Godzilla: King Of The Monsters…
Director: Michael Dougherty
Writers: Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields
Stars: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Ziyi Zhang, Bradley Whitford, Charles Dance
Godzilla was originally created as a response to nuclear dangers and mankind’s relationship to and co-existence with nature. Not much has changed, we’re still shit scared of nuclear war and we’re still killing this planet but if you want a nuanced take on these issues then stay away from Godzilla: King Of The Monsters because whilst those issues are tackled in very broad strokes, this film is more interested in giant monsters rumbling and holy shit, it does it well.
Five years have passed since Godzilla fought the two muto’s and Monarch is under the pump from the government to give up their secrets on the monsters. During the original fight in San Francisco, Mark (Chandler) and Emma (Farmiga) lost their small child, ever since then Emma has continued working for Monarch and has been trying to figure out a way to control the monsters whilst the relationship strained between Emma and Mark, Mark went back to animal research as a way of dealing with the loss (or running away from his issues). In the meantime a group of eco-terrorists are trying to awaken all the dormant monsters to restore balance…
The human characters in Godzilla: KOTM aren’t very well developed. Besides a few of the main characters, like Dr. Serizawa (Watanabe) and Dr. Graham (Hawkins), there is no real development of the characters, most of the supporting cast (whilst entertaining) are one note, bad guy or good guy – all the actors are very good however and they try to make up for the lack of good writing. Farmiga and Chandler are fine too but don’t get to much to work with, Millie Bobby Brown however, shows off more of her talent getting as much out of her character as she can.
Having said that – you’re here for one reason – monster v monster and to quote the great Ron Burgundy “Great Odin’s Raven!” because it delivers in spades. Firstly, the monsters look great, amazing effects and sheer scale of these monsters gives you a great sense of how much of a threat they are. King Ghidorah, Mothra, Rodan and of course Godzilla are all realised in such a great way that when they get to brawl its bloody amazing. I won’t spoil any of what happens in the battles but the visuals go all out and it looks so good. There is a moment just after Rodan is introduced that is one of the greatest shots I have ever seen. Just epic battles, set to some of the best soundtrack work in a while by Bear McCreary.
The film is at its weakest when dealing with the human side of things and things get quite convoluted a good ten minutes could be trimmed and nothing would change. The film however is a visual feast and this is what it is meant to be. A fun love letter to the monster that Dougherty loves and he has created some of the greatest monster battles ever put to film.
This is far from a perfect film but it is fun, thrilling and does what it promises. Bring on Godzilla Vs Kong!
Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78
Images: Warner Bros
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