Going into the latest CGI Monsterverse film Godzilla: King of the Monsters I knew I was fighting an uphill battle. Monster movies are generally not my favorite movies, and I haven’t enjoyed either of the last 2 in this franchise. However, I assumed at least the visuals would look good so it would be entertaining on the IMAX. Sadly I was mistaken. It looks like the response is quite divisive on the film but I thought it was awful. You may love it but it was not for me. That’s for sure.
There are so many problems with Godzilla: King of the Monsters but let me go over a few that especially stuck out. The first and least important problem is the asinine script with characters making nonsensical choices. Yes it’s a dumb monster movie, but we spend a lot of time with these people, so it would be nice if it was at least semi-coherent and logical. Especially Vera Farmiga’s character was a giant continual face palm.
Second, I’ve long complained that action movies have become one long set of sequences of characters staring at screens. This is no exception. Almost every scene with the humans they are either looking at a glass encasement or staring at a screen. This is not interesting or exciting. Towards the end we have some emotional scenes with characters but they feel under-served because we haven’t gotten to know them beyond seeing them stare at screens.
Finally, and most surprising, is the disappointing visuals. I think you can see from this gif how cloudy and murky the cinematography is. Every scene is raining and dark so you can’t see what is happening. To make matters worse the point of view is often from the ground up which is difficult when trying to see the action of these big creatures. The editing is also absolutely awful. The fight scenes are constantly cutting away into extreme closeups and mid-shots. Very rarely do you get a good wide shot to really see the fights or the full creatures. Isn’t that why we are there to see monsters fighting?
It wasn’t a big surprise to me when I found out one of the 3 co-editors is the editor for Transformers: the Last Night and Transformers: Age of Extinction- two of the worst edited films I’ve ever seen. And then the cinematographer usually does comedies like The Hangover. It was truly baffling.
Another annoying aspect is millions of people are dying in scenes in Mexico, San Francisco and Boston, and yet we only seem to care about a handful of humans. It reminded me of San Andreas where the only person the screenplay cares about is The Rock’s daughter and everyone else can die. I think most people would be a little upset if the world was being annihilated and there was mass carnage? Call me crazy. Like I said Vera Farmiga (and Charles Dance) characters were especially bad in this regard.
The only comparison I can make is with 2017’s Geostorm but that film had more of a spirit of fun about it than Godzilla: King of the Monsters and the visuals were fine. This was just a badly made film. You might enjoy it and I hope you do but it’s definitely not for me, and I think I’m done with this Monsterverse for the foreseeable future.
I recommend seeing the Chinese film The Wandering Earth instead. It’s on Netflix and provides much better nutty spectacle than anything you’ll get here
2 out of 10
13 thoughts on “‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ Review (Spoiler Free)”
I mean have you ever seen an original Japanese Godzilla film? Godzilla movies should be pre-requisites to even commenting on this. If you have then sure I understand the criticisms but if you haven’t go watch them then we will see what you think.
I’m exploring other Rachels’ blogs and yours is a treat. Love that you turn your beady eye on Netflix items. Hm, do you also review Netflix TV shows?
I have reviewed Stranger Things and seasons of The Crown, Hilda, Fuller House, Voltron and I think that’s it but may be forgetting something
Why even bother reviewing movies you already know you dislike going in, when there are others to review more up your alley? Do you really think you can give it a fair review with that mindset? The reasons for the fog & storms & darkness is because some of the monsters, especially Ghidora & Rodan in this film, naturally generate those storms, & in turn darkness, since their beginnings in 60’s Toho films. As for the closeups & tight shots, for me it felt like I was in the movie, right there in a helicopter, watching as teeth sink in & tear & exactly where each monster is sustaining their damage. I as much as any TRUE GODZILLA FAN understands this, as well as your other dislikes. We like what you dislike. We enjoy what frustrates you about the editing, plot, acting-everything. This is the dream film we Godzilla purists have long awaited. I’ve seen it twice already, & a 3rd time is coming very soon. “Different strokes for different folks,” as the saying goes. Or are you going to critique me for using a cliche?
In contrast to Rachel I actually like many monster movies. I love Peter Jackson’s King Kong. I think that the original 1954 “Gojira” movie is great. I enjoyed the 2014 reboot although it had flaws, and I thought, that Kong – Skull Island wasn’t bad. Therefore I gave the new Godzilla movie a chance. But I have to say that it is the most boring movie I saw in a long time. Rachel’s review is spot on. There is no coherent narrative to speak of. But the worst thing is that the movie is visually extremely annoying. It’s hard to make out any details, the 3D effect doesn’t add anything, there is no sense of scale and the CGI work is pretty lousy. I really cannot say anything positive about the movie.
You are officially my favorite person Sabine. I dont have problem with anyone enjoying it but I completely agree with you
Thanks for sharing your fair thoughts. At least I own up to my genre misgivings right away so you know if you’re likely to agree with my viewpoint. I’m also not a big fan of horror genre but sometimes I see horror films and I really enjoy them. This is an exciting experience and helps me as a critic expand my view. I was more than willing to forgive a lot in this movie if the action had been done well but I didnt feel it could meet me on that level. I was actually ready to be extra generous because I know it’s not my genre but in the end I could not. I can see how you had a different experience and I love hearing that. Thanks much
Rachel, you don’t have to apologize for anything. You admitted freely that watching monster movies isn’t your favorite pastime, but you managed nevertheless to sum up the flaws of the movie pretty accurately😉
As I said above, I do like some monster movies – if they have a heart, a soul and most of all a sense of awe. My all time favorite is Peter Jackson’s somewhat underappreciated King Kong., Yes, it’s too long and the treatment of the natives would be handled differently today. But the movie tells a wonderful story and you become really invested in the characters – especially in Kong himself, who comes to life magnificently through Andy Serkis’ Oscar-worthy motion capture performance. The visuals are (mostly) great, although some fighting sequences are drawn out for too long. But people left the theater with tears in their eyes after Kong’s death. I also like the first Pacific Rim movie. Guillermo del Toro created a delirious and awe inspiring phantasy. Gareth Edwards’ version of Godzilla didn’t get a lot of screen time but we got at least a clear idea of his magnificent looks and awe inspiring proportions. And while the sheer scale of the monsters prevents any meaningful interaction between puny humans and mighty beasts, Edwards actually managed to inject a semblance of soul into his monsters and their plights. I could even muster some sympathy for the female MUTO, when she discovered that all her eggs had been destroyed. The new Godzilla movie has none of it. I left the movie theater with a serious headache because of the confusing camera angles and no clear idea what some of the monsters actually looked like, since they were never shown to us properly. I had been looking forward specifically to Mothra since in the original Japanese versions this monster are actually kind of – cute and a fan favorite. But the new movie never gave us a clear image of the giant moth and the connection to Godzilla was never fleshed out. Or I forgot about it immediately. After a night’s sleep nothing remained in my memory banks. And that’s probably the worst thing one could say about a monster movie. I don’t understand how this mess could’ve ever left the editing room.
I completely agree with you. I also enjoy Peter Jackson’s King Kong especially once they get to the island. I love the original 1933 King Kong. This film felt like a Transformers movie in every way. All I really wanted was to be able to see what was happening and not have jarring action with terrible editing. I dont think I need to be a Godzilla expert for that LOL. I do appreciate when those who disagree with me can state their case in a concise way without resorting to name calling. Believe me that’s not always the case with these franchise films! In that sense I felt it was a fair comment.
Oh and I also enjoyed Pacific Rim but hated the sequel. I’m like the one person that enjoyed Rampage. I thought it was creative 🤷♀️
I almost didn’t even know that this film was coming out, lol!