Godzilla II: King Of The Monsters (2019) Film Review

Godzilla returns for the much anticipated sequel to the 2014 reboot of the popular Japanese monster. This film will be the true test of the monsterverse that Legendary Studios are creating with Godzilla and King Kong. They have both had their solo films with mixed receptions, does the monsterverse have traction with Godzilla’s second outing?

After Godzilla running rampage on San Francisco, the organisation Monarch has been trying to locate and restrain the monsters hidden beneath the earth. Monarch’s main aim is to find a way to contact the monsters and work with them. However this is thwarted when an Eco-terrorist releases Monster Zero and wrecks havoc on the planet. Monarch must find Godzilla to save them from the destruction of Monster Zero, alas the battle to be the alpha begins.

This was one of my most anticipated films of the year. I thoroughly enjoyed Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island. Even though the human characters for those films were expendable, the interactions with the monsters were brilliant and full of spectacle. This film was big and loud. It was a film that is fit for cinema. You need the IMAX screen and three dimensions for this film because to truly experience a film this big, you have to watch it on the biggest screen.

Godzilla II: King of The Monsters falls for the same pitfalls as its predecessors. The human sections of this film are largely forgettable and the only mentionable performances are Ken Watanabe and Millie Bobby Brown who was great, but it is the standard human characters that were only there to bridge the gap between monsters fighting. However, I don’t really go into a Godzilla film for the intriguing character development, like I don’t go to a Wetherspoons for high quality food. I went into this film for one reason, Godzilla vs King Ghidorah.

The monsters fighting has vastly improved on the first film. We get to see more fighting from Godzilla and King Ghidorah. The reveal of both of them gave me goosebumps and the fights were loud and destructive. Visually the fights were really impressive, the visual effects are some of the best put on screen. The fights however were hard to follow. We get this a lot in modern blockbusters. We are treated to these huge visual spectacles but the editing is so fast and choppy that it is hard to follow. There was a lot of fights in this film that was brilliant to watch but I did have a headache afterwards from the frenetic editing of the fights.

A good example of big loud fights done well is Pacific Rim. The fights are well choreographed and shot. It has great fights that are easy to follow and the camera work has bit more care put into. If Godzilla II took more care and attention in how the audience would follow the fights, this film would of been substantially better. I enjoyed the fights they were fantastic to watch but I could not tell you what happened. These films are loud, ‘dumb’ films but it doesn’t mean you can just shoot a fight and not put any thought on how it is shot.

The designs of the monster were impressive. King Ghidorah looked so menacing and the conflict between Godzilla was chaotic. This film is as big as it was advertised to be. Billions and billions of pounds worth of damage, along with an epic soundtrack and impressive visuals. I enjoyed this film for what it was. It was loud, chaotic and fenetic. This can only do so much for the film though. Godzilla II was a good monster film but there was plenty of potential in this film and that wasn’t used. A great monster film to enjoy with your friends but you may need some painkillers afterwards from the fast and chaotic editing.

Rating – ★ ★ ★

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