If you grew up on the old monster movies and have fond memories of Saturday afternoon Godzilla marathons, this movie will feel like you are coming home. It checks every box needed to bring you back to the nostalgic memories of your youth. There is an excellent balance between human conflict and giant monster fights. There is deliberate care taken with the source material down to making sure there is an update to the mythos without rewriting canon.
This film is a sequel to the 2014 Godzilla film. The destruction of San Francisco plays heavily into the story of this film. Doctor Emma Russell (Vera Farming) a scientist for Monarch (the organization that tracks titans) has a device that can emit frequencies that the Titans can hear. They can make the giant monsters more docile. She gets taken by an eco-terrorist group who want to use the device to wake up the monsters and reign destruction on the face of the earth in the wake of these monsters battling for dominance.
Monarch lead scientist Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and Dr. Russell's husband, Kyle (Make Russell), are on the trail of the terrorist trying to get back the technology and trying to minimize the damage brought on by the waking monsters.
Dr. Kyle's motivations change through the film, it's great to see a character grow it makes the audience connect with them. His primary focus is saving his wife and daughter, Madison (Millie Bobby Brown). He also wants to destroy the machine and the monster, because of a loss they suffered in the first film. His son died, and we see how they all cope with that loss and what that loss manifest as in each of them.
I have to acknowledge that my film critic brain did have a few problems with the story and some of the science, however, my inner 12-year-old kept squealing at how well the CGI replicated the movements of the original actors in the foam suites, but made them seem more real. Any faults I could attribute to the move fall short of the fact that his movie was made with love and devotion of the source material.
The filmmakers also included mentions of Skull Island and gave hints to future projects pitting Kong and Godzilla. This is a perfect example of how to use a shared universe and provides Warner Brothers with a place to practice before they think of applying this same philosophy to heroes or monsters franchise. They scraped the Idea of a Dark Universe, and we all know what the DC Hero Universe suffered.
These moves have always carried with it a cautionary tale about the dangers facing the world. In this movie, global warming takes center stage. The originals warned about the Atomic age and the risks of unleashing unknown horrors because of nuclear testing. Using this as a platform makes sense, and it fits into the story.
This movie is perfect for those of us who long to see the monovalent giant creatures on the screen fight the evil monsters with humanity hanging in the balance.
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