Godzilla (2019) – the King of modern monster films

Summary: This film has it all. Wonderful cinematography (great in 3D) with a plot tapping our archetypal fears and hopes. Its vision of the Leftist future will make you more woke. Best of all, it stars a woman much like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (in Demolition Man we learned that in the future all restaurants will be Taco Bell; in our future all Hollywood heroines will be Ocasio-Cortez).

“This is Godzilla’s world. We just live in it.”

Godzilla - King of Monsters
For 65 years, films about Godzilla have tapped a powerful archetype: the superbeing who fights to defend us from mysterious giant foes. Like most archetypes, these terrify us in their pure form, so we tell them as domesticated stories. Sometimes that means placing him in the far past or future, on distant worlds, or in other realms. If the story takes place in the here and now, we tell it as a children’s tale to mute its impact. Critics whine that the Godzilla films have shallow characters and simple dialog. That is not a bug but an essential feature, allowing us to mute their impact. Otherwise these stories would remind us of our vulnerability to the great forces of nature, many unknown, before whom we are like bugs. But without a giant monster protector.

Compare Superman with Godzilla. The former is a handsome and caring man, careful not to hurt us while he fights terrifying foes. He is an angel for a secular people. Godzilla is a more realistic defender of humanity. He can fight monsters because he is a monster, just stronger. He shows little interest in us, a reasonable attitude for an invincible behemoth. His fights with other monsters level cities, as do the wars we wage on each other with our tiny weapons. He is a creature from the unknown, helping us for his own mysterious reasons.

The shattering events of Godzilla (2019) take place in a Leftist vision of the future. It is unisex. Men and women dress alike, mostly in drab grey and blue. They talk and act alike (the script need not distinguish between male and female roles). The women look like the men, except for the faces and hair. But except for the one Asian woman (the beautiful Ziyi Zhang, age 40), they appear quite plain. There is no appeal to the evil “male gaze.” The only marriage mentioned ended in divorce – due, of course, to the man’s behavior (drunkenness and fleeing his responsibilities). Half of the key roles are women, including scientists and senior soldiers. Plus the obligatory androgynous-looking hyper-competent 15-year-old girl with a unisex name.

But best of all, the bad guys are eco-terrorists (much like Thanos), whose victory leads to the surprise happy ending that will (so the Left’s activists hope) make millions in the audience become woke. The useful idiots of Hollywood don’t know and don’t care that this rests on one of the Left’s big lies: about the mass extinction now underway (for an explanation, see here, here, and here).

Eco-terrorist: “The mass extinction we feared has already begun. And we are the cause. We are the infection. But like all living organisms, the earth unleashed a fever to fight this infection.”

Rational scientist: “You are out of your goddamn mind!”
Eco-terrorist: [firmly] “I am sorry. But this is the only way.”

Heroine: “You’re a monster.”
Eco-terrorist: “I’m sorry.”

Important: stay for the end credits, in which you see the aftereffects of the events in the film. They are essential to understand the film.

Critics disliked the plot and dialog. I thought both quite realistic. People’s actions were often irrational, just as they are in life when people are under immense stress. The institutions involved functioned as dysfunctionally as they do in the real America. But the monster fights went on far too long.

Having seen all the classic Japanese Godzilla films, I rate this as average. It has none of the tight plotting and human interest elements found in Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975), and the Hollywood design of Godzilla is grossly inferior to that of the 1970s films (he looks overweight, even pudgy). Among modern monster films, it is top-notch.

One question for you as you leave the theater. What are the odds that the child, Madison, becomes an eco-terrorist? I hope they put her on an FBI watch list.

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The great trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters

22 thoughts on “Godzilla (2019) – the King of modern monster films”

  1. John Pittman

    Ocasio-Cortex, Freudian slip? How about Ocasio-CorteXX? LOL, I have always assumed nit picking such is from our primate ancestors: we just can’t help ourselves.

  2. Must have been third-wave feminists advising the production since they gave half the roles to men, scratch that, males. The fourth-wave remake will fix this, no doubt.

  3. Thanks for the review Larry. I have viewed virtually every US available Godzilla movie since my early days of life. I still think the best were probably Destoyah and Final Wars, but I liked them all. Your review will probably cost me 50 bucks tonight at the movie bar ;-)

      1. I will certainly accommodate your request, with no spoilers. Unfortunately, Alligators and sprinklers redirected me this evening. Hopefully tomorrow will provide the opportunity to go. I see there are 2 options, digital 3D and standard. Which did you see Larry?

      2. Ossqss,

        I was not a fan of 3D. But the last few films I’ve seen in 3D. It’s difficult to go back.

        The 3D was well done, esp vivid in the fights. I’m, however, not a graphics maven.

  4. The Man Who Laughs

    “and the Hollywood design of Godzilla is grossly inferior to that of the 1970s films ”

    Agreed. The 70s ‘zilla looked a bit more anthropomorphic. Shin Godzilla was over the top, although the breath weapon rocked mad socks. And I liked that membrane that came down over his eyes when he used it. I honestly like the original a lot, and maybe it looked better than it should have because in black and white you can get away with a lot using light and shadow, and hide a lot of the flaws in your special effects. (The old Outer Limits TV show made excellent use of this trick)

    Hollywood thinks they can perfect the creations of others, which I guess is a comfortable illusion when you’ve more or less given up on creating yourself. They insert their favorite kinds of characters into the stories, and change things to suit their preferences. Sort of like fan fiction, when you think about it. But of course fan fiction never looked this good.

  5. I just don’t find the human elements of monster movies interesting including the Alien vs Predator movie. I would entirely be satisfied if the film entirely focused on the alien or predator or Godzilla in this case.

    I find their actions much more satisfying than most of the dialogue in those movies.

    1. info,

      The “human action” provides exposition and context. Also, monster action is a “less is more” thing. It was a smaller fraction of the old Godzilla films than in the recent ones – and that made them better films, imo.

      1. I think thats because the older godzilla movies actually had good human plot. The more newer human plots are just not that interesting.

        Maybe its my video game experience. But if monsters had character and a distinct culture like the predator who do talk to each other and their dialogue can be translated. With a good writer and cinematography one can do without any human element.

  6. I enjoyed it becaus they gave the monsters personalities while staying to the spirit of the old Toho films to get the Big Four on the nose
    I believed that they took the time tay true to the spirit of the old Toho films and get the Big Four right.

    The human element was mostly grey and forgettable but I did not mind that much.

    Compared to Pacific’s Rim which compressed so much plot, it was a relief to see some fanservice.

    My opinion of course

    1. Der Maiden,

      Thank you for sharing your impressions of the film!

      “The human element was mostly grey and forgettable but I did not mind that much.”

      Do you recall much of the human element in previous Godzilla films? The only one that I easily recall is the sad story of the professor and his daughter in Terror of Mechagodzilla.

      “Compared to Pacific’s Rim which compressed so much plot”

      I loved Pacific Rim! But I prefer fast-moving plots. Everyone has their own preference in these things (The sequel was garbage, much like the sequel to Independence Day, which it closely resembled).

  7. In regards to Godzilla, the original movie, it isn’t only about Godzilla but the human elements determining significant choices to deal with the catastrophes of nuclear testing.

    Now, regarding human drama AND story-line in a Godzilla film, I guess Godzilla GMK 2001 would be a good choice but my recollection is hazy on it.

    I do agree that long movies are a drag and anything more than 95 min is a burden but there are exceptions. Not that I can think of any at the moment…

  8. Oh, I thought about another Godzilla movie regarding human elements but that the American 1998 version with The Professional and Ferris Bueller. In fact, I keep forgetting Godzilla is in that movie.

    Also, that the French were responsible.

  9. Well I was able to make the movie last night and your review is spot on. I did pick up some subtle and not so subtle hints of social justice, misanthropes etc..

    The movie was a bit long when you add in 20 minutes of previews. Previews of which pushed the feminist lead and leadership roles in many. MIB and the Kitchen (I think) were 2 examples I recalled.

    The special effects/graphics were quite good, but the images of Godzilla, not so much. When did he get slotted hippo nostrils anyhow?

    I was very suprised the producers did not plug in a CO2 version of Hedorah (the smog monster) to advance that agenda.

    All in all the movie was worth the time to see if you are a fan of such. The cost of the movie, on the other hand, was not well received. Nearly $140 was spent in total including 4 tickets, 3 large beers, one large wine, 2 softdrink/slurpee, along with 3 medium bags of popcorn. I felt like I was robbed at movie point. Add on terrible bar service, and it will be a long time before I do that again. Reruns here I come.

    1. Ossqss,

      “Previews of which pushed the feminist lead and leadership roles in many.”

      I’ve also noted that the trailers have themselves become Leftist indoctrination (let no teaching moment go unused!). From my review of Shazam!

      “But first we saw a commercial (or an instructional video for boys?) about a blind date from Hell. The woman was ugly, focused on her phone, and rude. The man just sat there and took her abuse, smiling (see it here). Then came the trailers. They began with My Spy about a skilled CIA agent – a big, strong guy (Dave Bautista) – who partners with a 9-year-old girl. Of course, she is the smarter and more capable of the pair. The second trailer, for Long Shot, showed a Secretary of State (Charlize Theron) dating a beta (Seth Rogen). Hilarious and romantic!”

      “Nearly $140 was spent in total including 4 tickets, 3 large beers, one large wine, 2 softdrink/slurpee, along with 3 medium bags of popcorn.”

      That’s an important point. This reminds me of the last glory days of the music industry. Music could only be purchased thru albums – one or two good songs plus filler – at bizarre prices. Then came widespread theft, after which they surrendered and allowed iTunes to end the party. Now every film is an opportunity for several people to become rich – so that neither they nor they descendents need work again. But they have priced themselves out of their mass market. These films could easily be made more cheaply – i.e., paying the big names less, less CGI – and sold at a much lower price. Or the market will continue to migrate to the small screens (which are getting bigger).

      The game has gotten a new chapter due to the growth of the global market. But eventually local competition will arise, so that every bit of Hollywood trash will not make big money overseas. Then the game will challenge.

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