Director: Michael Dougherty
Cast: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford
Have I Seen it Before: Na. And I was kind of looking forward to it, too.
Did I Like It: Ah, well… Just another cinematic disappointment for the summer of 2019.
At it’s core, this latest Godzilla movie is a family drama about a divorced parents as they try to raise children under trying circumstances. It’s a tame one at that, a story that has been played out before in a nearly infinite amount of melodramas and have been coopted as the narrative spine of more than a few other big budget movies. ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and the larger portion of the Jurassic Park franchise comes to mind.
Such a routine story is not enough to support an entire movie. The only more-than neutral thing I can say about it is that Brown appears believable as a child of Chandler and especially Farmiga). With nothing else to keep the movie afloat, the spectacle of such a movie must rise to the challenge.
And that’s where things really fall apart.
For one thing, there’s shockingly little Godzilla in the movie. The titular character spends most of the first half missing, and a large part of the second half sleeping off an ass kicking. If that weren’t enough, most of the running time is dominated by characters doing one of several things things. 1) Staring in awestruck wonder at something happening a considerable distance away. 2) Arguing about how much nuclear energy will either destroy or juice up Godzilla. 3) Muttering about some arcane piece of Godzilla lore.
And here is where the film leaps from being underwhelming to be more confidently annoying. The entire film is like being stuck in a conversation with someone well-steeped in the lore of the franchise, and can’t seem to talk about anything else. I’m not sure what I wanted out of a Godzilla movie, but it wasn’t this.