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I Bet You Didn't See... The Godzilla Reboot Series


Many months ago, I review Kong: Skull Island (2017) and I quite liked it. Previous to that, in 2014, Gareth Edwards started a reboot of the Godzilla franchise.

The original Godzilla (1954) was a key moment in popular movie culture and in the Japanese Film industry. It started an enormous franchise of 37 films (the 1998 Godzilla film is not included in this franchise) and it continues to inspire countless people across all generations. To me, the original stands out as the only one that really matters. I do feel it has been over done.

The 2014 version brought Godzilla back once again. This time - bigger and badder. It was the same basic story and it served its purpose. It threw a good quality monster film at us without having too much of a cheesy, incomprehensible destruction-of-the-beast ending. The human element of the film was great but hey-ho, when are we ever particularly great when it comes to nature?

After the adventure on Skull Island, we were presented with Godzilla: King of Monsters (2019). It was... meh. I think you benefited more if you know the main canon of the Godzilla "monster-verse". There were some weird beasts (the other titans) involved. I quite liked seeing Charles Dance portraying the villain in a classic, evil British way we all love so much. I do love Charles Dance as a villain. Milly Bobby Brown was alright in it too.

My main issue with Godzilla: King of Monsters was the whole nuclear regeneration idea. I felt that was a writers block moment. They'd written their "hero" into a much needed nap, but couldn't possibly have Hydra run amok or just have its own nap, so they threw a nuclear weapon at him to send Godzilla into overdrive. I know Godzilla has always been driven and empowered by radiation, but I still find these sorts of story lines a little played out and crap. They feel cheap. This felt cheap.

Now, I started asking where Kong was in all this (Yes, I know he stayed on Skull Island!). He's been mentioned on occasion, but all of a sudden, Godzilla is after him in Godzilla vs Kong (2021). We've skipped a number of years, as humanity has built a huge containment dome over half of Skull Island to protect Kong. There is then a deceptive idea developed to get some people to delve into "hollow Earth" with Kong (the home of the titans) and find a way of stopping Godzilla, who has just attacked the facility developing the tech to destroy him. It's all been a bit "meh" and flat, I think. Predictable, a little OTT and corny. What I loved about Skull Island is that they avoided the classic ending, while here they seem to be trying to have Kong's connection with humans to be a weakness and a strength. It's not great.

In my research for this article, I learned that King Kong vs Godzilla (1962), which is the film Godzilla vs Kong is a remake of, was the second-highest grossing Japanese film when it was released, and is the most attended Godzilla film in Japan to date.

I have to say I am not looking forward to the proposed Godzilla and Kong due in 2024. I think they need to stop. Sorry.

So, what are my scores for these films?

Godzilla (2014) - 6/10

Kong: Skull Island - 7/10

Godzilla: King of Monsters - 5/10

Godzilla vs Kong - 5/10

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