GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS has arrived. What did you think?
Here at FM, we loved it. Unabashedly. The sheer amount of love that this film has for classic Heisei Godzilla films is totally palpable. The monsters look amazing, the fights are spectacular, and the soundtrack is epic and moving. While hardly a perfect film, it’s a damn good time at the movies, and rightly establishes Godzilla as number one in the monster world (sorry, Frankenstein — it was close).
We felt like giddy kids watching our favorite kaiju characters throw down, and there were plenty of surprises, too; so while it was hard, we managed to narrow down our favorite moments of the movie to 8 shiver-worthy snippets of cinema. It’s absolutely worth going a second and third time just to see them again.
#8 and #7 (TIE)
Godzilla approaches Boston surrounded by planes with his theme music playing
The entire end credits sequence set to Bear McCreary and Serj Tankian’s epic cover of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Godzilla”
Composer Bear McCreary cements his role as a true VIP of the production with these two moments. There’s really something to be said about Akira Ikufube’s original Godzilla theme making its Hollywood debut, particularly in the scene when Godzilla goes to confront Ghidorah in Boston while surrounded by an entourage of army planes. The previous two American Godzilla films created new soundtrack scores entirely, but Bear McCreary’s dedication to reworking old school motifs is truly majestic for classic fans, and led to many a goofy smile in the theater.
Also, the classic the Blue Oyster Cult song “Godzilla” has finally made its movie debut! Serj Tankian of System of a Down on vocals and Brendon Small (as well as the rest of Dethklok) on guitar deliver a massive, powerful cover of this iconic track while Easter Egg-filled news reels flash over the main credits. Bear McCreary has a lot to be proud of, not just for conceiving such an epic collab, but for the entire score. “Old Rivals” and the Stravinsky-infused “Rodan” are two more of our favorite tracks.
Rodan flies over the Mexican town of Isla de Mara and obliterates it
Okay, so Mike Dougherty wasn’t kidding when he called Rodan a “rogue” in this film (or “punk ass”, in colloquial terms). He basically self-serves the entire movie and does whatever he damn well pleases, regardless of loyalty. But Rodan is still an awesomely powerful kaiju, exhibited by the incredible scene after he first emerges from the volcano and soars over the city of Isla de Mara, upending cars and blowing people away with the sheer force of his flight. The moment is topped off by Rodan’s redesign, which includes highlights of boiling magma on the back of his leathery wings.
Godzilla body-slams Ghidorah during Antarctica battle
The entire Antarctica battle is just so awesome that it’s hard to pick a favorite moment, but when it comes to this, well… we think this GIF speaks for itself:
BAM! Woo! GET IT, GOJI!
… ahem. FM is not above making ridiculous wrestling motions during this scene. It’s only natural.
‘Goodbye, old friend’
The most noteable returning character in Legendary’s franchise (and the clearest connection to the original film) is Dr. Serizawa, as played by Ken Watanabe. Serizawa has a pivotal role in reviving Godzilla after the military attempts to kill him with an “oxygen destroyer” (another loving reference to the 1954 movie). Monarch decides to detonate a nuclear bomb to make Godzilla “power up” quickly enough to defeat King Ghidorah… and it’s up to Serizawa to deliver the bomb. Of course, we all conveniently ignore how nuclear radiation actually works to enjoy this moment, but it’s a touching and heartfelt tribute to the doctor’s legacy nonetheless.
A tibit about this scene: the patch of skin Serizawa touches is the only practical piece of Godzilla that was built for this movie. They edited it out in the final cut in order to animate his breathing, but while shooting, the piece was there to give Ken Watanabe a piece of Godzilla to touch — a behind-the-scenes nod to the original suit actors.
Ghidorah’s Left Head gets schooled by the Middle Head
King Ghidorah’s motion capture was performed by three different actors — one for each head — and this becomes clear in KING OF THE MONSTERS when the heads’ personalities emerge. Most noticeable is the Left Head’s general lack of aggression; he licks the snow, stares at things, and is generally a loveable dumbass, which has given rise to the “Left Head Ghidorah” internet meme. One of the best examples of this is during the scene in Antarctica. During the fight, Left Head tries to taste the dead human bodies, and Middle Head promptly roars and schools him on proper dragon behavior.
According to Mike Dougherty, the derpy left head’s name is Kevin, which is just about the greatest thing in the entire world.
Mothra protects and sacrifices herself for Godzilla
It’s hard to be a fan of the big, goofy fluffball of a Mothra design from the classic Godzilla era, but goddamn was she majestic in this film. Watching her and Rodan fight turned us into football fans reeling with emotion as each team inches for the touchdown.
When she ultimately protected and then outright sacrificed herself for Godzilla, well. That’s wifey material right there, bro. King and Queen of Monsters indeed.
During the final battle, as soon as the Monarch scientists insinuated that Godzilla would be “going full thermo”, we knew we were about to get a tribute to nuclear-reactor-meltdown Godzilla from 1995’s GODZILLA VS. DESTROYAH — and we were not disappointed. Although it lacks the tragic context from the original Hesei film, seeing Godzilla go red and power up like a Super Saiyan from DRAGONBALL Z made us elevate out of our seats in pure joy. Best of all, the big G recovers completely afterwards, returning to normal as if he just needed to expel the nuclear energy a few times and kill some stuff before getting back to business. Truly epic.