Oh friends, they say he’s back again; go go, Godzilla! The world of Titans and man has been brought back into our cinematic lives again, as Godzilla: King of the Monsters is ready to take theaters by storm. In addition to the chaos and destruction it’s ready to leave in its wake, the film has us asking that question we love to trot out in the face of utter desolation: to 3D, or not to 3D?
If you’re curious what our thoughts on Godzilla: King of the Monsters are, check out the official CinemaBlend review of the film. Otherwise, it’s time to go Monarch on this monster movie and analyze just how well director Michael Dougherty’s follow-up to 2014’s Godzilla fares in terms of its third-dimensional experience.
Gigantic Titans fighting it out in the streets on a global scale is one of those delights that 3D has always been meant to draw its audience into. And Godzilla: King of the Monsters has all those thrills that promise to be 3D delights, should the right conversion be in play. Not to mention, all of the destructive activity that is required to free the Titans in this film lends itself to some extra third-dimensional thrills as well. Of course, the best intentions can lead to the worst let-downs.
This isn’t the first time a Godzilla film, or even a Monster-Verse film has been brought to the masses in 3D. So seeing Godzilla: King of the Monsters coming in at slightly below the efforts of those two previous films is kind of a bummer. There’s definitely a thrilling aspect to seeing the film play out in the third dimension, but the age old problem of brightness levels rears its head again to challenge this clash of Titans. That said, there’s still some rather impressive elements in this 3D presentation’s cannon.
When Godzilla: King of the Monsters uses its ability to project items off the screen, it’s pretty damned cool to look at. In particular, there are scenes where guns are drawn by various characters on either side of the conflict, and they feel like they’re pointed right into the audience. Unfortunately, for a movie with debris flying everywhere, explosions going off left and right and a three-headed Titan staring down an army of humans, the effect of objects coming off the screen isn’t used nearly enough. But at the very least, there’s an admirable effort.
Peering into the depths of this particular film’s 3D conversion is an absolute treat, as Godzilla: King of the Monsters definitely takes the time to flesh out the world beyond the characters, and in various settings. From the hallways of a Monarch bunker to underwater depths that Godzilla swims through, you can feel the endless world spanning behind what’s in front of the audience at any given time. As such, characters are sharply drawn with spatial reasoning that sets them apart from each other, as well as the environments they occupy, allowing the characters and the background to have impressive depths of their own.
When you have a movie that takes place mostly in dark, lowly lit settings, the brightness factor is always going to be a challenge. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is one such film, as it bathes its settings in various shades of blue and orange, and takes place during some very cloudy weather events. While mileage always varies on this sort of thing, as the brightness partially depends on how well your theater maintains its projection equipment, Godzilla: King of the Monsters has a brightness problem that extends through most of the film’s running time. Daytime scenes are coated with the usual grey dimming, but the lowly lit scenes are a bit of a chore to watch, and that’s a good majority of the film’s action.
If your eyes happen to get tired, and they might with Godzilla: King of the Monsters, you’ll be tempted to raise your 3D glasses and peek at the screen. Naturally, doing so will show you the blur that makes any 3D enhanced film what it is, as typically the blurrier the film is, the more it’s playing towards the 3D thrills you’d expect. And there’s definitely a healthy blur factor, in particular with the backgrounds that are being shown to the audience. A lot of scenes will have close-ups of characters drawing those figures in slightly more 2D fashion, as if to anchor the action going on in the back.
There are a lot of panning shots and quick cuts of action that mess around with Godzilla: King of the Monster’s 3D presentation, and as such the audience health will be impacted by movement so swift the eyes don’t have a chance to settle. Pair that with an overall dimness in what’s being presented, and you have a recipe for some eyestrain soup that tires the audience when they look at it.
|3D Scores Recap|
|3D Fit Score||5|
|Planning & Effort Score||3|
|Before the Window Score||3|
|Beyond the Window Score||5|
|Glasses Off Score||4|
|Audience Health Score||3|
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is enough to make one long for the days when IMAX used to do large format presentations in 3D. Alas, you’re most likely to find standard 3D as your only option for third-dimensional thrills, and if you know a theater you trust to keep their rigs bright and tidy, you’d probably have some fun with Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
That said, it’s by far the weakest of the three Monster-Verse films committed to the medium, and as Godzilla Vs. Kong is undoubtedly going to be both a large format and 3D release, there’s a lot to think about before heading into the third dimension yet again. It’s not a bad conversion, but overall, it’s not impressive enough to sing the praises of.
Be sure to visit our full To 3D Or Not To 3D Archive.