Well, "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" has come and gone. The majority of fans loved it, general audiences liked it, critics slammed it, and it barely inched past $100 million domestically.
I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed this film, for the most part. But there are still a few things that I would have done differently. This post is my endeavor to write a summary of the movie in the way I would have liked it to have gone down. A touch-up job, if you will.
You might wanna grab a snack. This is gonna take a little while.
The film would begin with an extended San Francisco flashback. We'd see more footage of the battle between Godzilla and the MUTOs, as well as the Russel family trying to dodge through the chaos. Andrew Russel would be show to have died when Godzilla slammed the male MUTO into that one skyscraper, with him getting killed when it fell.
When the film cuts to the present day, it wouldn't cut to Emma's crying face. Instead, as the news broadcast plays, we'd actually see shots of people visiting the monument in the now-overgrown ruins of San Francisco (hinting at the later theory of the Titans having a beneficial effect on the environment in the long-run). Then, after a brief montage of protests and such, we'd actually cut to the Russel family. The rest of the scene would play out much the same way; the failed breakfast scene, Mothra's hatching, the terrorists invasion. The major change here would be that we actually see Mothra breaking out of the facility and into the jungle. She'd also display the ability to camouflage in her larval form, similar to Mothra Leo in "Rebirth of Mothra".
The senate scene would play out in a similar fashion, except that Senator Williams (who would be identified as the Speaker of the House here) would have a much bigger role later, and would imply to MONARCH that if they can't kill or control the Titans, then the military has developed weapons of their own to take care of them–beginning a build-up to the Oxygen Destroyer.
Mark would get recruited same as before. They'd take him to the Castle Bravo base and all of that, but as well as the MUTO head, a deleted scene of a Titan corpse named Margygr would remain in the film.
The character of Rick Stanton would be more than just the film's deadpan snarker. He'd still have his share of one-liners, though, but they'd be reduced in number, he'd be a lot more helpful and serious when he needs to be, and even strike up a friendship with Mark. He'd basically be recreated as a sort of "cool uncle" type character. In addition, outside of Colonel Foster, none of the G-Team members would get any big name-drops or backstories. At least three of them have bios dedicated to them on the MONARCH Sciences website, but in the movie, they all sailed over my head. When Griffin's leg got injured in the final fight, I was like "wait, who was she again? She was a pilot, right? Did she do anything other than fly stuff and get hurt?". So yeah, Foster is the only G-Team person we focus on here.
Once again, things would proceed mostly the same up until the Antarctica scene, except it would be in a sunset as opposed to the middle of the night. There was a deleted scene in which Alan Jonah and his second in command, Asher (the guy who gets shot by Colonel Foster in the gunfight scene) share a toast, and it helps develop Jonah, at least a little bit. Emma would come across as somewhat emotionless in these parts, and not even Madison is totally sure what's going on.
Ghidorah would get woken up, Godzilla would show up, and they'd duke it out. Much more focus would be given to the monsters during their fights, and they'd move with the same sense of scale and weight that they had in the 2014 film. Vivienne Graham would still die, but it would be a lot more obvious and we'd get a better look at it. Mark would get knocked out, and Ghidorah flies away, albeit not quite as "up up and away!" as he was in the movie. Again, a sense of weight and scale for a creature his size.
Now comes my first major new scene: after Ghidorah is awoken, people start reporting both him and Godzilla all a long the Atlantic heading northward. Senator Williams would have a meeting with Admiral Stenz on their protocols for a terminal operation. It is here that we'd see the Oxygen Destroyer for the first time, with Stenz giving a brief rundown of its stats as an anaerobic weapon, maybe some footage of actual tests of it in labs, but advising that it is only a last ditch effort. Williams tells him to launch it at the monsters at the first sign of things slipping out of MONARCH's grasp.
Meanwhile, Mark wakes up, everyone's shocked at the prospect of Emma purposefully releasing Ghidorah, and then she Skypes in. I'd like to point out that this is probably my least favorite part of the movie, mostly because I think I understand what she's going for, but man, the dialogue needs work. It'd be the same thing, but cleaned up and better-sounding. Her reasons would be made a little clearer. In her mind, Andrew wouldn't have died if humanity hadn't damaged the Earth and aroused the Titans. She'd be a lot colder here, and is unconcerned with how many people are killed as long as A) There are at least a few left, and B) as long as the Earth resets to her idea of a perfect ecosystem. Mark's "this won't bring him back" retort would be met with a simple "I know". Also, she'd explain a little more about the beneficial effects of the Titans. In addition to certain Titan's radiation emissions accelerating botanical growth, they'd also be carriers for seeds and nutrients and the like, in the same way that bees carry pollen.
The Rodan scene would go the same way, except that here he'd be able to spray a stream of magma from his mouth, similar to Otachi's acid spit in Pacific Rim.
We'd also get more scenes with the MONARCH staff inside the base realizing their containment systems are offline. Rodan would also immediately fly off of the volcano and into the village, giving us some decent destruction stuff before the Argo lures him away to fight Ghidorah. The pilot who ejects would do so because Rodan bites off his plane's wing; he'd eject and there'd be a brief pause where we think he's safe...then Rodan eats him.
Before the chase and fight scene, we'd cut back to Senator Williams and Admiral Stenz watching a report of everything going down. Williams orders Stenz to fire the Oxygen Destroyer, but agrees to let the army wait until they're a decent enough distance from Isla Del Mara.
The Rodan/Ghidorah fight would last longer, and again, there would be much more focus on the actual fight. The scene with them trying to get the Osprey aboard wouldn't necessarily be cut, but would be moved to a later point in this rewrite.
Ghidorah would defeat Rodan, comes after the Argo, and gets body slammed by Godzilla into the water. As they fight, it's now that Stenz calls them up and tells them their going to get Oxygen Destroyer-ed. We cut back to the fight (I think you've picked up by now that the fights would be much more focused on the monsters), which would go the same way, with Godzilla ripping off the left head (Kevin to some). A B-2 Bomber would arrive on the scene and fire the Oxygen Destroyer missile. It's effect would still involve a green glow, but it would be more like a chemical reaction, like when baking soda fizzles over.
Godzilla appears to be dead, Ghidorah survives and regrows his head. Rodan would fly up, beaten and battered, and with an obvious sense of reluctance, bows to Ghidorah. Then Ghidorah does his roar, and the other Titans wake up. I switched the two parts around because I feel like it should be made clearer what Ghidorah is doing.
"Long live the king".
While Mothra emerges from her cocoon back in China, MONARCH deduces that Ghidorah is an alien. His regeneration ability is explained as a biological necessity for a creature that travels through space, where debris travel at such high speed that a speck of dust could cause as much damage as a nuclear blast, and his wings might act as solar sails. The three-heads would be a further insurance policy against damage. If one is damaged, there are still more to run the rest of the creature. Finally, it's explained that his lack of dependence on oxygen is the reason he was able to survive for so long in the ice; he was in no danger of suffocation.
As a further new scene, we actually get to see when Ghidorah touches down in Washington. Senator Williams is killed when her evacuation chopper is destroyed by Ghidorah, similar to how the Japanese cabinet was taken out in Shin Godzilla. Admiral Stenz has already left by this time for Castle Bravo.
Meanwhile, both Madison and Emma are horrified at what has happened...but for entirely different reasons. Madison is concerned about the people, but Emma is focused solely on her perfect ecosystem potentially going extinct. Yeah, I'm trying to make her way less sympathetic here. Anyway, we get the scene where Emma explains to Jonah that they could turn this whole thing around by hooking up the ORCA to Boston stadium's speakers, with Madison listening in the whole time.
Jonah tells Emma that they'll do no such thing...
...and then shoots her through the head.
Yes. I just went there. Emma Russell is dead, exit stage right. No redemption arc, no reconciliation with Mark or Madison, no trying to milk sympathy from the character, just pow. And in the process, Alan Jonah becomes a much scarier and more competent villain, who then tells his men to get the ORCA and destroy it. Madison, still reeling from hearing her mother's headshot, sneaks through the bunker and retrieves the ORCA, and is chased out by the terrorists, managing to escape in a Humvee and losing them in the forest.
At this point, we'd get a montage of all the chaos going on around the world; Behemoth in Rio de Janeiro, Scylla in Phoenix, Methuselah in Munich, Bunyip in Sydney, Abaddon in Moscow, Leviathan in London, and so on. Mothra would have an earlier scene here, stopping Quetzalcoatl from attacking a jet airliner as she makes her way to Castle Bravo.
Mothra arrives at Castle Bravo, they realize Godzilla is still alive and go down to revive him with a nuke, while the surviving military and MONARCH forces head to Washington to confront Ghidorah.
The battle with Ghidorah and Rodan would (once again) get more footage and battle scenes and we'd actually get to see Maser cannons being deployed. One of the things that annoyed me was that Maser cannons do exist in the MonsterVerse (we see them on a readout at Castle Bravo) but they never bothered to USE them!
(Ahem), anyway, Madison is able to get the ORCA working, and pacifies the Titans around the world. Unfortunately, it also catches Ghidorah's attention. Rodan looks like he might desert Ghidorah, but then the three-headed dragon shoots him a look(s) and a growl that basically says, "I don't care what that...that thing says, you still belong to me". The two fly away from Washington to track down the signal. Jonah and his band of terrorists have also realized where Madison and the ORCA are, and begin to converge on her as well, intent on keeping her from halting Jonah's plans of letting the Titans run amok.
Meanwhile, the submarine the rest of MONARCH are in gets pulled through a whirlpool into the Hollow Earth (and they actually bother to say right then that the weapons systems are damaged instead of waiting until later). They discover not!Atlantis, and Godzilla in a radioactive lava temple inside. Serizawa does his sacrifice, and Godzilla goes to the surface, fully restored. After he does his "Call to Arms" thing, Mothra appears, and the two of them swim/fly off to defeat Ghidorah once and for all.
Back in Boston, the terrorists finally find Madison and the ORCA. Just as it looks like they're about to kill her, Ghidorah arrives. He slaughters the terrorists with his gravity beams, and kills Jonah by picking him up between his two heads and pulling him apart, like that scene with the spaghetti in Lady and the Tramp, while Madison manages to escape. She throws away the ORCA, Ghidorah destroys it (for good; it's not coming back), he goes to kill Maddie...
...and then Godzilla and Mothra show up, and the final battle begins. The only interruptions we get are Mark and the others going down to find Madison, and once they do, that's it for them, they're out of there. No cutting away, just the monster climax fight we've all been waiting for. The military still take part in the battle, with the Argo and Maser tanks and so forth, but nothing too obtrusive.
Godzilla and Mothra tag-team Ghidorah, and for a while, it looks like things are going their way. Then Ghidorah summons Rodan to battle Mothra. Things go on like they did in the movie, with Mothra paralyzing Rodan with her stinger; Rodan would be shown twitching and frothing on the ground from the venom, alive but paralyzed. Ghidorah gets a power boost by chomping down on Boston's power lines, and stuns Godzilla before grabbing him, flying into the air, and dropping him.
Before Ghidorah can finish off Godzilla, Mothra reappears for one last stand. She lasts a lot longer against Ghidorah here, even displaying some new abilities, such as emitting a poisonous gas from her wings, and firing little bursts of electricity-like energy from her antennae, like a taser. Eventually, Ghidorah manages to critically wound her, and then turns his attention the military and the fleeing scientists. As the focus shifts back to Mark and Madison, they manage to board an osprey that becomes damaged by a stray shot from Ghidorah's beams. This is where the cut landing sequence on the Argo would take place, except it would just be Sam Coleman who drops the spare to open the doors. He is MONARCH's tech guy, after all, I think he should be the one to figure it out.
Mothra, mortally wounded but alive, crawls her way over to Godzilla. There's a brief moment between the two (shipping fuel? you decide), and then Mothra climbs onto Godzilla's side and begins to transfer her energy to him in the same way Rodan transferred his in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II.
The scientists on the Argo report that while Mothra's energy levels are dropping, Godzilla's are increasing...to the point where he's about to go thermonuclear. With the last of her energy poured into her ally, Mothra vaporizes entirely.
Godzilla goes into Burning mode, fries the living daylights out of Ghidorah, and then chomps/vaporizes his final head, same as in the movie. As the dust settles, several other Titans emerge from the smoke and surround Godzilla. Rodan, who has recovered by this time, appears to. Instead of being initially confrontational, the volcanic pterosaur appears relieved that he no longer has to serve Ghidorah, and is the first one to bow, followed by the other Titans. Godzilla roars, proclaiming himself the true King of the Monsters.
Since Alan Jonah was killed off, the post credits scene is completely different. Dr. Chen visits the makeshift containment facility where Mothra metamorphosed, which is now being overseen by her twin sister, Dr. Ling, who tells her sister she has something to show her. They go behind the waterfall, where there's a brand-new Mothra egg.
And that's my rewrite of "Godzilla: King of the Monsters". It may not satisfy the problems that everyone had with this movie, but it clears up a lot of the problems I had. Jonah is a much more prevalent threat, there's no trying to milk sympathy from Emma, the monster fights are given even more focus, and the new Titans are given a chance to shine in their rampage sequences.
What do you think? Did I do a good job fixing up the movie? Did I make it worse? Do you like them both?