Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Rated 2.0

Somehow, Legendary Pictures found a way to totally muck up the greatest Godzilla premise ever with Godzilla: King of the Monsters, a movie that is all things great and terrible at the same time. This movie has some terrific monster battles in it, and the special effects are mind-bogglingly good. Godzilla squares off against such legendary foes as multiheaded Monster Zero and Rodan, while getting some much needed assistance from the great Mothra. All of these monsters, including the title character, are wonders to behold when on screen. As for the internet bitching about the movie’s appearance being dark and murky, I think the darkness was fitting, made things scarier, and didn’t diminish the effects. But, and this is a big but, I cannot endorse this movie overall. The human stuff in between and during the fighting is dreadful. Homo sapiens get too much screen time. The writing and staging for that screen time is so bad that the film derails every time it goes to military types in a war room. The plot has the world in a state of disarray after the 2014 attacks on San Francisco and Las Vegas depicted in the last Godzilla movie. OK, that’s kind of cool. How do we dust ourselves off and find a way to coexist with the likes of Godzilla and big monster moth things after the decimation of the Bay Area? Apparently, according to writer-director Michael Dougherty (Krampus), we deliver inane dialogue real slow-like and inexplicably play with a sonar gadget that supposedly calls out to the monsters in a manner that either chills them out or fires them up. Once the gadget thing sends out a call that basically kicks off the monster apocalypse, the action goes from nicely staged monster battles featuring beautiful close ups and battered landscapes, to a bunch of lost actors sitting around in a situation room observing and commenting. It’s a wasted opportunity for monster fun ruined by stupid humans.