Date: May 31st, 2019
Cast: Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe Charles Dance
Director: Michael Dougherty
Studio: Legendary Studios
Distributor: Warner Bros., Toho
IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes | Wikipedia
The King is Back! Following 2014’s outing, the world is recuperating from Godzilla and the Mutos’ attacks. Covert operation Monarch, with a much richer backing than I remember, is now meeting with the United States government to determine just how to proceed with the existence of the Titans. Meanwhile, Dr. Emma Russell, played by Vera Farmiga, has perfected a device that can be useful in human-Titan relations. That is until things go sideways, Titans start waking up, and the world becomes the battleground once more!
Godzilla: King of the Monster is a worthy sequel to the 2014 entry. In broad strokes, the story works. Monsters fighting monsters, humans trying to survive. It’s all been done before but the spectacle of these truly titanic monsters battling across land, sea, and sky thrills. The monsters are the focus and the human stories tend to take the back seat to that, whether they want to or not. In King of the Monsters, while the human element is handled well enough – I like the family dynamic of Chandler, Farmiga, and Brown – it’s Ken Watanabe who really shines.
As I said, the broad strokes work well. The big story beats and ideas fit perfectly with a Godzilla monster movie, unfortunately, the dialogue also fits with what to expect from a monster movie. At times clunky or overwrought it can bring down an otherwise perfect scene. The difficulty is that these are Godzilla movies, and Godzilla movies have always had that so at what point is it just a part of the DNA for a kaiju movie? Should those moments be forgiven because they are a part of the genre itself?
As the credits roll, we’re treated to a slideshow of how the Titans presence is helping the world. Their radiation bodies causing wildlife to flourish wherever they show up and tear up. Where it’s predecessor has acted as the physical manifestation of nuclear fear, the modern Godzilla is our difficult choice to fight climate change. Whether or not it really succeeds at that level – eh? But it sure shows just how fucked we all feel that we want to imagine a 350ft tall radioactive monster is the answer.
Special shout out to Bear McCreary who put together a dope as hell soundtrack and the closing credits song, an update of Blue Oyster Cult’s ‘Godzilla’ with Serj Tankian crushes. I’ve listened to it three different times today—whoops that makes four, and it never fails to just get you amped.
All in all, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a fine sequel and solid torchbearer for the most famous kaiju series.