Movie Review: Godzilla 2

Kaijin No ō: Gojira
(I do not own any rights over this picture, it belongs to it’s respectful owner)
  1. PLOT: There’s not much of a plot that I can begin to analyse in the movie itself. Godzilla 2 focused on starting off a new arc after the first movie, one that involved The King himself as the main monster, but this time finding his authority challenged by Ghidorah. Ghidorah’s origins lacked detail, and could have served brilliantly as a platform to build up to a brilliant plot twist or maybe, possibly set up a sequel. Just establishing that he was an alien really took the fun out of a legendary monster and a competitor for Godzilla. As far as the plot for humanity was concerned, it really did in the end boil down to one of the two common Monster movie cliche plots; Major scientist betrays government organisation in order to destroy the world for sadistic pleasure/ destroy the world so that order can be restored. Although I must admit, the revival of Godzilla involving Serizawa, Madison’s use of the ORCA and last but not least, the exact nature and execution of Emma’s betrayal were brilliant inclusions and they genuinely help distinguish the movie, despite the fact that the basic plot was indeed very common amongst monster movies. (Score: 6/10)
  2. SCRIPT WRITING: In a movie that is bound to involve planetary scale disasters, emotionally charged scripts that hit home are a need more than they are a demand. The best part about the script writing of this movie is that a clear contrast can be seen in the scripts of the main villains, the heroes, and the morally confused antagonist (read Emma). If we take examples from each category, which are Madison/Serizawa/Mark, Jonah and Emma respectively, we can see that while the dialogues are very basic in a literal sense, they are built up to and are emotionally charged, whether it is Madison’s disappointment with Emma, Serizawa’s final goodbye, Jonah’s ambitions or Emma’s moral dilemmas, the scriptwriting accurately represents the nature of each character. The criticism would be that there aren’t enough of those dialogues, but that is compensated for in another category. (Score: 7/10)
  3. CHARACTER ARCS: This is a category that I believed that the movie excelled in, and for multiple reasons. Most people would look at this category and talk about Mark, Emma as a brilliant continuation from the prequel, Maddie as a good establishment for a new one, and of course, the picture perfect ending for Dr. Serizawa. However, I think there’s one arc that they did complete justice to as well, and that’s Gojira’s. Godzilla was and always has been billed as a monster that is an apex predator, and The King Of Monsters, a being strong enough to tackle any challenger while at the same time knowing which species to defend, humans or monsters, in an ethical sense while at the same time thinking about the well being of Earth as well. The movie does brilliant job of bringing together the end of Serizawa’s story and the start of Godzilla’s rebirth. Props to the writers for that one (Score: 9/10)
  4. CINEMATOGRAPHY: This movie did really well in another aspect of monster movies that is very important, this category, and the primary reason is that while it is very tempting to induldge into adding shaky cams in scenes where humans are fighting, it is easier to do so when monsters are doing the same, because you get an excuse. The diligence shown in the movie however, whether we talk about the CGI, or the fact that you could properly see fight scenes, whether it was Mothra Vs Rodan or Ghidora Vs Godzilla, you just couldn’t take your eyes off it, because it was enthralling as well, and I can’t stress this enough, extremely clear to see what you were watching (Score: 8/10)
  5. DIRECTION: Not much to say here since half the movie was CGI, but as far as planning and execution are concerned, I’d say the direction is an overall positive for the movie because it was certainly a decent job by Michael Dougherty (Score:7/10)
  6. ACTING: A mixed bag in this category, while Kyle Chandler and Vera Farmiga acted out their roles in a manner that had a very normalistic air about it, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe and Bradley Whitford were bang on the money, if not better. However the issue with that is that Millie, Ken and Bradley just did not have enough screen time to completely override the air of a very normal character potrayal that Vera and Kyle were bringing to the movie since they had considerably more screen time (Score: 6/10)
  7. SCORE: Bear McCreary did a good job with this movie’s score. The fact that he incorporated the scores of Akira Ifukube is an important way of paying homage to a legendary franchise, especially one that’s had great scores over the years. At the same time, it’s not quite good enough pull you into the scenes despite being decent overall. It draws your attention, but doesn’t make one immerse themselves completely (Score: 7/10)
  8. FAN CATERING: The most important category for a monster movie, Godzilla really did do a brilliant job in this category. Fans of this genre have one demand above all else, more monster action. Not only did the movie provide more screen time for the monsters, the action sequences, the moments that play with your emotions (Monster specific) along with providing us with a glimpse into the psyche of monsters, this really is where the movie enjoyed the most success (Score: 9/10)
  9. MONSTER DESIGN: Now obviously this is an oddly specific category, but it’s an important one nonetheless considering this is supposed to be a genre specific category. A good news/bad news style analysis in this would be that while the CGI artists really nailed the detailing on all the monsters in the movie, the issue is that there were no design innovations as we’ve already seen Godzilla and all the other monsters were just copies of well known mythological monsters or well known prehistoric mammals/reptiles (Score: 8/10)
  10. PERSONAL REVIEW: For me personally, live action monster movies should satisfy a single most important criteria, I should be excited throughout the entire movie and I should be looking forward to and trying to predict what might happen in the next minute itself, and so my score will reflect how I felt as a fan about the newest installment in what is likely the most successful monster movie franchise in history (Score: 7/10)

FINAL OVERALL SCORE: 7.4/10

This was overall quite a decent movie, visually as well as in terms of general excitement, hype and all that makes a monster movie brilliant. With a score above 7, this one is genuinely best enjoyed in theaters, possibly in IMAX as well.

(I own no copyrighted content in the above review, any such content that was included belongs to it’s rightful owner)

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