“This is Godzilla’s world, and we just live in it.”
Everyone’s favorite giant Japanese lizard monster has returned to US cinemas five years after his last outing to prove that he is the true king of monsters.
“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is the third American made Godzilla film, following 1998’s atrocious “Godzilla” and 2014’s moderately received reboot of the same name. While being made in America might be a positive for many products, that hasn’t proven to be the case for remakes of foreign films. Does this sequel to the 2014 film prove to be the first great American Godzilla film or does it fall in line with the others?
It has been five years since the fight between Godzilla and the MUTOs destroyed San Francisco and Las Vegas. Godzilla has not been seen since, and the public has been left wondering when more titans will appear. During these five years, crypto-zoological organization Monarch has been tracking down titans in hibernation and studying them.
When an eco-terrorist kidnaps Monarch’s head scientist Emma Russell, they begin to use a device she has created, known as the “Orca”, to awaken the slumbering titans. As they begin to wreak havoc on the planet, Monarch turns to their last line of defense: Godzilla.
“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” makes one of the worst mistakes a monster movie such as this can make; it focuses almost entirely on the humans in the story. While “King of the Monsters” gives the titans much more screen time than the previous film, it still suffers from suffers from spending an absurd amount of time on characters no one cares about.
This is of no fault to the actors in the film, who, for the most part, do a good job. Millie Bobbie Brown steals the show as Madison, the daughter of the two lead characters, Emma and Mark Russell. She shows real potential to become the next big “scream queen” if she continues to work in monster/horror movies.
Kyle Chandler and Vera Farmiga are fine as Emma and Mark Russell. They didn’t necessarily blow me away, but they do what they have to do well. The same goes for the rest of the cast, with the only real standout being Ken Watanabe.
The reason for the Human storyline in “King of the Monsters” being so bad is not the fault of the actors, it’s the boring story by Max Borenstein, Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields. An insane amount of the film’s 132-minute runtime to dedicated to characters standing around talking about Godzilla and the other titans but not showing them.
When the film does show the monsters, however, the result is amazing.
“King of the Monsters” has some of the best creature CGI that I have ever seen. Godzilla, Ghidorah, Mothra, Rodan and all the other titans look fantastic. And when they fight, the result is pure unadulterated fun. I just wish we could’ve seen more of it.
At the end of the day, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is a fun movie. The monster action is enjoyable enough to make sitting through the boring human scenes bearable.