Welcome to Tokusatsu Gesundheit, where this week we’re talking about some American toku that’s in theaters now – Godzilla: King of the Monsters!
Five years after the events of Godzilla (2014) (and 46 years after Kong: Skull Island, for those keeping track), humanity is still adjusting to the knowledge that we share the world with the creatures now known as “Titans”. There is considerable controversy as to whether to attempt co-existence or drive them to extinction…but a group of eco-terrorists are about to narrow the options considerably.
This is the third entry in the Warner Bros. Monsterverse continuity, after the aforementioned Godzilla and King Kong flicks. It is, incidentally, almost the one that feels the most like a Japanese Godzilla flick – and not just because it introduces at least seven new Titans while hinting at the existence of nine more. There are some more spoilery spoilers in the highlights, so stand warned.
- The use of “Titans” as a loose species name for the Kaiju of the Monsterverse, covering literally every creature of every morphology, sets it apart from its Japanese counterpart and most other franchises that use giant monsters.
- King Ghidorah, Mothra, and Rodan make their debut in American created media (well, other than the IDW comics) and they absolutely live up to the power and grandeur of their Japanese counterparts. Remember, Mothra and Rodan debuted in their own solo flicks before uniting with Big G to fight King Ghidorah in his first ever appearance.
- The movie also introduces three new Monsterverse original Titans (in addition to the return of a female MUTO from the previous movie): Methuselah (a rocky, horned quadruped with a mountain on his back), Scylla (a giant arthropod with six spider-like legs and a tentacled mouth), and Behemoth (a roughly bipedal mammal with clawed sloth arms and mammoth tusks). They’re pretty cool, but also resemble what a Godzilla homage would use as stand-ins for Anguirus, Kumonga, and King Caesar respectively.
- On the other hand, MONARCH gets the combination aircraft carrier and stealth fighter the USS Argo. It is a noble addition to the likes of super-vehicles like the Super X I-III and Garuda. Plus, they have an underground underwater hidden base called Castle Bravo that should be the new standard for Anti-Kaiju bases.
- There’s a Temple of Godzilla. A Godzilla-sized ancient ruin.
- The cast is a rogues gallery of talent: Charles Dance, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Anthony Ramos, Ken Wantanabe, Sally Hawkins, Zhang Ziyi, Kyle Chander, Bradley Whitford, Joe Morton, Millie Bobby Brown, and more.
Chris loved it, finding it to be an expectation-defying experience and thinking it was the most Toho-esque of the American Godzilla flicks. Demi agreed with that second assessment, but felt it was overall a bad movie that looked gorgeous (with a particular distaste for the performances of the cast Chris was over the moon about).
It is neither the first nor the last time Demi has been wrong about a great genre flick. Go see it!