Godzilla: King of the Monsters – Film Review

Director: Michael Dougherty

Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler and Ken Watanabe

Rating: ★★

After the boring Godzilla 2014, I don’t think anyone had much hope for its sequel. Which is probably why Godzilla: King of the Monsters, bombed at the box office when it did finally come out in 2019. It starts in the final act of the first film, showing the Godzilla v Muto fight from the ground perspective and the destruction it causes people. Mark and Emma Russel (Played by Kyle Chandler and Vera Farmiga) lose their son Andrew. Five years skip by and they are no longer together. Emma is working with Monarch to understand the Titans while Mark is off in the wilderness chopping wood, because there needed to be a reason they weren’t at the same place.

Emma and her team witness the awakening of Mothra, and while Emma tries to communicate with her (using a device known as The Orca) an execution style squad comes in and kills the entire team kidnapping Emma and her teenage daughter played by Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things). That leads Mark to travel the globe to save his family while working with Monarch and Godzilla to stop the new Titan that is awakened, Monster Zero (Ghidorah).

Much like the previous film, Godzilla King of the Monsters is seriously lacking in likeable and interesting characters. Most of the film is spend following Mark as he shouts as the so-called experts, telling them obvious things that they should have already known. He’s annoying and doesn’t really have a point in the film. If you removed his character completely the same film would happen, almost identically. They make the mistake, like they did in the first film of killing any character worth caring about too early. In the 2014 film everything fell apart once Bryan Cranston was killed off, and while this one isn’t as bad or boring, it does spend way too much time with people who just don’t matter.

There is no actual character building or growth throughout, instead using paper thin characters to carry the plot along. It just makes no sense why we spend so much time with them instead of Godzilla. They even tint the good guy’s vehicle with a blue tint and the bad guys with a red one, just in case you’re so bored you don’t know which one is which.

Once the monsters take battle, the film improves massively. We go to see Godzilla films for destruction and monster fights, and these are enjoyable once you get to them, the issue is that between them there is just a ton of exposition that is simply boring. Again, like in 2014, too much of the film takes place at night or in the rain making parts of it hard to see.

The score is almost forgettable. One of the best things about the original Godzilla from 1954, is the score. It’s haunting, foreboding and instantly recognisable. There is one moment, when Godzilla re-emerges that a riff on the original kicks in and it’s one of the best bits of the movie. What it really does, is make poor quality of the rest of the score stand out even more. The cover of Blue Oyster Cult’s Godzilla, featuring Serj Tankian on vocals is absolutely great and makes the credits even more of a reward as this plays over the top.

For the most part this film is not worth it. It’s way too long, boring and with little pay off. There are some brilliant moments in it, Godzilla’s first appearance, pulsating underwater, is fantastic. There’s an ejector seat mishap which is almost funny enough to give the film some much needed personality. The monsters are really entertaining to watch, you just leave wishing there was more of that.

About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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