On the one hand, it could be said that the Legendary “MonsterVerse” was only successful because of what it was. While other studios were quick to copy Marvel’s success in the film world, none could. You’ll get weird half-starts like King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Robin Hood, or your film will be tormented by production issues like the DCEU, or the experience will fail like the Dark Universe. Technically, Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island, Godzilla: The King of the Monsters lead Godzilla against Kong, making MonsterVerse fit the definition of a cinematic universe.
But is that a good thing? I would argue that this is a series of missed opportunities that rely too much on IP and CGI clutter for glamorous work but are necessary in creating a good story with compelling characters. Each film takes a director who has previously made compelling low budget films and then technically makes them add “personality” without actually leaving them as storytellers who can consider a story as sustainable. On the other hand, Gareth Edwards, who had previously made indie monsters, made a gloomy Godzilla who still didn’t know who his character should be. Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who rules over the busy and prosperous Summer King, adds a lot of style from apocalypse to Kong: Skull Island, but even he admits he doesn’t know why Tom Hiddleston and Bree Larson are in the film. Michael Dowherty made Trick ‘r Treat, one of the greatest horror films of the 21st century, and his Godzilla: King of the Monsters is completely anonymous. And while You’re Next assistant Adam Wingard gives Godzilla a nice neon glow before Kong, there’s hardly anything bold or exciting in the film.
Monster Verse King
And maybe Legendary wanted it that way with a director who got credit on a smaller project but didn’t have enough power to fend off what the studio wanted. But what exactly did Legendary want? What’s his goal other than using Godzilla and King Kong’s IP to make a big monster movie with a CGI show? Maybe at one point in time, that would be considered good enough for Legendary and distributor Warner Bros., but right now the films are not short of spectacle. Every summer blockbuster is full of CGI, and Legendary’s solution is simply to cover its films with a thin layer of acclaimed directors and actors without paying too much attention to the nuts of good storytelling, perhaps because they get mind-like viewers of show movie stars and monster battles not interested in the narrative and characteristics of the rainbow, which the audience really sells.