Godzilla: King of the Monsters is the Rocky of Kaiju movies, and it delivers one of the best cinematic experiences to date when front loaded with some of the best 3D I’ve ever seen along with the truly immersive 4DX experience. The audience was left cheering as the final monster battle came to an end, the seats having engaged us all in the full brute force of King Ghidorah and Godzilla’s fight to the death. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is what the 4DX experience was truly built for, and it delivers the goods at nearly $30 a ticket. If you can’t make it to a theme park this summer, this two hour and twelve minute roller coaster ride is your next best option.
4DX is not built for comedies like Booksmart or rock and roll dramas like Rocketman. It brings the true definition of the popcorn movie to life in a fun and unique way, though that popcorn will literally be all over the floor, as Godzilla and his monster friends create a tsunami in the middle of the theater, rocking your innards harder than any heavy metal concert ever could. The best way to describe Godzilla: King of the Monsters in 3D and 4DX is simply. It’s a shit ton of fun that doesn’t disappoint on any level.
Early reviews for Godzilla: King of the Monsters either praised it for its nearly non-stop big Kaiju carnage or dissed it for having barely any human drama. The sequel to 2014’s Godzilla has been a divisive installment in the ongoing MonsterVerse, which also includes Kong: Skull Island. This is by far the best chapter in the saga to date, and offers hope that Godzilla Vs. Kong will be the battle everyone is hoping for. Godzilla: King of the Monsters may not be ‘the best’ Godzilla movie in the franchise’s 66 year run. But it’s definitely one of my personal favorites, and I’ve see quite a few of these things. And anyone who has spent time in the Toho trenches knows this particular series can get bogged down with boring human nonsense and is often times painful to sit through. Pound for pound, there is not a doubt that this is the most thrilling Godzilla movie made to date. You can try and challenge that, but go back and watch some of those older movies, and you’ll understand that this latest journey to Monster Island got it right.
At that, the 4DX only enhances the experience for this particular movie. Because with the rumbling seats, wind, lightening and rain, it’s the closest you’ll probably ever come to experiencing a real-life monster attack lead by the likes of Gojira, Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah. Or at least until there is a more immersive VR experience released sometime in the next decade. Perhaps most shocking, considering all the iconic monsters that eventually show up in this thing, it’s the airplane standoff with Rodan that brings the biggest jolt to the system and you will feel the damage from this particular spinout as you are pounded and pummeled and shook like a paint can at home depot as these flying monstrosities collide.
Godzilla’s mighty roar rips through your entire body like an Earthquake, and the ground shakes every time one of these big beasts comes stomping out of the ocean or swooping out of the sky. You’ll feel the rumble of destruction at every turn. And it serves to amplify the so-called human drama that some claim is lacking in the narrative. There are scenes where everything stops, so various characters can deliver their heartfelt speeches, emoting over the ruins of what was once this planet earth. Perhaps with all the bells and whistles stripped away, these moments seem fewer and far between. But when you’re being tossed and turned as though you’re trapped inside a washing machine, you’re at once thankful for the breather, but you also want to get back on the ride. And it doesn’t take long for this virtual tilt-a-whirl to rev back up and give you what you came for after letting the humans add a little exposition to the maddness. But who needs talk when your seat keeps punching you?
I can’t even imagine seeing Gareth Edward’s 2014 Godzilla in 4DX. That movie didn’t give us much monster action, and it came on like a fluffer girl. You might as well have seen Steel Magnolias in such a venue. Maybe the seat could have punched you ever time someone cried. On sheer visceral excitement, action and monster fights, Godzilla: King of the Monsters does nothing but deliver that for two hours straight. So if you’re a huge fan of Godzilla kicking much ass all over the place with a late in the game assist from Mothra, and usually fast-forward through all the talky parts when revisiting the Toho catalogue? This is the movie tailor made for you, and the 4DX/3D combo is definitely the best way to experience this hulking attraction. There is no doubting that.
Now, did you really come to a Godzilla movie for the story? Probably not, but there is some decent myth building here for the MonsterVerse as it continues to propel itself forward. Kaiju are unleashed all over the world in a plot involving an estranged family that lost a son in the early monster attacks. The husband and wife, played by Kyle Chandler and Vera Farmiga, had worked together on an Orca device that allows humans to communicate with the Titans. They’ve since split, and now that device is being used for some nefarious business that may or may not save the world. There are a few unexpected twists and turns. A fan-favorite character offers up the ultimate sacrifice. And Stranger Things break out star Millie Bobby Brown is on hand as the daughter torn between mom and dad, still suffering from the death of her brother. While some have complained about the lack of character, the human side of the story is pretty perfect for this type of sequel. Never boring. Just enough of it not to get in the way of what you really came for.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters has some of the greatest 3D cinematography yet seen in one of these big blockbuster outings. It’s not an afterthought slapped on in post-production. There are some absolutely gorgeous shots of Godzilla and the other Titans that are awe inspiring as three-dimensional photography on its own. This was only my second experience with the 4DX format after suffering through the absolutely brutal John Wick 3: Parabellum. That movie literally kicked, stabbed, shot and slaughtered your body and senses all the way through, with the seat continually pushing, poking and literally stabbing you non-stop. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a completely different kind of 4DX experience. The seat certainly doesn’t punch you in the back as much. It really is a pure viceral roller coaster of a movie experience.
Then there are the smells. At certain points, you can smell pine when Millie Bobby Brown is in Boston, running through the woods. There is also a smell that can only be described as old socks. There are a couple of big fire scenes, where the theater bellows with smoke. And it smells like burnt toast. There are quite a few big splash moments, with the seat in front of you blasting your face with a nice wet mist. As a movie, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a fun ride and one of the best Godzilla movies ever made in terms of monster battles and big action sequences. But for true fans of the big green lizard, you simply can’t pass up a chance to see this thing in 3D and 4DX together. It truly is what summer movies are all about. You can find the closest 4DX screen near you at Regal Movies.
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