(All screenshots were taken from the Godzilla King of the Monsters official trailer)
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The King is Back and Bigger Than Ever
So SDCC 2018 brought us many trailers. We got the trailer for Glass, the Titans TV show (f*ck Batman), Shazam and Aquaman. But the highlight for many, was the 1st trailer for 2019s Godzilla King of the Monsters. The trailer was well received and has generated a lot of hype for the return of the American Godzilla after his outing in 2014. Rather than wait until next year for a review, I’ve elected to talk about my thoughts on the trailer itself as well as express my hopes for the movie when it releases next year. Also, I don’t keep too up to date with information on these sorts of things, so if anything I say contradicts what has already been confirmed by the actors or filmmakers, I apologize.
So far, I’m liking some of the characters in this film. Vera Farmiga’s character as Dr. Emma Russell is shaping up to be a misunderstood antagonist in this film, but I already don’t really like this. She’s portrayed in the trailer as being the kind of mad character who has the whole ‘mankind is the disease that’s killing the earth’ philosophy. This is an ideology that I really don’t like, it’s so boring and so pointless, this type of mentality is just really dull to me and doesn’t make for a compelling character. Not to mention, in what world does someone think the only way to save humanity from the monsters is BY UNLEASHING SAID MONSTERS THAT CAN DESTROY THE WORLD?! It’s just such a weak motivation and I hope I’m wrong about. Millie Bobby Brown stars as Madison Russell, who I think will be fine, she’ll be the kid that we all root for and who will ultimately be the deciding force in the human part of the story. Other characters include Emma Russell’s ex husband Mark played by Kyle Chandler, who’ll fill the shoes of Bryan Cranston from the 2014 movie (hopefully he lasts longer) as the everyman who we’ll be rooting for throughout the movie. Reoccurring character Dr. Ishiro Serizawa played by Ken Watanabe will make an appearance, who is my favorite character because he knows what the Godzilla fans want “Let them fight!” Other cast members I don’t know enough about to mention, but so far I feel this cast will be solid. While I hope Vera Farmiga’s character isn’t the typical ‘humans suck!’ villain character, that issue will become merely a nitpick if the rest of the cast is good enough.
From what I’ve gathered about the plot, it will be about Mark Russell trying to rescue his ex-wife and daughter from a mysterious organisation who’ve kidnapped them. But it will also focus on humanities response to the appearance of Godzilla, something I’m really exited to see. Many have said that the kaiju were once worshipped as gods, and now they live in a world where they are not respected and worshipped. That is a fabulous idea to me and could maybe lead to come great emotional conflict between the monsters and humanity. While I don’t know why the monsters will be fighting, my assumption is that Emma Russell will unleash them in an attempt to cleanse the world of either the beasts or humanity. The first movie had a certain level of atmosphere that built up the appearance of Godzilla and when it paid off it was a satisfying reveal, I don’t believe that tension will be present in this movie, but the ‘presence’ of Godzilla will definitely be felt. The trailer has really hammered home how powerful Godzilla is going to be, and all the other monsters look ready to cause some major havoc. I don’t expect a mind-blowing plot, but I don’t want it bogged down by a need for monster destruction. If we can get a plot that’s serviceable at least but good at best, then I think we’ll be fine.
I expect the effects to look fabulous in this movie, while some of the effects did look kinda questionable in the trailer, people have said that this is still under development. Aside from a few of those shots, the effects on Godzilla and the other kaiju look great. Harkening back to my Kong: Skull Island review, I don’t like praising a big budget movie for its effects since more often than not it will look great, but like with Kong I have to praise the CGI crew for the monster designs here. One thing I have heard about the movie that I’m a little bit worried about is that they said a lot of the movie, particularly the monster fights, take place in the rain. The issue I have with this is that might mean it also takes place in the dark, something the 2014 film suffered for terribly. However there does seem to be a lot of vivid color on display, with Godzilla’s revamped atomic breath etc. The effects are going to be the highlights for many people, here’s hoping they don’t disappoint.
The kaiju look beyond spectacular in this film, and while it may be a little too early to say that I do have really high hopes for their portrayal as these giant destroyers. Each one got at least one money shot, see the screenshots featured below. I’ll give my hopes for each in separate points as follows:
- Godzilla – I believe this will serve as some form of redemption story for Godzilla, the world both hates him and respects him, but one thing he doesn’t have from humans is love. This movie will give him the chance to assert himself as the King of the Monster. I mentioned before that there’s a theory humans once worshipped the likes of Godzilla, so it would be interesting to see him adapt to this world.
- Rodan – It’s great to see Rodan getting some love in this film. I feel like Rodan gets overlooked by many kaiju fans, but this movie will allow him to come to the forefront as a force of nature. Rodan in this film has been described as “an A-Bomb with wings” and that already adds so much awe to this flying creature. The new look is great, the flaming parts of his body a possible reference to Fire Rodan from Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla 2, reference or not it looks great. Here’s to hoping Rodan gets to show off some amazing abilities and fights in this film.
- Mothra – The divine, goddess, queen moth… thing has made her return as well, and of all the monsters shown I got the most scale out of her. What I mean is that she looks ENORMOUS and is shaping up to be a real marvel on the screen. The Larva form we saw of her looks pretty cool, having an updated look but reminiscent of the original (take notes Godzilla 1998). Of all the money shots we got, with maybe the exception of Godzilla himself, Mothra has the best one. Her glowing wings spreading across the screen was stunning to watch and you really get this feeling of grandeur from her. I hope to see the more mystical side of the monsters through Mothra, and maybe a shred of humanity in these colossal beasts. I would also love to see a scene where Mothra dies but her offspring takes her place, like in Godzilla vs Mothra, GMK and Tokyo S.O.S.
- King Ghidorah – The big baddy of the Godzilla franchise, the three-headed planet destroyer King Ghidorah. I have heard the director confirmed that King Ghidorah is from space, which is honestly to his detriment in my opinion. So far everything has been established as originating from earth, so throwing space monsters into the mix does take away a little bit of the belief I have for this world. but that is a mere nitpick, besides I wouldn’t be too quick to insult a King, especially one this big. Like Mothra, I got such a scale of size from this creature, his sweeping shot shows a little plane in the bottom of the screen, and OH BOY is that plane tiny compared to Ghidorah. We’ve already seen a wall mural depicting the rivalry between Godzilla and King Ghidorah from Kong: Skull Island, but I want this movie to really show us how deep their conflict runs. An idea I have is that King Ghidorah is seen as the superior monster and this is Godzilla’s goal to reach a level above the three headed beast, inserting himself as the true King of the Monsters and fulfilling the movies namesake.
So to close off this discussion, I have high hopes for this film. I liked Godzilla and really liked Kong, so I’m hoping this film continues the trend of improving quality in my eyes. This film will certainly deliver on action, if anything based on destruction alone. I hope the human story is fine at least, since the human side of the story has always been kinda weak with these films. The trailer has set this movie u to a pretty high standard and has really generated a lot of interest in the movie and I pray that it is deserving of such hype. The King of the Monsters makes his return, but only time will tell if it is a return worthy of celebration.
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