Godzilla: King Of The Monsters needs to be seen in the biggest, loudest cinema screen you can find
Our review of the epic monster mash-up is here!
Love it or hate it (or feel fairly ambiguous towards it), the 2014 take of Godzilla really did make an impression, thanks to the relentlessly bleak tone and eye-popping cinematography. Sure, the characters and the script were less than perfect, but when the spectacle was this impressive, you can forgive a lot of shortcomings.
Five years later, and Godzilla: King Of The Monsters has arrived, and that sense of spectacle has practically doubled, with every single action beat being so beautiful to look at, a single frame from any one of them could be used as a screensaver.
However, the issues with the script and the characters have also increased, to the point where you'd wish there were no humans at all, but if the movie insists on keeping them around, restrict them to just running and screaming in horror.
Things kick off in a very Batman V Superman manner, at ground zero of the massive attack at the end of the first movie, and we're introduced to a father (Friday Night Lights' Kyle Chandler) and mother (The Conjuring's Vera Farmiga) searching for their young son, lost beneath the rubble of a thousand ruined buildings.
Years later, the parents are separated, and the mother is living with their young daughter (Stanger Things' Millie Bobby Brown) deep in the jungle, having discovered a long-dormant titan, and Farmiga has created a device that allows her to communicate with the giant creatures, and perhaps even control them.
However, when a group of mercenaries, lead by Game Of Thrones' Charles Dance, kidnaps them to use the device to awaken King Ghidorah (the three-headed, lightning-shooting monster), as well as a few more titans, for reasons that aren't made immediately clear to us, the first movie's survivors (Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins) enlist Chandler to find them.
That is all a long way of saying "A giant monster fights another monster, and then another monster, and then, later on, another monster", which is essentially the actual plot, and real reason, we all came to see a Godzilla movie.
And when the fights do arrive, please have placed yourself in the biggest, loudest cinema screen you can find, because it is difficult to imagine a better looking, more impressively sounding blockbuster this year. Director Michael Dougherty (Krampus) takes on board one of the biggest criticisms leveled at the first movie - the fact we barely saw Godzilla for any of it - and puts his money makers up on screen for as much as his $200 million budget will allow.
King Ghidorah makes for a terrifying, nightmare-inducing baddie, one that does feel conceivably strong enough to defeat the gigantic Godzilla, while other additions like Rhodan (an atomic bomb with wings) and Mothra (essentially mother nature as a giant butterfly) add some jaw-droppingly unique visuals to the mix.
However, things keep shuddering to a halt every time one of the characters feels the need to explain why these things are happening, and the movie can't be accused of not making a big swing with the plot, and unfortunately, some big misses.
Of course, the argument can be made that nobody comes to the giant lizard movies for intricate story beats and West Wing-level dialogue, but even actors are good as these can only elevate material this dumb by so much. Kong: Skull Island and Pacific Rim seemed to lean into the cheese, but these Godzilla movies seem to want us to take them very seriously, which is difficult to do when Dance's evil plan seems to be to kill all of mankind for the greater good. That... that can't be right, can it?
Best to just turn your brain off and enjoy the pretty explosions, and hopefully 2020's Godzilla vs. Kong will have a slightly higher IQ.
Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is released in Irish cinemas from Wednesday 29 May.
Clip via Warner Bros. Pictures