While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is breaking all sorts of box office records, a less hyped, but very good monster movie universe is developing in the background. “Godzilla” released a solo in 2014, “Kong: Skull Island” continued its work, and in 2020 a joint film of the pair is coming out.
In the meantime, a sequel called “Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters” is storming the screens very soon. We were lucky enough to attend a special screening at Toho Studios, and right now you can find out how the film turned out, of course without spoilers. Are you planning to attend Godzilla 2 at the movies? Leave your answer in the comments, for things may change after watching the video.
Let’s start with a brief synopsis for those who have forgotten all about it. In 2004, the Japanese studio Toho decided to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Godzilla in a big way. A film was released that didn’t take off too well at the box office. However, it caught the attention of Hollywood, who decided to take the monster to the next level. After a decade of development, the second American reboot did see the light of day. It did not turn out to be a masterpiece, but very, very strong. Starring Lisa Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and even Bryan Cranston. More than half a billion in receipts made it clear that the sequel will see the light of day, and not only that.
Godzilla 2: King of Monsters
At the same time, Legendary launched the “Kong” reboot and announced the merging of it and “Godzilla” into one cinematic universe. In 2017, Monkey tore into theaters along with Tom Hiddleston and Brie Larson. Another half-billion fell into the monster world’s piggy bank. However, development of “Godzilla 2” stalled, and eventually the director left the project. He was replaced by Michael Daugherty. This guy turned out to be a crazy Godzilla fan and immediately took the job. Unlike Marvel, Toha and Legendary didn’t want the films to follow each other, so the 2014 project had a single-digit ending and the sequel recruited a different cast. Exceptions in the form of Ken Watanabe are rare and only maintain a connection to the original. Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler and other guys joined the project. The story on one side and continued, but in fact started with a clean slate.
Here we can begin a review of the premiere. The obscure connection to the original may be a bit of a downside for many. After all, five years have passed since “Godzilla” was released, and the events of the first part have been forgotten by many. And while the story as a whole stands on its own, there are some hooks to 2014, and Ken Aatanabe’s character plays an important role in the sequel. Remembering the events of the original will make you feel for him. And without them, a couple or three scenes will seem a bit of a stretch. So we recommend you to watch the first film before going to the cinema, because without it the excitement may not be complete.
The fattest of all possible pluses is Godzilla himself. Answering our questions, director Michael Daugherty told us that the design of the monster was developed with an incredible love of detail. The guys even envisioned that since the first film, he’s even grown his back shields a bit and had other cosmetic trivia. Compared to 2014 Godzilla looks much more brutal and powerful, he is incredibly realistic and evokes the same sense of fear and admiration at the same time.
And it is helped by the sheer level of graphics. The Academy should spit in its face if Godzilla is not shortlisted for an Oscar. The $200 million budget is evident in every frame, no blackouts, no camera jerks and incomprehensible action scenes. All of the monsters are shown in full size, and they fight with a cosmic level of detail. Both peak and brutality breathe throughout. Old-school Godzilla fans can get ready for nonstop goosebumps even on the tips of their fingernails, and a newcomer to what a high-budget movie should look like. Beautiful, expensive and, well, very powerful.
The music plays no small part in this. The classic “Godzilla” themes are refreshed, treated, and one roar of monsters in pants begins to make suspicious movement. If you can, run to IMAX, no – try to find a theater with good sound quality. It is worth it, because “Godzilla 2” is a perfect combination of space graphics and crashing soundtrack. The beauty is that even if you don’t listen to any dialogue from the actors, the movie remains cool simply because of its incredible action scenes. There are lots and lots of them.
While we’re on the subject of plot, it may be a second minus for some viewers. Everything is pretty standard, and in some places a bit of a stretch. Most of the problem lies in the people, for some there may be too many of them on the screen. They are the catalyst for the plot, continue it, and even take part in the ending. For old-school fans who came and watched Godzilla, this might be a minus. For us, not so much, since monster movies have always been primarily about his relationship with humans.
Millie Bobby Brown and the other cast guys do a great job. Their characters are not brilliant, but they are realistic. They do exactly what normal people would do when they find themselves in the meat grinder of giant monsters.
“Godzilla 2” is a perfect comparison to the ordinary world. The monster represents nature, which humans mercilessly rape. The actors on screen try to achieve harmony and change the minds of those who believe that Godzilla belongs in a coffin. They are not the only ones who will think so.
We hope it’s not a spoiler to say that the plot centers on the Earth Defender’s battle with Ghidorah. This is a huge golden dragon with three heads, it has consumed all life on Venus and has gone to wreak havoc on Earth. The movie changes the canon a bit, introducing its own, but the essence remains the same. Ghidorah is the most powerful of monsters, and his awakening would be a disaster. Even just moving, Ghidorah creates a huge storm around him, killing all life. Now imagine what such a storm looks like in the beautiful graphics we mentioned above.
That’s right, Ghidorah, like Godzilla, looks realistic and brutal, but they’re not the only ones who will attend the party. The trailers also hinted at Mothra, Rodan and other possible monsters. We won’t go into spoilers, but we hint that those who want epic battles with a mountain of monsters will get them in full.
Our review is honest, and we shouldn’t forget about the minuses. One of them is the main villain in Tywin Lannister. The motivation and plans of the villains in Godzilla 2 are wooden and simple. Moreover, the meaning of their goals is completely unclear. The closest example is Master Yoda, who, with a thousand living Jedi, claimed that two Sith would harm the balance of power. And so here too, the logic behind the guys’ actions is not entirely clear. True, as mentioned, Godzilla should be at the center of the Godzilla movie, and everything related to him raises no questions.
Neither does the future of the film universe. In case anyone doesn’t know, Godzilla vs. Kong is already being filmed and is aiming for a release next year. Legendary is fully confident of success. It’s easy to understand them, as the sequel is destined to be a breakthrough. In that light, many feared an excessive amount of future references and a fat hint of the next King Kong movie. You can relax, because Godzilla 2 is a completely independent project with a beginning and an end. However, that doesn’t take away from the nice Kong references, they are evenly scattered throughout the film and eye-eyed viewers will definitely notice everything. The approach is very similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It’s just a shame that many viewers still don’t know that the monkey and the monster king live in the same world. But that’s what we’re after. And once again, we strongly advise you to review both the 2014 film and “Kong” before going to the theater, and the premiere experience will be as complete as possible.
“Godzilla 2” is destined for success. The film is too beautiful and good not to collect its 600 million. And it’s nice that the director hasn’t forgotten about the old-school fans, and there will be a fat reference to even the very first Godzilla project on screen. Are there any hardcore monster fans here? If so, watch the movie carefully and you won’t miss it, for the detail is pivotal. We warmly recommend appreciating the third film of the newborn monster movie universe at the movies. Trust us – it’s worth it.