(Photo by © Warner Bros.)
Leading into the release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, expectations were as outsized as… well, a reawakened titan. Warner Bros. and Legendary’s MonsterVerse had gotten off to a healthy start with fans and critics: 2014’s Certified Fresh Godzilla was celebrated as a thrilling – if somber – re-imagining of the kaiju film, and 2017’s Kong: Skull Island – also Certified Fresh – delighted with its cool ’70s stylings, colorfully drawn characters, and a charming take on the giant monkey. Both had been box office hits.
King of the Monsters was all set to continue the streak, and maybe even up the ante with Godzilla battling fan-favorite foes like Mothra and Ghidorah. But the movie was largely dismissed by critics who found the story cliché-ridden and messy, the human characters dull and unbelievable, and the monster action intermittently thrilling but very difficult to follow. (So much rain! So much darkness!). It became the first Rotten entry in the till-then Fresh franchise. Moviegoers were more forgiving, driving its Audience Score to 83%, but they hardly showed up in droves to see it: King of the Monsters made $110 million at the U.S. box office, just over half of what Godzilla had done five years earlier.
But does this royal rumble truly deserve its reputation as the dark sheep of the MonsterVerse? That’s what we’re asking on the eve of the franchise’s newest entry, Godzilla Vs. Kong, in the latest episode of our podcast Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast from Rotten Tomatoes). Joining hosts Jacqueline Coley and Mark Ellis is Fandango’s own king of the movies, Erik Davis – together, our trio breaks down the film’s most thrilling (or not thrilling) sequences, where the human story went wrong, and how a movie about brawling beasties managed to make one of our hosts just plain bored.
Check in every Thursday for a new episode of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast From Rotten Tomatoes). Each week, hosts Jacqueline and Mark and guests go deep and settle the score on some of the most beloved – and despised – movies and TV shows ever made, directly taking on the statement we hear from so many fans: “Rotten Tomatoes is wrong.”
If you have a suggestion for a movie or show you think we should do an episode on, let us know in the comments, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet the hosts
Jacqueline Coley is an editor at Rotten Tomatoes, with a focus on awards and indie coverage but with a passion for everything, from the MCU to musicals and period pieces. Coley is a regular moderator at conventions and other events, can be seen on Access Hollywood and other shows, and will not stand Constantine slander of any kind. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter: @THATjacqueline.
Mark Ellis is a comedian and contributing editor for Rotten Tomatoes. He currently hosts the Rotten Tomatoes series Versus, among others, and can be seen co-hosting the sports entertainment phenomenon Movie Trivia Schmoedown. His favorite Star Wars movie is Jedi (guess which one!), his favorite person is actually a dog (his beloved stepdaughter Mollie), and – thanks to this podcast – he’s about to watch Burlesque for the first time in his life. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markellislive.