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BWN Nerds’ Movie Review: Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

The dirty duo of Dave and Patrick are back with their takes on Godzilla: King of the Monsters! Even though there are more monsters than reviewers, how do they score the movie?

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Welcome to this week’s edition of the Nerd Review!  Every week the Nerds give you their take on a different movie from the Nerdosphere.  This week Dave and Patrick continue their Kaiju Countdown with their review of 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monters!!

The Flick:  Godzilla: King of the Monsters

What’s it About:  Monster research organization Monarch grow concerned when avital piece of equipment and one of their top researchers goes missing.  At the same time Kaiju are awakening around the world and wreaking havoc, including the mighty Godzilla.  But, the cause of these monsters walking the Earth is an even greater threat than the King of the Monsters could ever be.

Metacritic Score: 48

The Nerds’ Take on Godzilla: King of the Monters (2019):

Dave Godzilla: King Of The Monsters (hereafter referred to as KOTM) is the most recent installment in Legendary’s MonsterVerse (at least until March 31st). While the main purpose of the film is to show how extensive and prevalent monsters are in this Universe, it has also specifically designed to not only build a bridge between 2014’s Godzilla, and 2017’s Kong: Skull Island, but to set the stage for the upcoming Godzilla v. Kong throwdown. That is a lot for one film to try and handle and, for the most part, KOTM was up to the challenge.

When last we saw Godzilla, he had defeated the MUTOs, but left San Francisco and Las Vegas in ruins in the process. In the carnage of the battel in San Francisco, Dr. Mark Russell and his wife Dr. Emma Russell lose their son Andrew. Mark blames Godzilla for the death of his son. We soon discover that there are many more monsters out there than just Godzilla and Kong and they have been called Titans. Emma sees the Titans as a way of restoring balance to the planet but ridding it of its most dangerous plague: humans. She develops a device called Orca. It uses bio-acoustics as a means of communicating with the Titans. Emma falls in with Jonah, a former British military veteran, who shares Emma’s vision of a New World Order, with the Titans as the ruling species. Jonah stages a kidnapping of Emma and her daughter, Madison, and they are soon able to steal the Orca. This all happens during the birth of the larva stage of Mothra. Mothra escapes the commotion and cocoons itself underneath a waterfall.

Monarch, however, has been keeping tabs on Godzilla. Dr. Serizawa returns and he, Mark, and Dr. Vivienne Graham begin tracking Godzilla to Antarctica. Jonah, Emma, and company also head to Antarctica. Their intent is to awaken a three-headed hydra like Titan known as Monster Zero. They succeed and we get the first clash between Monster Zero and Godzilla. We quickly learn that Monster Zero is more than a match for Godzilla. Monster Zero eats Dr. Graham and escapes. Emma then begins to awaken the other Titans. Rodan is the first one to be awakened and he is lured to a battle with Monster Zero, who we soon learn is actually known as King Ghidorah, an ancient alien species of Titan with whom Godzilla has had a long-standing rivalry. Rodan does not fare too well against Ghidorah and neither does Godzilla, for that matter, although he does sever one of Ghidorah’s heads. The US military attacks both Titans with an Oxygen Destroyer bomb. It has no effect on Ghidorah, who demonstrates an ability to regrow its severed head. Godzilla, however, is believed to have been destroyed by the bomb. Ghidorah then awakens all of the remaining Titans at the same time, thrusting the world into a perilous situation to be sure.

We then learn that Godzilla has retreated to his home, an ancient underwater city (Atlantis perhaps?), a place that is highly radioactive. This is helping to regenerate Godzilla but is taking too long. Serizawa sacrifices himself to manually detonate a nuclear warhead, massively speeding up Godzilla’s recuperation. Madison steals the Orca and heads to Fenway Park where she uses the device to attract the attention of Ghidorah. This leads to another big battle with Godzilla, who still is coming up on the short end of the stick….at least until adult Mothra shows up and sacrifices herself so that her power can be transferred to Godzilla. Soon after, Godzilla goes thermonuclear. Emma sacrifices her life to enable Mark and Madison to escape. In Godzilla’s thermonuclear state, even Ghidorah cannot match up to him. Godzilla prevails just in time for the remaining Titans to show up in Boston and bow down before the King of the Monsters.

Let’s discuss the good first: The monsters. These were my favorite monsters in the series so far. All your favorites are here including Rodan, Mothra, and Ghidorah. We even see some new monsters that are much less familiar to us. Unlike the MUTOs in Godzilla, all the monsters here are bad ass, especially Ghidorah. Rodan looks a bit off in my opinion but Mothra was fantastic and the relationship between her and Godzilla is, I would not say sweet, but very different for a movie of this ilk. Then there are the fights, which are fantastic and plentiful. Rodan v. Mothra, Rodan v. Ghidorah, and a trilogy of battles between Godzilla and Ghidorah are all action packed and highly entertaining. The monsters get very high marks from me in this movie.

The people, on the other hand, are a problem. As Patrick mentioned last week, movies such as this should focus on the creatures and not the people. To make matters worse, when you shift the focus to the people and the people are just lame and rather dumb, you are going the wrong way down a one-way street. KOTM has a big problem in this regard.  You have Mark, who goes from hating Godzilla to supporting him within a matter of minutes. You have Emma, who is more than willing to sacrifice the world, including her daughter, and blindly hope that humans and Titans can co-exist? There are numerous places where the dialogue is just bad. The theme of sacrificing oneself for the greater good is overdone. First it is Serizawa willingly killing himself to save Godzilla and calling Godzilla “old friend” in the process? Huh? Then it is Emma deciding to sacrifice herself. In between that, we have Mothra taking the proverbial bullet for Godzilla and…. OK that part was cool. But you end up shifting the focus to people and hardly anything that many of the people involved are doing makes much damn sense or really even matters that much. This element drags down what could have otherwise been a movie equally as good as Kong: Skull Island. As it turns out, KOTM falls short in this regard.

The cast is good but nothing special, other than Charles Dance, who plays Jonah. Ken Watanabe returns as Dr. Serizawa but his performance here pales in comparison to what he did in Godzilla. There is just not a lot here, as far as the cast is concerned, to get excited about, unlike what we got in Kong: Skull Island. Speaking of Skull Island and how this movie connects Kong and Godzilla, the press clippings that appear as the credits roll are what you need to pay attention to, as well as the post-credit scene that leaves the door open for a return by Ghidorah.

Ultimately, I liked this movie quite bit more than Godzilla, but quite a bit less than Kong: Skull Island. I will say this however:  If you plan on watching Godzilla v. Kong, I do believe this is almost mandatory watching, as is Skull Island. I have a feeling you will greatly enjoy the monsters, who are all done very well. The people…. not so much. But as far as creating that bridge between Skull Island and Godzilla v. Kong, Godzilla: King of The Monsters does a pretty good job of things. It is a very entertaining movie that sets the stage for what we will get in a few weeks about as well as can be expected.

Dave’s Rating: 3.5/5

>

Patrick:  I remember the first time I watched Godzilla: King of the Monsters.  I was stoked for some serious Godzilla vs Ghidorah destruction.  I remember the first time through, I walked away really, really dissatisfied.  But I couldn’t remember why.  So, I walked into this second viewing thinking to myself, I if I can’t pinpoint why I was disappointed in Godzilla, maybe it wasn’t so bad.  For about an hour and half, I was well on my way to admitting I was wrong.  Unfortunately the third act of Godzilla: King of the Monsters forgot the first rule of Kaiju movies.  It is all about the monsters, not the humans.

Godzilla exists in the same universe as our previous Nerd Review film Kong: Skull Island and feature the return of monster hunting organization Monarch.  Set nearly forty year after Kong, Monarch is now a fully funded giant monster research organization.  Monarch has been following Kaiju activity since their discovery.  The top researcher of Monarch, Emma Russell, has seemingly made a breakthrough in communicating with the creature Mothra using something called an ORCA device.  Shortly after this breakthrough, Russell and her daughter Maddie are believed to be kidnapped along with the ORCA device.  Desperate to get their device back, Monarch turns to Emma’s estranged husband and inventor of the ORCA, Mark for help.  You see, monsters are becoming more active and Monarch needs their ORCA device to help manage them before they stop protecting the world and turn to destroying it.

Why are the Kaiju more active?  Because a new monster has been awakened.  A creature known as Monster Zero, later named Ghidorah.  Ghidorah is an alpha Kaiju attempting to summon other monsters to destroy earth under his banner.  Godzilla challenges the great monster but falls.  It is up to the scientists of Monarch devise a way to revive Godzilla and challenge Ghidorah and save the world once more.

My ultimate problem with this movie is the bloated, overdone plot.  There is just so much going on, it’s difficult to figure out who the audience is supposed to root for on the human side of things.  Monarch was less than noble when we last saw them in Kong, yet here they’re the noble researchers.  There is another monster hunting group that seems bent on releasing all Kaiju for there on nefarious reasons.  Emma, the woman who allegedly loves these monsters and wants them to coexist with humans on Earth, pulls the most inexplicable move of freeing Ghidorah from a block of ice, shortly after learning of his existence.  Like, what scientist would just let some giant monster newly discovered free to do as it will?  Throw in a family subplot and damn, I thought this was a movie about Godzilla.

Which leads me to other quibble.  The final confrontation between Godzilla and Ghidorah.  This should be all about the monsters fighting one another for Kaiju supremacy.  In any Godzilla movie worth its salt, the last thirty minutes or so involve very little in the way of humans short of pointing at the creatures in terror.  King of the Monsters thrust the Russell family in peril as an aside during the main event.  WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE HUMANS.  Give us the Godzilla-Ghidorah destruction.  Unfortunately, the Russels hurt what should be a banger finale.

Now the good:  The cast is loaded with heavy hitters.  Millie Bobby Brown plays Maddie the young Russel who has an affinity with the Kaiju.  Vera Farmiga and Kyle Chandler play the adult Russels.  Ken Watanabe is venerable Dr. Ishiro Serizawa of Monarch.  Although he is a bit typecast a sage-like guru to Mark.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Charles Dance in his role as the nefarious, albeit forgotten, Alan Jonah.  Seriously, he just disappears from the film about halfway through.  The other big positive is the look of the Kaiju.  Godzilla and Ghidorah look amazing and their battles definitely would have shaken a theater to its foundations.  Mothra is beautiful and Rodan is terrifying.  My only quibble with the monsters is the decision to keep everything in the dark.  It’s always nighttime or raining in this movie.  One of the best aspects of Kong is that it is mostly done in a daytime setting.  I hope the next installment in this series goes more in that direction.  Let the audience see what is happening.

Overall, I can’t say I completely disliked Godzilla King of the Monsters.  The Monster scenes are beautiful, I just wanted more.  The convoluted plot with the humans is unnecessary and forgettable, but not enough to kill the movie entirely.  I really just feel this movie could have been so much more than what it was.

Patrick’s Rating: 2.61/5.0

 

Overall Nerds’ Rating on Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): 3.05/5.0


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Bandwagon Nerds #150: 150 Episodes of Nerdom

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About Bandwagon Nerds

Join Patrick O’Dowd, David Ungar, PC Tunney and Rey Cash as they keep everyone up on all things nerd, and maybe add some new nerds along the way. It’s the Bandwagon Nerds Podcast!

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Created in 2017, the Chairshot Radio Network presents you with the best in wrestling and wrestling crossover podcasts, including POD is WAR, Women’s Wrestling Talk, The #Miranda Show, Badlands’ Wrestling Mount Rushmores, The Outsider’s Edge, DWI Podcast, Bandwagon Nerds, the Greg DeMarco Show, 3 Man Weave, Five Rounds, Turnbuckle Talk, Suwama’s Station, The Reaction and more! You can find these great shows each week at theChairshot.com and through our distribution partners, including podcasting’s most popular platforms.


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About Bandwagon Nerds

Join Patrick O’Dowd, David Ungar, PC Tunney and Rey Cash as they keep everyone up on all things nerd, and maybe add some new nerds along the way. It’s the Bandwagon Nerds Podcast!

About the Chairshot Radio Network

Created in 2017, the Chairshot Radio Network presents you with the best in wrestling and wrestling crossover podcasts, including POD is WAR, Women’s Wrestling Talk, The #Miranda Show, Badlands’ Wrestling Mount Rushmores, The Outsider’s Edge, DWI Podcast, Bandwagon Nerds, the Greg DeMarco Show, 3 Man Weave, Five Rounds, Turnbuckle Talk, Suwama’s Station, The Reaction and more! You can find these great shows each week at theChairshot.com and through our distribution partners, including podcasting’s most popular platforms.


The Chairshot Radio Network
Your home for the hardest hitting podcasts and radio shows!

All Shows On Demand

Listen on your favorite platform!

iTunes  |  iHeart Radio  |  Google Play  |  Spotify
Listen, like, subscribe, and share!


Bandwagon Nerds Mario


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