The creature design concept of Titan-like Godzilla is not only obvious in the sequel but also the previous film Godzilla (2014) already materialised the creative concept. This is the most complemental achievement of this Hollywood franchise.
A stellar cast performs adequately despite not much material to work with, as the story arc is paved just enough to set siege with the unleashing MUTO’s of the kaiju world, which is the only area of the film that can leave the audience impressed, however it is not as cram jam filled with monsters as the trailers allude to, they are there and just often enough to remind you that this is a Godzilla picture and not some Luke warm drama with hardly fleshed out characters despite their screentime being longer than the true stars of the film.
The concept at the heart of Godzilla II, quite frankly, is off-the-wall wacky – so bold and audacious and weird that you have to give director/co-screenwriter Michael Dougherty some credit for effort, even if his execution of it is somewhat lacklustre.
This is no mere story of monsters raining mayhem down upon mankind. Instead, the film moves its mythology quite firmly into the realm of faith; Godzilla, the film suggests, is as much god as monster. It’s actually quite remarkable to see a mainstream blockbuster movie embrace – rather than shy away from – religious iconography, folding in theologies and environmental philosophies from Greek myth to Thanos. As such, Godzilla and his arch-nemesis, King Ghidorah (a three-headed Hydra-esque dragon beast), aren’t just having their version of a bar-room brawl – their earth-shaking clash is a battle for the survival of humanity.
If Dougherty learned one thing from his predecessor, Gareth Edwards, it’s the importance of casting a bunch of top-notch character actors in an otherwise barmy creature feature. Veteran performers like Oscar nominee Farmiga, West Wing alumnus Whitford and Charles Dance (that’s Tywin Lannister to you) reel off awkward exposition and pseudo-scientific claptrap (“bio-acoustics”, “the Oxygen Destroyer”) like it’s actual real human dialogue. It’s quite remarkable to see Friday Night Lights’ Coach Eric Taylor in action anti-hero mode, but Chandler – just as Bryan Cranston did in the 2014 film – brings an everyman weight to a character whose narrative arc is muddled, to say the least. The MVP here, though, is Brown. She brings to Madison the same soulful blend of toughness and tenderness that made her such a breakout star in Netflix’s Stranger Things.