Godzilla: King Of The Monsters (12A)



Action (2019)
132mins US

Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Sally Hawkins, Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler, Ken Watanabe
Director: Michael Dougherty
Writer(s): Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

The dust settles after Godzilla's titanic battle with fellow Titans in San Francisco. Secret scientific organisation Monarch, whose members include Dr Ishiro Serizawa and his colleague Dr Vivienne Graham, continues to monitor the planet for disturbances. Three mythical beasts - Mothra, Rodan and three-headed King Ghidorah - rise and vie for supremacy with Godzilla. It seems like our protector is outnumbered and mankind will be exterminated.

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LondonNet Film Review
Godzilla: King Of The Monsters (12A)

Monsters are among us and they aren't the computer-generated behemoths that stagger through director Michael Dougherty's protracted demolition derby. No, the true monsters are you and me: a parasitic race that has plundered the planet's natural resources, polluted water and air, and slaughtered millions in the name of liberty, religion, greed and technological advancement. That's the cheery message to take home from Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, a spectacular but corny sequel that justifies the title creature's interventions as the only way to restore a delicate balance between selfish humans and resplendent Mother Nature...

Godzilla: King Of The Monsters. Caption: Kyle Chandler as Dr Mark Russell in Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, directed by Michael Dougherty. Copyright: 2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc./Legendary Pictures/RatPac-Dune Entertainment LLC. All Rights Reserved.Performances struggle to be heard above the din of Bear McCreary's orchestral score and a symphony of roars, screeches and caterwauls, which herald each digitally-fashioned Titan in a sprawling monster-verse that includes King Kong. Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown is the sole exception, using limited screen time to plumb the maelstrom of conflicting emotions of a resourceful 14-year-old, who is collateral damage in the feud between her parents. The script, co-written by Zach Shields, expresses relationships in short-hand, galloping from one slick set-piece to the next with minimum character development, clearly focusing the linear narrative on next summer's showdown between Godzilla and the chest-beating alpha resident of Skull Island.

Animal behaviour specialist Dr Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) and paleobotanist wife Emma (Vera Farmiga) lost their son Andrew, and ultimately their love for each other, in the devastation of Godzilla's rampage through San Francisco. The couple is now estranged and Emma has custody of their spunky daughter Madison (Brown), who supports her mother's work for "secret monster-hunting" consortium Monarch in the Yunnan rainforest in China.

Former British army colonel turned eco-terrorist Colonel Jonah Alan (Charles Dance) storms the outpost with gun-toting henchmen. He takes Emma and Madison hostage, forcing the mother to rouse a giant beast christened Mothra with her Orca device, which manipulate Titans' behaviour with sonar waves. Monarch scientist Dr Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe), his associate Dr Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) and director of technology Dr Sam Coleman (Thomas Middleditch) inform Mark that his family is in jeopardy. A globe-trotting rescue mission begins in earnest as Colonel Alan uses the Orca to agitate more slumbering Titans including three-headed Ghidorah in Antarctica and winged predator Rodan inside a volcano on Isla de Mara, Mexico.

Godzilla: King Of The Monsters wreaks destruction on a grand scale but only builds one or two truly compelling human relationships. Chandler and Farmiga are servants to the ramshackle plot while Watanabe is wasted as the philosophic mentor, who believes mankind must place its faith in mighty Godzilla. "Sometimes the only way to heal our wounds is to make peace with the demons that created them," he counsels. Making peace with Dougherty's blockbuster simply requires us to switch off our brains.

- Jo Planter

Godzilla: King Of The Monsters. Caption: King Ghidorah and Godzilla clash in Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, directed by Michael Dougherty. Copyright: 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc./Legendary Pictures/Toho Co, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


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