It’s been five years since Godzilla kicked off the MonsterVerse, and while we rewound the clock back in 2017 to delve into King Kong’s origins in Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla is finally back in action this weekend for Godzilla: King of the Monsters. This time around, the giant reptile is colliding with Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah, and these Titans vying for supremacy will leave humanity’s existence hanging in the balance.
The public is still a few days away from getting to see Godzilla: King of the Monsters, but reviews from critics are now being published, and it’s looking like this sequel improves upon its predecessor in some ways, but is still a mixed affair.
CinemaBlend's own Mack Rawden gave the film 3 stars on our official review, citing major problem with the film's pacing. While praising the film's visuals, Rawden revealed:
In fact, the pacing is so strange that after about the twenty minute-mark, I had no concept whatsoever of how far into the film’s runtime we were. I’m usually pretty good at timing out a movie in my head and estimating what percentage we’ve completed. Not here. Not even close. There’s no slow burn or escalating momentum. The whole movie is in the deep end. Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is just a relentless haze of destruction throughout, a creative decision that obviously brings with it an enormous amount of pros and cons.
On the more positive end of the spectrum, William Bibbiani from Bloody Disgusting gave Godzilla: King of the Monsters a 4 out of 5 score, declaring that it felt like Warner Bros heard the collective complaints about how the 2014 Godzilla movie didn’t have enough monster action and “unloaded three sequels worth of monster fights into one follow-up.” That being said, King of the Monsters is filled with a lot of one-note characters, and if you treat blockbusters “like any other movie,” you’ll be disappointed with how this blockbuster fails to properly utilize its ensemble.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a big, kinda silly, but otherwise exciting blockbuster. It’s gorgeous, it’s epic in the extreme, and it features some of the most impressive monster fights you’ve ever seen. Maybe someday Americans will make a Godzilla movie that isn’t just ‘badass,’ but which also works on another level and resonates in a meaningful way.
Conversely, The AV Club’s Katie Rife wasn’t pleased with Godzilla: King of the Monsters, stamping it with a C- grade. Rife acknowledged that the look of the movie’s Titans and their fights are cool, but the rest of the King of the Monsters suffers as a result, with the human characters failing to impress. The family drama that occurs between the members of the Russell clan (Millie Bobby Brown’s Madison, Vera Farmiga’s Emma and Kyle Chandler’s Mark) is described as the “least successful flavor.”
Of course the monsters should be the stars of a Godzilla movie. But until blockbuster filmmaking goes entirely non-narrative, some attention should be paid to the rest of it as well.
James Whitbrook from io9 took a middle ground stance in his review of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, calling it “big, dumb and beautiful.” The sequel functions excellently as a love letter to the history of these cinematic beasts and the set pieces are “gorgeously rendered,” but the storyline is weak, there’s an inconsistent tone and there’s no proper exploration of the moral debate it sets up early on.
If you’re fine with some incredibly stupid people playing second fiddle to glorious kaiju moments, King of the Monsters will provide one of the best popcorn blockbusters of the summer. But if you wanted a Godzilla movie that had something, anything to say about its destruction? Then you’ll be definitely looking for something meatier than Ghidorah flank to chew on.
Empire’s Ben Travis did not enjoy Godzilla: King of the Monsters, giving it just one star out of five. In Travis’ opinion, the “staggeringly poor script” has the characters doing nothing but standing around or explaining the plot and their personal motivations with cliched dialogue. Making matters worse, the action sequences are also disappointing, with the final clash between Godzilla and King Ghidroah being described as “an overload of repetitive, joyless destruction that mistakes volume and demolition for actual excitement.”
Globe-trotting but not adventurous, action-packed but not remotely exciting, utterly overstuffed and completely paper-thin. Nuke it from orbit.
Finally, Scott Collura from IGN awarded Godzilla: King of the Monsters a 7.8 out of 10, observing, like many other critics, that the human characters get the short end of the proverbial stick, but the explosive monster action helps even the scales. Although the script is convoluted, King of the Monsters ultimately succeeds in delivering a lot of excellent battles and nerdy Easter eggs.
Godzilla returns in King of the Monsters, focusing on monster spectacle first and foremost. Which is as it should be!
These are just some of the Godzilla: King of the Monsters reviews that are now available, so feel free to look for others if you’d like more viewpoints. It is interesting, though, how one of the main complaints of the 2014 Godzilla movie was that there wasn’t enough monster action and too much focus on the humans, and now for King of the Monsters, the criticisms have been reversed. Talk about difficulty finding middle ground.
You can judge Godzilla: King of the Monsters for yourself when it arrives in theaters this Friday, May 31. Don’t forget to look through our 2019 release schedule to learn what movies are coming out later in the year.