WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, in theaters now.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters disappointed in its opening weekend, earning just $49 million domestically, but faring considerably better overseas, amid largely lackluster reviews. Some naysayers, fans included, saw the Legendary sequel as all style and little substance, with the audience assaulted by one epic monster brawl after another.
However, it becomes apparent that, no matter what, when it comes to kaiju films, Hollywood will always have difficulty pleasing fans.
Gareth Edwards' first Godzilla flick five years ago was just as polarizing, with many folks upset about his Jaws-like approach that hid the titular Titan for most of the movie. It wasn't until the end that we got to see the lizard cutting loose against the M.U.T.O.s, leaving these same fans begging for more monster action this time around.
They made it perfectly clear Edwards spent too much time playing up the human aspect of the film, and it seems Legendary's MonsterVerse took that into account. And let's be real, you should know what you're going to get walking into a movie that promises fights between Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah.
While there's some human element involved, most of this sequel is about monster madness across the globe. Godzilla and Ghidorah battle within the first half hour, then we see Ghidorah taking on Rodan shortly after, all building to the finale where Mothra and Godzilla team up against Ghidorah and Rodan. Seriously, what more can you ask for from this franchise?
This is the stuff the Toho films were based on. Even if Dougherty doesn't get the human aspect right with Monarch and the Russell family, the old movies never prided themselves on the shoehorned plots of people (both allies and villains to Godzilla) meant to carve out emotional connections with viewers, but rather the guarantee that kaiju will throw down big time.
This occurs in abundance here, and the global catastrophe paints an all-out war for mankind. The kaiju rise up and serve humanity with an extinction notice, while cleverly advancing the plot along towards Kong and Skull Island for next year.
Listening to people railing against this, well, we just don't know what will please them regarding kaiju movies. The '90s Godzilla movie starring Matthew Broderick and Jean Reno got bashed for being too campy and not really having a villain apart from the United States military. Edwards' movie didn't give us enough fights. Now, apparently we have too many fights.
These movies are about violence and aggression, with Titans either seeking to conquer the world or help us preserve it. There's no in-between, and, as much as we knock Michael Bay or Zack Snyder, Dougherty smartly takes a page from their books with chaotic, epic scenes.
The cinematography is on point, the epidemic swarming the world is high-stakes and the scope of how the planet's crumbling paints a terrifying picture -- which is how it would be if 100-foot monsters rose up against us all across the globe.
Fans lapped up Pacific Rim because of its cheesiness, but, again, that franchise was always meant to be a popcorn one. There wasn't any need to look for anything deeper because the story wasn't that nuanced. The MonsterVerse follows a similar mold, but it does have a more sentimental approach as some of the kaiju are humanity's friends, too.
Still, no one should expect something Oscar-worthy or as tear-jerking as the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Avengers: Endgame when it comes to what unfolds. Kaiju movies are about tearing the planet down, and that's what we paid money to see -- monsters rumbling!
So, until haters really give a solid reason about what they want from these movies, the Toho supporters soaking in all the Easter eggs will continue to enjoy the explosions, roars and utter destruction reverberating throughout this movie.
Directed by Michael Dougherty, Godzilla: King of the Monsters stars Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Thomas Middleditch, Charles Dance, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Aisha Hinds and Zhang Ziyi.