movie reviews: Godzilla King Of The Monsters & The Mitchells Vs The Machines

Hello, here’s another double feature of semi-recent movies I watched courtesy of Netflix.

Godzilla: King Of The Monsters (2019)

This is the sequel to the 2014 Godzilla movie but with a slightly different cast, both human and digital monsters. It’s got more monsters but is somehow more boring than the 2014 movie. Like Avengers: Endgame, you already know why you’re watching, but the movie has to catch you up with a pro/antagonist family that seeks revenge on Godzilla in a way that splits that family apart. The dad wants Godzilla killed, the mom wants to awaken other giant monsters on Earth to raze the planet and have nature grow over a newly extinct humanity if possible. Also a couple people from the Monarch organization are back. I must have been asleep during the part where Monarch got all their money from, if they were hired by the government to build extensive infrastructure in deep parts of the planet to observe sleeping monsters, and if they’re even truly held accountable for not just having so much knowledge of these beasts that can crush cities but that they build observation fortresses around these and no one seems to notice, or do anything about it.

Do you have a permit to put scaffolding around this waterfall as a giant cocoon forms at its base, mister?

Monsters are freed and they kill nameless soldiers who have futuristic flying fortresses while an ecoterrorist organization something something Boston  girl from Stranger Things sneaks out with a device and moves all the action to Boston where the family is from and then that’s pretty much it, giant battle royale with the family in the middle and who cares. There’s things that happen with nukes and energy that will kill the monsters but it backfires and it just so happens that the end battle of Super Metroid was better telegraphed than how it’s stolen in this movie with Godzilla, Mothra, and Monster Zero. You can’t get two ladies to sing and summon Mothra? Rodan makes an appearance, and possibly Gamera sneaks out of Colorado, but I think that part was vague. People have lines that are supposed to have weight to them but like the last movie, this was put together by people who had seen movies, seen clichés in movies, and think “Well, that should be in our movie,” without context or lead up, or worse thinking of anything else you could do instead of have some kind of family ecoterror drama between semi-cool monster battles created with all the computer power in the world. “It’s just wild monster battles” is fine, but you could also just admit we’re watching a cartoon.

I think that it wasn’t better than Godzilla, which was a low but competent bar, is why I liked this one far less. I know people liked this one for a quicker dive into the action after the re-introduction, but that ended up not being an improvement.

The Mitchells Vs The Machines (2021)

This is an animated feature rushed to Netflix instead of the theaters because of COVID. A girl wants to go to school for film, and her dad realizes he may have grown too far apart from her to have an emotional connection, mostly because he’s a luddite, so he decides to drive her & the family across the country to drop her off as one last bonding event, and during that there’s a robot apocalypse. A lot contemporary gags about being too connected to the internet and technology. Some funny gags. There’s some kinda freeze-frame bits where additional different cartoony images surround the characters and then I realize that this is of course in response to memes. Perhaps it’s not that the filmmakers are cynical cash-grabbers who are spitting on our minds by making these kinds of gags that are barely in touch with their target audience, but rather that this is the era they grew up in, and how they think their characters think about the world around them. And they’re not all that incorrect, even if I am. I could keep opining about kids these days and social media etc etc but it’s just a cartoon, it’s kinda funny, it’ll probably have a spin-off with the two robots who tag along with the Mitchells on their trip. Enjoy!

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