What We Might Expect from Godzilla, King of the Monsters (2019)
Godzilla and some of the other more-familiar kaiju return for yet another installment of the Godzilla franchise. This is a franchise which is older and longer-running than Star Trek, Star Wars, Planet of the Apes, Jurassic Park, or Mission Impossible. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has 20 films for crying out loud! Yet, the Godzilla saga in its entirety consists of at least a dozen movies more than the MCU.
The seemingly repetitive story of the monster saga, which was brought to the screen for the first time back in 1954, is getting its latest and greatest addition next year. And it's called Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
It will not be the first Godzilla movie to include more than a one-on-one duel between a couple of giant monsters. From the trailer alone, we can assume the famous Ghidorah, Rodan, and Mothra will be among the enormous kaiju or “Titans” as the creatures are referred to as by the characters in the trailer. (Kaiju is interpreted as "giant monster" or "strange beast.")
The trailer gives us a glimpse into the events of the film, and evidently, the characters cover some distance. They really get around – as the changing scenery hints to us. We can expect fire, snow, mountains, sea, military-inflicted explosions, lightning, and more extraordinary phenomena. From the footage shown to the public so far, it looks like the whole film is making a bold step for the franchise.
It's throwing a bunch of monsters together, but this time it's not some corny failed attempt at a comedic encounter with immature beasts with big feet. This time it's dangerous but majestic at the same time. The classic hand-to-face connection trying to be made between one kaiju and a person in one scene seems too much like Hiccup and Toothless's relationship in How to Train Your Dragon or Owen and Blue's bond in Jurassic World.
For some vague reason, humanity is going on an all-out Titan hunt, hopefully in a good sort of way. When the kaiju are not destroying humanity, they always seem to be saving it. So the kaiju are to the rescue. As in any decent Godzilla movie (or kaiju movie for that matter), the military will have a big but insignificant role to play since people always try to fix things that are beyond their capabilities. You'd think the military forces would have come to the realization some time ago that their weapons are futile in these kaiju situations.
Godzilla: King of the Monster (2019) - First Official Trailer
A direct sequel to the previous Godzilla film, which was directed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director-to-be Gareth Edwards, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is the work of director Michael Dougherty. He's best known as a writer of horror scripts as well as a writer for several of the X-Men films and the 2006 movie Superman Returns. Like with the latest installment of the Jurassic World franchise, King of the Monsters' director has horror genre experience. I don't really see how this helps for an action sci-fi drama.
Though disappointing that Edwards won't be directing, the first trailer has shown off some incredible footage. For example, the filmmakers are no longer trying to hide Godzilla's menacing magnificence (which didn't really give any suspense in the previous film anyway.) So Godzilla gets to show off a bit in this one. The world will – once again – discover some new powers the "king" has, despite the fact that he displays such powers in just about every other past movie.
The majority of the Titans to appear in the upcoming movie can be explained away as mere prehistoric creatures, perhaps mutated to some degree due to a few of humanity's mishaps: Godzilla as a dinosaur, Rodan as a pteranodon, Mothra as a gigantic prehistoric insect. But Ghidorah, at least in the original plots, has always been depicted as alien in origin. It's going to be interesting to see how that Titan's entrance shall be depicted on screen.
A very minor but beautiful element we catch a glimpse of in the trailer is a soldier performing a sign of the Cross, a mark of the Christian faith. This very element hails back to some of the more serious notes struck in the earliest of the Godzilla films.
For instance, a bishop makes a comment about trying to save souls during a dark hour depicted in Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965), a hardcore sci-fi tale with astronauts delivering the "king of the monsters" to an alien planet, the inhabitants of which later invade Earth. Christianity has long had a place in the hearts of many Japanese men and women, and this relationship is nodded at in the modern film. All considered, Godzilla: King of the Monsters looks quite promising for the fans and critics collectively.
© 2018 John Tuttle