Friday 14 June 2019

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

I am the symbol of Creation and Destruction
I am the beginning and the end.
With my tail in my mouth
I am the Circle of Eternity.
Wisdom is in my eyes
And the dusk of wisdom lurks amid my coils.
My track circles the world
And I loop my coils around the Universe.
My head waves among the stars
And the nations fall prostrate before me.
Coiled, head upright, I am the spirit of the sea.
The world-shaking dinosaur was my henchman
And the flying dragons were my footmen.
The ancients knew me.
They reared shrines and altars
And I taught them dim, dusky wisdom...
 - Robert E. Howard, "Serpent"

It's obvious why there's such a divide between critics and audiences for Godzilla: King of the Monsters - because it isn't the kind of film most critics would like. This isn't a film you go to see for dialogue, character arcs, or plot points: it's a film to experience spectacle, and ponder what it's about. You will undoubtedly be disappointed by the human characters, the script, and the story - the "people" and "events" which take up the runtime - but that's not the point of a Godzilla film. It's fair to criticise those elements, of course, and there's no real barrier to a monster film having excellent characters, script, & plot: it's just their absense is not a mortal failure. To paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt: when it comes to monster movies, great critics discuss themes; average critics discuss plot; small critics discuss characters.

Since this is going to delve deep into the mythology of the Monsterverse, I'd wait until after you've seen the film - and I do recommend you see it - until reading.