If this had been released after the 2014 Godzilla movie I likely would’ve passed on this one. But Skull Island was quite possibly my favorite movie the year of its release. King of the Monsters is nowhere near the magic of Skull Island but I was still entertained through it. It’s an excuse to throw millions in CGI up on screen and it looks good. Dragons still have some appeal when combined with a story that doesn’t hate its fans.
If you liked Godzilla (2014) you’ll like this. If you hated Godzilla (2014) and loved Skull Island you might like this. This really for me defines the “turn off your brain” genre of movie. It’s not actively offensive like the Transformers series. No one in it has been accused of spousal abuse that I can think of like Harry Potter. It’s good clean harmless fun. It lacks the kind of overriding cautionary tale of Original Godzilla but it remains fun.
I’m going to try to sum up the plot in as short a time as possible.
Vera Farmiga and Tywin Lannister want to enact one of those Thanos/Crazy Robot plans of killing a lot of people so that the survivors can start over. Their plan is to unleash the world’s Kaiju monsters. People who oppose this help Godzilla to stop them. They succeed, setting the stage for Godzilla vs. Kong.
Other than the two Big Gs, Rodan and Mothra are the two other monsters in the movie. Mothra was used very sparingly in this movie. It seems like it has some kind of vague healing powers that never get described. Like Godzilla in the 2014 movie, it always feels special when Mothra shows up. Rodan shows up a couple times, I have no complaints or high praise.
This movie begs the question, What The Fuck Are Monarch’s Resources? In Skull Island they were begging Senator Richard Jenkins for funding. In the last movie they seemed to have two people to tag along with the US military. In this movie they’ve got dozens of facilities all around the world, including huge underwater bases and a SHIELD style flying fortress. But they also seem to be working hand in hand with the US military. Did they hit the lottery after Skull Island? Did they invest in Apple?
So the terrorists wake up Ghidorah who can control all the other Kaiju. These things start going apeshit all over the world. They only show a few monsters. They don’t show the two I most wanted to see who are codenamed “Tiamat” and “Baphomet.” It’s possible that the Big Spider, 3rd MUTO, or Big Mammoth are one or both of those but I can’t tell.
The military tries a new missile out which only succeeds in knocking out Godzilla. Somehow the humans know that a nuclear bomb will heal Godzilla so they go to him in a submarine. There’s a hard edit somewhere here because the submarine is damaged offscreen. This is critical to the plot because it requires Ken Watanabe to sacrifice himself to detonate the nuke. Godzilla and Ghidorah both head off to Boston where Eleven has some kind of signal to attract them. This is a better explanation than the wishy washy geography that got the monsters to San Francisco last time.
It turns out the nuke gives Godzilla a limit break or something because the humans realize that Godzilla is going to explode. This concerned me because Ken Watanabe just sacrificed himself to save Godzilla I thought. It turns out this explosion is more like an AOE effect rather than covering Boston with chunks of Godzilla. This and some kind of vague Blessing of Mothra allows Godzilla to triumph and the other Kaiju all bow to Godzilla.
SOMETHING I THOUGHT IN THE THEATER AND I FORGOT! Towards the end of the movie the two parents roll up to their house in Boston to find Eleven. The house is rubble and they find her in the bathtub unconscious. This is how War of the Worlds should have ended. Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning roll up to their house in Boston. It’s a sunny day, and his ex-wife and son who somehow survived walk out of the house, Big Group Hug, roll credits. The house should’ve been gone, everyone dead. Roll Credits.
Thjs movie sets the stage for the inevitable Kong vs. Godzilla Sequel. I think it might be a rental next time unless it gets hella good reviews.