Godzilla: King of the Monsters
All hail the king
By Casey Lee
Since it was announced, the MonsterVerse sounded like a far-fetched idea. Started by a movie that wasn't intended to be part of a larger cinematic universe, it could have seem a little hasty to retrofit an entire cinematic universe around the rising of Godzilla in present times. Hence, many didn’t know what to expect from this movie.
King of the Monsters starts as the attack on San Francisco in 2014 rages on. While Godzilla tramples over the city against the other MUTOs, paleobiologists Emma and Mark are unable to find their son. Years later, as the world reel and debate on Monarch and whether to exterminate all the Titans on Earth, an eco-terrorist group infiltrates and takes over Monarch facilities that are secretly housing the known Titans, releasing them one by one. When the three-headed Monster Zero is released, it sends out a call to all the Titans, unleashing a worldwide Titan rampage that could annihilate humankind.
Much in contrast to the suspenseful build-up of 2014's Godzilla, King of the Monsters runs with the momentum without taking a breath. All the setup in developing the place of the Titans in the world are done, and debuting director (and screenwriter) Michael Dougherty gives those who grew up watching Toho's Godzilla movies what they want; monsters going toe-to-toe and inflicting maximum carnage.
While this could have been done as a soulless and tasteless battle royale, the writing still manages to ground the battles with some poignant themes about mankind's place on Earth. One could even argue that the motivation that drives the eco-terrorist group in the movie is more compelling than the necessity of a Thanos snap. Much to fans’ delight, when the monsters collide, it is a fight of epic proportions. Replacing the rubber suits and toy buildings with the heaviest use of CG renders, they play out like in a child’s imagination when children smash their toy figures together. Besides the monsters, the humans also play admirably and aptly to their roles, with one outstanding moment by Ken Watanabe.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters has many reasons to fail and destroy the franchise, but like its titular monster it fights off expectations, influence and convention to inspire more excitement as to where this franchise might go. This could possibly be the most exciting time to get into a new cinematic universe that hasn't worn its welcome and where humanity doesn't always win. For now, all hail the king of the monsters!