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When Godzilla 2014 came out, me and two other friends went to see it. We spent a good hour or so afterwards bashing the film over a few drinks. All it's flaws, it's goofiness, all those nits to pick, large and small. We assured ourselves that if a sequel were to rise, at least Godzilla's teething problems were out of the way. Oh how naïve.
Godzilla 2 Kot M starts off with grizzly, sweaty dad whose job it is to hammer home that his son died during Godzilla's waltz through San Francisco in the previous film. His wife has constructed the Orca, a sonic device that allows humans to effectively speak to the Kaiju. It is quickly scooped up by our villain, Charles Dance, who plans to use it for his own nefarious deeds. Mixed in is their teenage daughter, who spends most of the film verbally telling us her emotional state: "I'm scared!" "I hate you!" "I miss Dad." Ken Watanabe returns, his job being to stare into the middle distance and say his lines with as much gravitas as he can muster. Also Godzilla & Friends occasionally poke their heads out to remind us they're here too.
Remember how much Bryan Cranston, hot off the set of Breaking Bad, was advertised and trumpeted? Only to be abruptly brushed out the story for Generic-Von-Beefcake? Well Godzilla 2 fixes that by not having any appealing main characters at all, rather content in following Sweaty Dad as he jet sets across the world to… do something. Basically the plot is to set up the Titans are breaking free, Charles Dance wanting wipe the slate clean with classic monsters Mothra, Rodan, and even King Ghidorah (serving as Godzilla's main foil). If you’re only in here for the classic monster brawling you’re gonna get a case of Kaiju blue balls, my friend. This film just loves teasing you with a fight, only for the camera to drift lazily away and watch Sweaty Dad scrambling around in a daze. This happens every time. Mothra and Rodan are duking it out over a burning Washington DC, but nope, keep cutting back to teenage daughter crying and Sweaty Dad trying to learn how to be a more attentive father figure.
It's all a shame too, the film clearly is trying to add more character to the monsters. I genuinely liked seeing Ghidorah's three heads snarl and snap at one another, my mind immediately going to Monty Python's Three-Headed Knight. But when the film isn't going:
"This monster apocalypse really brings our family together!"
"Godzilla is my bestest friend! I much prefer a killer radioactive dinosaur over a killer space dragon."
I would call it childish or insulting to the original films, but as crude as they were at least the monsters fought in daylight! All these slugging matches are either at night, in a storm, in the snow, or at night in a snow storm. Or just filmed so close to the monster at shaky human eye-level that you can't tell what building the Kaiju are even stepping on. No amount of awe-inspiring music to Godzilla's pudgy smug face will make me love this wasted potential. You had one job, Godzilla 2, and you couldn't even outclass two men in heavy rubber suits awkwardly bumping into one another.
That end paragraph cuts directly to my biggest problem with this thing. Some days, I feel like no-one actually gives a shit about the coherency of action scenes.
What the hell is the directors issue with fight scenes? Is it a matter of budget, because I can\'t imagine constant cockteasing is an artistic choice that he genuinely believed everyone would like.
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