The relevance of monsters in films is quite legendary. Japanese and Asian cinema have worshipped the concept of humans fighting against giant sized beings for almost seven decades. They still continue to dominate the movie business. “Godzilla” is unarguably the most well known monster in popular culture. This can be attributed to the 3 dozen odd films made on him. The latest outing of this mystical character “Godzilla-King Of The Monsters” is an epic sized adventure such as never seen before on the big screen. The story and the plot might not make much sense but who cares when Godzilla is occupying the big screen. Especially when he is up against a “three headed monster” and a dozen more creatures of his size.
This essay is aimed at reviewing this film and exploring the genesis of the Godzilla franchise and why it has survived over 70 years in the movie making business.
The Plot of Godzilla: King Of The Monsters
The film operates in a world where it is assumed that Godzilla and other “giant” sized monsters (referred to as “Titans”) once ruled the planet and are hidden in various places. A giant multinational called “Monarch” operates multiple city sized facilities across Earth where they also store and preserve these monsters. Scientist Emma Russell who works at Monarch is kidnapped and held hostage by “Eco-Terrorist” Alan Jonah (Charles Dance) who deals in the illegal selling of monster DNA’s. Emma’s husband Mark also works in Monarch. When Jonah starts attacking multiple facilities, he frees “King Headora” a giant three headed monster in its Antarctica facility who is powerful enough to control the Earth’s ecosystem. Meanwhile, Godzilla who is also in “hibernation” of sorts, wakes up and challenges “Headora”. Their clash is at the center of the story.
In the midst of this chaos, the Russell’s daughter Madison gets control of “Orca” a device which controls these monsters to help the cause.
Who is Godzilla?
“Godzilla” is a name derived from the Japanese word (Gojira). It is referred to as a “Kaiju” monster like the ones from “Pacific Rim”. The character first came to the big screen in 1954 in Japan. Its owned by Toho Corporation and ever since has seen over 35 films adaptations in Hollywood and Asian cinema. Godzilla is also the Guinness Book record holder as the longest running franchise in movie history. The monster keeps updating its look and powers as the movies have evolved. He himself has also morphed from a killing monster to more of an ally of the human race. In fact , he is seen as the defender of earth and very rarely feasts on human beings. His latest outing shows him having radioactive body parts and a much more sharper attack strategy. His first scene in the film where he attacks “Headora” in Antarctica is nothing less than epic! Watch this film to root for Godzilla.
8 Unique pointers in “Godzilla: King Of The Monsters”
The “King Headora” monster who has three heads and regenerates whenever its heads are severed. An intelligent Alien living in on Earth.The Monarch Corporation and its facilities in China and Antarctica.The aircraft which houses the central communications team for Monarch. Its shape and maneuvering is futuristic and extremely sophisticated.
The Orca device which generates the Alpha frequency and controls the monsters.
A small bloated iPad which is compact and yet controls creatures bigger than skyscrapers.The team of Alan Jonah, the first ever “eco-terrorist” outfit ever scene in films.The battle sequences between all monsters including the Fire Eagle bird and the giant moth.The sequence where Ken Watanbe meets “Godzilla” and energizes him further.
The chorus and music when Godzilla appears.
The films of Godzilla are the stories where human characters have little role to play. I mean the monsters hog 90% of the limelight. Even in this intense situation, the producers have casted seasoned actors like Sally Hawkins, Ken Watanbe, Vera Farmiga, Thomas Middlestich and more. They all have acted well but the story seems to be hampered by too many monsters and in a way it kills the narrative to some extent.
I will give this film a 6 out of 10 purely for the production design, special effects and the unique action sequences between the monsters. The story is not strong at all, the humans are largely used as props with no depth to their characters. But you would not mind looking at the film for the monsters as they look spectacular!