China thinks Godzilla should have saved his girlfriend
Godzilla: King of the Monsters tops the box office in China, where netizens compare the villains' plot to Avengers: Endgame
However, that doesn’t mean that all Chinese viewers actually liked the movie. One complaint for many cinemagoers was the poor plot. But some thought the way to fix it was to have even less plot… and more of a monster mash.
But what got the most attention wasn't the magnificent special effects, or the performance of famed Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi -- known for her roles in Memoirs of a Geisha and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It was Godzilla's love life.
Mothra is the moth-like monster star of the film, and according to Weibo, she’s also Godzilla’s wife.
(This next part contains spoilers for the end of the film!)
“The love story of a scumbag lizard and a martyr moth. His girlfriend sacrificed herself in order to save him. He was surprisingly indifferent to the turkey beating his girlfriend.”
Chinese viewers actually found parallels between this film and another foreign mega-hit, Avengers: Endgame. They think the villains of both movies have similar missions.
In the Avengers films, Thanos wants to wipe out half of life to preserve resources for everyone else. That’s basically what the human villains in Godzilla want, though without the precision of an Infinity Gauntlet’s snap: They want the freed monsters to rampage over the Earth, knocking humanity off our perch as the dominant species and helping the planet to heal.
Besides Japan, its place of birth, China is an important market for Godzilla. The movie was produced by Legendary Pictures, owned by China’s Wanda Group since 2016. It was distributed by Warner Bros. internationally and by Godzilla owner Toho in Japan.
The film’s most obvious connection with China is the casting of Zhang Ziyi, who plays the role of monster scientist Dr. Ilene Chen. Her research on Chinese dragons proves to be significant to Godzilla’s storyline, and she discovers that her ancestors have always had a special relationship with Mothra. The mythical moth monster is even found in Yunnan, China in the film.
Hopefully this strong China connection will keep Chinese audiences engaged more than the lackluster dialogue repels them. The next sequel of the MonsterVerse is scheduled for 2020 and will bring a showdown between Godzilla and mega-ape King Kong.