Oh, no, they say he’s got to go… go, go, Godzilla! Oh no, this movie really sucks… no, no, Godzilla! Yes unfortunately this movie is an utter disaster of a film. Glazed over plot with bad characters and bad motivations with a focus on MORE KAIJUS, MORE DESTRUCTION. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for more Kaiju battles and more screen time for our chunky boy, Godzilla, but when this is the only engaging part of the film, you get over it pretty fast. I want to give credit to the CGI artists because they were the only reason this film had any saving grace and why it is semi watchable.
For some reason Warner Brothers thought it would be a good idea to put Michael Dougherty at the directors helm for this movie. Oh and he also has a writing credit for the screenplay. He has written and or directed such hits as X2: X-Men United (writer), Superman Returns (writer), X-Men: Apocalypse (writer) and Krampus (writer/director). Who in their right mind thought that this guy would be a good fit for a giant world-wide blockbuster franchise like Godzilla? He already failed miserably at two franchises with X-Men: Apocalypse and Superman Returns, why not just throw another one at him? I wish we could have gotten another Gareth Edwards Godzilla. His 2014 reinvention of the franchise reinforced my childhood love for Godzilla and brought this universe into the modern era with grace. It wasn’t without it’s flaws but the good out weighed the bad and I enjoyed that film. He went on to direct the wonderful Star Wars: Rogue One (2016)and I’m not sure why he wasn’t brought back on to direct this Godzilla sequel, but I digress.
The biggest complaint I have for this movie are the boring uninteresting characters. I think for the most part the actors gave fine performances but it was the writing that ruined their characters. The motivations behind the characters seemed uninspired and any on screen interaction between the characters was only there to further the plot for more monsters. There were moments of subverting expectations without any reasonable explanation as to why the characters were doing these things. I feel like the writers were only focused on how to get to more Kaiju fights and left out reasoning and logic for any decision the characters made. There’s an advanced piece of technology that is introduced in the very beginning of the film that you think is going to play a significant role in the story arc and in the end this thing doesn’t matter at all and it only serves to piss off the monsters to fight more. This movie could have been a lot better if they focused on the human aspect of this film and told a cohesive story that actually made sense. They continued to glaze over plot points and characters have way more information about things to where it feels like they’re reading off of a wikipedia page than actually having the knowledge themselves. This movie tries too hard to interject comic relief into its scenes to a point where it feels out of place and takes you out of the story completely. There’s one particular character played by Bradley Whitford in which almost every line he delivers is cringe inducing comic relief. I had to cover my face during these moments because it was too much to endure.
Now if you’re only in it to see giant Kaijus terrorizing the planet, then you might enjoy this film. The battle sequences with Ghidorah, Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra are all pretty spectacular and visually entertaining. The only problem I have with these scenes is that they’re muddied up with dialogue and sequences of our “hero” characters getting in the way. I feel like they took the one complaint from the 2014 Godzilla movie which was “not enough Godzilla” and focused too heavily on this aspect and ruined a movie that had the potential to be good. Ghidorah was visually amazing looking but for some reason the battle cries and noises this monster makes are so weak in comparison to the other Kaiju. I feel like they took the original sounds from Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster (1964) and didn’t add any weight or oomph to his roar. I understand keeping content true to the original but even Godzilla’s sounds have been updated and reimagined. Every time Ghidorah is on screen and it makes a noise it’s too faint and feels like something is missing. I’m not sure if this was a creative choice by the sound designer or by the director but it just doesn’t work for me.
I hope these big budget studios start vetting their directors a bit more and focus on the films these directors have contributed to in the past and learn when to hand over the reigns and when not to. I 100% believe the failures of this film are directly correlated to the decision to put Michael Dougherty at the reigns and not brining back Gareth Edwards. I am not looking forward to the next film in the franchise slated for 2020 which will be Godzilla vs Kong (2020) mostly because of the fact that Michael Dougherty is credited for the screenplay.