Movie Review: Godzilla II: King of the Monsters (2019)

A direct sequel to 2014’s Godzilla, and the third entry into the MonsterVerse after Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla II: King of the Monsters is a 2019 kaiju-action film directed by Michael Dougherty. Vera Farmiga stars as Dr Emma Russell, a scientist working with the organisation Monarch to study the various so-called Titans across the globe. Emma’s daughter, Madison (Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things) assists, as the notorious bio-terrorist Alan Jonah (Charles Dance) seeks to release the monsters for his own reasons. Kyle Chandler, Ken Watanabe and Zhang Ziyi also join the cast as Dr Mark Russell, Dr Ishiro Serizawa and Dr Chen, respectively.

+ the biggest and best improvement over the first movie is that the monsters are not hidden in this one. Yes, the fight environments are still either in storms or darkness, but I think that only helped the atmosphere. Seeing Godzilla’s tail and spine light up blue in broad daylight just would not have had the same effect. On a similar note, simply seeing Ghidorah (my personal favourite), Rodan and Mothra, among others, on screen for the first time in a Western Godzilla movie is something special. Of special note is the way all three of Ghidorah’s heads have different personalities. Mothra really is the perfect woman
+ the film is full of maximum hype moments, whether it be the first face off between Ghidorah and Godzilla, or an incredible aerial fight with Rodan and the United States military. Along with the soundtrack (see below) there is little reason you won’t be grinning ear to ear or want to fist pump the air at almost every moment
+ the movie has an incredible soundtrack. Bear McCreary (Black Sails, 2018’s God of War) has put together some of the best score you will ever hear, simultaneously breaking new ground and paying homage to those classic Godzilla motifs
+ there is some truly phenomenal CGI cinematography (if that makes any sense) If you thought that show of Daenerys and Drogon in the final Game of Thrones episode was good, you’ll lose you mind at some of this stuff

– I was not a fan of how prominent the humans were in the 2014 film (but interestingly, didn’t mind it at all in Shin Godzilla). In this outing, there is still too much focus on humans, who are either underdeveloped or have unclear motivations. I understand the need for some human drama to break up the CGI slug-fest, but Charles Dance was supremely under utilised

> Rodan really is a little bitch, isn’t he? He reminds me of Starscream
> Was that lakefront cabin in this film the same one Tony Stark and Pepper Potts lived in in Avengers: Endgame?

Should you see this film: I cannot stress how much I loved this. I was looking forward to this movie more than almost anything recently, and in my fanboy brain, it delivered in spades. It’s a little bit cheesy, it’s full of CGI and it’s relatively predictable, but that’s what Godzilla should be, and this movie knows that.

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