FLICKS: New Godzilla film — not so royal

Posted on 06 June 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

(Seated) Haruo Nakajima – the actor who first played Godzilla and continued the role for two decades. The recent Godzilla film was dedicated to this Japanese Legend.

Based on the box office performance of Aladdin and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the 2019 summer blockbuster season will be filled with action, adventure and a little romance. Unlike the sustainability of an Adventures: Endgame, both Aladdin and Godzilla: King of the Monsters have a noticeable box office drop after the opening weekend.  

After the events of Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the world has learned that Titans are real. On one hand, the Titans are seen as a destructive force. Yet, after the havoc these monsters cause, the earth has become a greener place.

But those meddlesome members of Monarch (the crypto-zoological agency) have created a frequency radio device to track and control Godzilla, a fruitless enterprise.  Greedy environmental terrorists have decided to use the device to unleash dormant Titans and create world havoc. From Mexico to China, from Sedona to the final showdown in Boston, the monsters are unleashed and have stomped upon mankind. 

Unlike the classic Godzilla, where Japan was the scene of constant disaster, this new “King of the Monsters” is a global affair. Like a harem of insects, the human actors (Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown & Charles Dance as the Master villain) deal with the rampaging monsters, who are actually a metaphor for their own domestic concerns.

As a monster maven, there is much to like about Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The creators acknowledge not only the myth of the standup fire-breathing lizard, but acknowledge local cultural myths from the seven continents. (Rodan rising out of a Mexican volcano owes a debt to the Aztec myth of Quetzalcoatl). Besides a cover song of the Blue Oyster Cult classic, there is the original theme from the first Godzilla film produced in 1954.

Cinema Dave with Blue Oyster Cult’s founding members, Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser and Eric Bloom. A cover version of their hit song, “Godzilla” was used in the new movie.

Yet, many of these tender mercies are lost in this overreaching new film. Eschewing actors wearing monster suits, there are computer-generated giant monsters who wreck havoc upon major cities with historical landmarks. Given that most of the monster battle scenes occur at night, one computerized action sequence looks the same as the other computerized action sequence. There is no sense of character development of the monsters, unlike the character growth of Kong from Kong: Skull Island.

As the closing credits infer, Kong and Godzilla are heading for a showdown next Memorial Day weekend 2020. Hopefully, the action sequences will follow the lead of Kong: Skull Island and will not be mired in darkness.  Writing a good review or a bad review, Cinema Dave will be at a Saturday Matinee with a gallon bucket of popcorn on his lap.

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