I’ve always been a fan of movies with gigantic monsters just destroying everything. It’s the perfect combination of the fantastical illusion of cinema along with the thrills of massive demolition. However, the west’s vision of the icon of kaiju, Godzilla, hasn’t ever particularly moved me. The 1998 abomination was an exercise in obnoxious marketing run amok, and the 2014 western reboot, while respectable, had a dark minimalism for the battles that weren’t my cup of tea.
But, my goodness, does Godzilla: King of the Monsters absolutely deliver. Promising no less than four giant monsters, the movie wastes no time giving us our first one within the first ten minutes and we’re off to the races!
While there is some pathos regarding mortality and the sacrifices potentially necessary for eco-preservation, the bulk of the movie is anticipation between battles and boy are they something! You get to see the full massive size of these behemoths as they brutally smash each other in several distinct memorable showdowns!
There’s also some family drama in the middle, acting as just enough of a breather to emotes a fun “Which parent am I siding with?” aspect to the film without wearing out its welcome. Previous western takes on these human elements made me fearful we were going to be subjected to Kramer vs Kramer vs Godzilla before the film’s end, but thankfully it just allows for a reasoning to set-up the next King Ghidorah/Monster Zero appearance and give us reasons to watch the citizens running in their wake.
While I usually prefer people in ridiculous rubber suits throwing each other into cardboard buildings, the monster design here is pleasant to the eyes and maintains the same mass destruction satisfaction. In the middle of it all, Teen Choice Award-winner Millie Bobby Brown (“Eleven” from Stranger Things) reminds us how tremendous she is as an actress and adds so much unexpected heart to the film.
If you’re a fan of juggernauts laying the smackdown on each other, check it out! Godzilla: King of the Monsters opens tonight!