In 2014, the iconic 164ft tall Japanese monster Godzilla was remade for a western audience to create a new franchise. The follow-up, Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters, has now come out to continue laying the groundwork for a big brawl in 2020 between the giant lizard and King Kong. Yes, really. Does Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters successfully build that anticipation while also creating its own fun monster fights?
After the events of Godzilla (2014), the organisation Monarch is dealing with the secret of the mythical Titans being publically known. Members of Monarch, Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) and her ex-husband Dr. Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) invented a device known as the ORCA, which creates an artificial sonar that communicates that they are the alpha with the Titans. This brings the attention of an eco-terrorist, Alan Jonah (Charles Dance), who captures Emma and her daughter Maddison (Millie Bobby Brown) to awaken one of the most powerful Titans, King Ghidorah, a three-headed dragon, who awakens other Titans, including the pterodactyl Rodan. Mark, along with the help of fellow Monarch scientists, including Dr. Ishirō Serizawa (Ken Watanabe), attempt to utilize an unlikely ally, Godzilla, to stop the destruction and balance back to the world.
It’s tough objectively reviewing a movie like Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters as it has a very clear purpose, which is to entertain. It’s clear that the studio took on board the criticisms from the 2014 Godzilla where the titular character was barely in the movie. This time around, the monsters are in full front and centre and bring out the epic showdowns. As the modern-day special effects bring to life the original monsters with some newly updated designs, the fights bring out the most enjoyable parts of the movie, even referencing iconic moments for the die-hard fans.
However, the biggest problems come from almost everything surrounding the fight scenes, which are the human characters and the main plot. While the all-star cast definitely brings their A-game, especially Millie Bobby Brown, the movie almost comes to a complete halt as each character either share exposition in a board room or shouts eye-rolling jokes. Almost playing out like a Saturday morning cartoon, the story chugs along from character to character just to set up the fight scenes and future installments. So, you basically have an exact adaptation of the Japanese movies.
Overall, Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters is certainly an entertaining monster movie that gives die-hard fans exactly what they want, but doesn’t really offer much depth outside of the fight sequences. If you enjoy the franchise or even the visual of monsters destroying cities and each other, I can recommend the movie, especially if you are keen to see the precursor to Kong vs. Godzilla in 2020.