Monster Movie March: The final review, all movies ranked

Looking for a way to beat the boredom of staying indoors during COVID-19? How about turning on some classic monster movies. Our Communiqué resident movie reviewer Noah Napolitano recently watched two of them and weighed in on how they measured up.

Noah Napolitano

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

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If you are someone who enjoys watching pretty interesting characters and giant monsters beat each other up, you’ll love this movie. If not, then you won’t enjoy it as much. This makes “King of the Monsters” one of the most polarizing Godzilla movies to date.

This movie draws parallels to the Marvel universe and past Godzilla films. 

The introduction and return of the many previously named Kaiju, or fictional monsters,  add to the colorful cast of creatures. Even if they never talk, they each have their own personalities that shine through. They include Rodan, a giant flaming pterodactyl, Mothra,  a moth creature that is one of Godzilla’s most popular allies and Godzilla’s nemesis King Ghidorah. Each of Ghidorah’s three heads has its own personality. 

Millie Bobby Brown plays Madison, the daughter of Mark Russell, who lived in the same lakeside house that Tony Stark was living in at the beginning of “Avengers: Endgame.”  This movie also focuses on Monarch,  a secret scientific organization,  which is basically the S.H.I.E.L.D. of this universe.

This movie brought back many other things from Godzilla’s past, including the original theme composed  by Yûji Koseki.  We also see the return of the oxygen destroyer, which was the weapon created by Serizawa to kill Godzilla in the original film. One of the movie’s bittersweet moments is when Serizawa, a Monarch scientist, sacrifices himself. Unlike in the original film, Serizawa’s expected death comes with a twist. 

Another great part of this movie is the human villain Alan Jonah, played by Charles Dance. Jonah is one of those villains who you want to be defeated and is an absolute jerk. 

The end credits include a tribute for Haruo Nakajima, who played Godzilla from 1954 to 1972. He  passed away in 2017. During the end credits, we see many news articles about Godzilla and the other monsters, hinting at a battle between King Kong and Godzilla that we might see soon.  

In this film, we get to see some of the weirdness of the Godzilla franchise. 


King Kong vs Godzilla (1963)

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The time has come for the ultimate showdown between two of the biggest pop culture icons in the world. “King Kong vs. Godzilla” is  a fun wrestling match between two massively influential  characters.

The personalities of Kong and Godzilla are what make this movie great. This was the first film where both had distinct personalities, and either monster was shown in color. In one corner we have Godzilla, a bully who enjoys the destruction he causes. In the other we have King Kong, the underdog from Faro Island who defends Japan from Godzilla. 

The  best parts of this movie were the two fights between Godzilla and King Kong. We get very few scenes of the human characters in these scenes, so we are fully focused on the monsters. They both use their abilities in fairly unique, goofy ways. Having two characters from completely different series and companies fight was  amazing. 

This movie is available in the original Japanese and in a dubbed American version.  The major changes to the English-speaking version are the many scenes edited into the movie, where we have U.N. characters telling us what is happening. They are the worst part of this version, as they break up the flow and pacing of the film. 

Since the movie’s 1963 release, some things have also aged horribly, like the depiction of the Faro Island inhabitants, dressed in blackface. The rest of the human characters are not memorable by any means. 

In 1963, having a fight between two characters from different movie series was very rare. Today, we have Captain America fighting Iron Man, Batman fighting Superman and Alien versus Predator.   The only ‘versus’ movie before “King Kong vs. Godzilla” was “Frankenstein meets the Wolf Man” from 1943.

All around, this movie is an entertaining, cheesy monster movie. The plot and human characters can drag at times, but watching these two pop culture icons fight for the very first time in cinema history is fun. With the new “Godzilla vs Kong,” King Kong will go head to head with the giant lizard in a rematch almost 60 years later. 


Which Movie  is Better?

These two movies aren’t very similar, unlike the ones from previous weeks. I didn’t enjoy the human characters, and the plot at times was very boring, but “King Kong vs Godzilla” was all around a very fun, cheesy monster movie, making it a lot more unique and enjoyable. 


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All  8 of Monster Movie March Films, Ranked:

  1. Kong: Skull Island (2017)
  2. Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1974)
  3. King Kong vs Godzilla (1963)
  4. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
  5. Godzilla (2014)
  6. Godzilla (1954)
  7. King Kong (1933)
  8. Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Now you can go watch Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) with the knowledge of Godzilla and King Kong movies of the past.