to be featured in said sequel.
Here we are now with “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” This film is everything a Godzilla movie should be and better. In fact, I think it's much better than the first (the 2014 film, not the original 1954 film). One thing I love about this new Godzilla is that if you're a fan of the original Japanese films, you will be able to recognize the filmmakers themselves are fans and this film is one big passion project. It's loaded with lots of Easter eggs and nods to the franchise. For obvious reasons, I can't share them without spoiling the film, so you'll just have to check it out for yourself.
One of the best things about this new Godzilla movie is the action. Now by action, I'm talking about what we love most in any Godzilla movie: the fights. The thing that always brings a smile to the face of any Godzilla fan, such as myself, is a good old titanic clash between two or more giant behemoths in the middle of a populated city that results in total destruction; this one definitely delivers. In fact, the ONLY thing I will give away is that for once, there are more giant monster sequences than there are human drama scenes, which is something for every Godzilla fan to rejoice in. Come on, guys, let's be real. Why do we watch these movies in the first place?
The music score is also worth noting. The film's score is composed by Bear McCreary, whose work includes The Walking Dead TV series and the PlayStation 4 video game God of War. The music is epic does a great job of setting the tone of the film. The music is truly at its best during the aforementioned fight sequences between the monsters. What I love most about McCreary's work on the film's score is its incorporation of the iconic Godzilla themes from the original films by the late Akira Ifukube, something that made me very happy to hear. Another thing that makes McCreary’s music for this film awesome is his cover of Blue Öyster Cult's classic "Godzilla" featuring vocals by one of my favorite rock vocalists, Serj Tankian of the band System of a Down. It's pretty awesome! Please, listen to it if you get a chance.
Lastly, the new monster designs are amazing. The look of Godzilla, for the most part, remains the same as in the previous film, with some minor tweaks such as larger dorsal plates on his back. It's the three other beasts that sparked my curiosity before I could see any official footage. Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah are three of the most iconic monsters in the Godzilla franchise and I really wanted to know how designers and filmmakers were going to approach them. I think the new designs are fantastic and they look amazing, especially King Ghidorah. Godzilla's three-headed foe looks menacing and ferocious like he's ready to cause mayhem and leave a path of destruction wherever he goes. Mothra and Rodan look great as well. I don't know about you guys, but I actually like that Mothra looks more insect-like than giant furry butterfly as in the original films. In fact, she even looks a little alien-like in her design. For Rodan's design, it comes across as an updated and more realistic version of the classic look from the 60s films, which is a nice touch. There's nothing wrong with taking an old design and reimagining it while still staying true to the original. In fact, I think the same can be said about all the monster designs as a whole.
“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is truly a spectacle and is definitely something you should see while it's out. I give the film a solid A. For all the Godzilla fans out there, this is one you've been waiting for. If you enjoyed the 2014 film, I think you'll like this one even more. If you're a fan of giant monsters duking it out and making skyscrapers crumble, you will not be disappointed. Long live the King!