Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Value of Pure Entertainment
Last week I complained about the first American Godzilla Adaptation (we don't talk about the 1998 one) and how Godzilla was barely in it. Fast forward to 2019, and we finally got the Godzilla movie we deserve. But what is this I'm seeing?
It truly baffles me how critics expect a good story from a Kaiju movie (not that it can't have one). Sure, writing is one of the pillars - if not the most important one - of any work of fiction. However, you can't judge all of them based on that alone. I'm of the belief that each movie needs a different set of criteria.
Would you hold an Adam Sandler movie to the same standards of an Oscar winning work? Think of their target audience for a second. Has the work met their audience's expectations? Has it fulfilled what it sets out to do? If it did, I'd call it a success.
Now, I'm not excusing sloppy writing. While writing may be largely subjective, it has a bit of an objective quality to it. For instance, plot holes are generally frowned upon, as well as forced conflict. Does the movie have any of that? Absolutely.
Nonsensical plans, absurd motivations, cookie-cutter characters, forced scenes, I could go on and on. In fact, there isn't one single original idea in this movie. Does it matter? Not one bit. The focus should be giant monsters beating the crap out of each other and on that front, it delivers.
I got chills when the 1954 Godzilla's theme played, as the King of the monsters walked from the ocean and into the city. I cheered the whole time Godzilla was fighting King Ghidorah. I smiled wholeheartedly when Mothra spread its wings.
What many critics don't get is that for the general public, a movie - or any story for that matter - is supposed to be, first and foremost, entertaining. Now, what may be entertaining to some, may bore another viewer to tears. Some may get a kick from intellectually or artistically engaging with a work (which, I gotta admit, I'm one of those people), while others may just be in for the spectacle. And that's okay.
The problem lies in having such high standards, that you always judge a movie on those same standards, or even worse: forget to have fun. Naturally, when we get older we refine our tastes, but that doesn't mean we can't allow ourselves to relax and just enjoy a simple movie for a change.