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John Martin
John Martin

Godzilla II - King Of The Monsters Torrent ~UPD~

This is the second Godzilla film in the MonsterVerse series, a story about the crypto-zoological agency Monarch finding themselves facing titan monsters Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah, and their ultimate solution is letting Godzilla battle them all to save mankind.The film is a little reminiscing to Toho Studio's classic 1964 movie, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, but this time featuring the monsters in the 21st century, with some neat special effects. You get to see each of the monsters' unyielding powers and characteristics, and them battling each other is nothing short of edge-of-your-seat monster excitement. However, the CGI on the creatures were too dark at times, making the monster battles hard to see. It is also difficult to see the creatures' faces and reactions - just a whole lot of head-spinning movements and swift actions.The human drama was average at best, and the good guys vs. bad guys subplot was a major distraction from the film, I thought. Much of the evil doers' actions were overkill, and our protagonists were too preachy, save for Ziyi Zhang's duo doctor roles, which is a great nod to Mothra's tiny twin priestesses in the classic films. I also liked that the filmmakers incorporated Mothra's Song in this movie.But, as with much of today's films, there is forced comedy to lighten up the mood, courtesy of Bradley Whitford's St. Stanton character. His humor was extremely annoying and distracting, very out-of-place for the movie.With all the hard-to-see monster action to the distracting human drama, there is too much in the film to digest and makes it hard to appreciate the main point, which are clearly the monsters. It leaves little room to sympathize with the human characters and leaves you craving for more of the monsters.Grade D+

Godzilla II - King Of The Monsters Torrent

Gareth Edwards' franchise-starting "Godzilla" was a huge international hit, but divided viewers because of its flat, action figure-like characterizations, its meticulous, almost "Jaws"-like unveiling of Godzilla and the two Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Objects (MUTOs) that he ended up fighting, and its relative dearth of actual Godzilla footage (about seven minutes). The movie also placed the big fella within the larger ecosystem of wolves and snakes and birds and such. It contained more nature footage than you expected to see in a city-stomping kaiju epic, to the point where you half-expected Terrence Malick shots of honey-tinted fields and perhaps a narration by Godzilla ("Fire ... water ... why do you wrestle inside me?"). There were fears (among those who loved the original) and hopes (among people who hated it) that future movies would offer less philosophizing and atmospheric indulgences and more footage of giant monsters beating the tar out of each other, and the Vietnam-era period piece "Kong: Skull Island" delivered plenty, pitting the now super-sized ape against a series of Lovecraftian giants that seemed to be half-insect, half-demon, and making sure that the story didn't go five minutes without a burst of violent spectacle.

For all its crash-and-bash action, this is a real science fiction movie that goes to the trouble of not merely creating a world, but thinking about the implications of its images and predicaments. It cares what the people in it must feel and think about their situation, and how it might weigh on them even when they aren't talking about it. It's also suffused with a spiritual/theological awareness, and takes it as seriously as recent DC films took their comparisons of caped wonders to figures from the Old Testament and ancient mythology. A friend who saw this movie with another friend told me that afterward, they debated which of the monsters most resembled Jesus, and realized they could make an equally convincing case for several of them.

The constant need to summarize and annotate every significant moment grows wearisome (it's like being stuck watching a game with sportscasters who don't know when to shut up), but at the level of image, sound and music, "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" is a frequently brilliant film that earnestly grapples with the material it presents, and a religious picture about faith and spirituality, sin and redemption, where monsters die for our mistakes so that humankind won't have to. It deploys state-of-the-art moviemaking tools to try to return audiences to a stage of childlike terror and delight. Arthur C. Clarke observed that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. This movie is magic.


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