Title – Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
Director – Michael Dougherty (Krampus)
Cast – Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Ziyi Zhang, O’Shea Jackson Jr.
Plot – Godzilla battles a collection of his arch rivals as the Monarch agency looks to fight back against the monsters that threaten to overtake the world.
“Sometimes I think this is Godzilla’s world. We just live in it”
Review by Eddie on 07/06/2019
One thing a Godzilla film should be is a lot of fun.
No matter where you are from or who you are, seeing gigantic monsters going toe to toe in a battle for ultimate glory would more than likely be an appealing prospect, especially on a screen the size of a small house.
There’s clearly merit in this idea, with Godzilla living a long and fruitful life as one of the world’s most recognizable properties (particularly in its home country of Japan), even if so far the modern reimagining’s haven’ t exactly nailed the giant lizard down, with Roland Emmerich’s late 90’s outing ridiculed by many (even if it was good dumb fun) and 2014’s Godzilla being accused of being far too boring for its own good.
Looking to address this issue of boredom and accusations on not enough of its title character, Michael Dougherty’s newest take on the budding Monarch monster universe throws in a lot of its main star, plus a number of classical guests from films of old to provide die-hard Godzilla fans with more Easter eggs and throwbacks than they would be able to count, but sadly this is not enough to save King of the Monster’s from a feeling that everything here is far too serious for its own good and far to human-centric to truly shine as a monster mash for the ages.
At a far too long two hours plus, Dougherty’s adventure gets caught up in endless and rather thoughtless set-pieces after thoughtless set-pieces (bizarrely filmed with off-putting shaky cam and grey/smoke filled pallet) as Godzilla and a bunch of humans we really couldn’t care less for find out that there’s a number of big bad “titans” out there ready to wreak havoc on our seemingly inept defense forces and unsuspecting human population.
For a film so jam-packed with a number of giant and intriguing creatures (Godzilla is better served here but outdone by his old friend Mothra), King of the Monster’s has no right to be as dull as it often is and sadly Dougherty and his team never create a truly memorable big showdown, which is a shame considering the creations at their disposal, while the films mostly po-faced tone sits uncomfortably against such a daft and silly concept.
Had the film managed to find the fun in it’s over the top scenarios and created some likable but less screen-hogging humans to be the bonus additions, King of the Monster’s may’ve just been the big screen adventure the series needed.
As it stands most involved in front of the camera are forgettable to embarrassing, with the reliable Kyle Chandler going all concerned father on us while the likes of Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Ziyi Zhang and Charles Dance all get fairly terrible roles to bring life, with Stranger Things break out star Millie Bobby Brown fairing best as teenager Madison Russell.
With no one to root for on a human interest level and with most of the “big bads” getting short changed by odd directing choices and loud noises in place of creativity, King of the Monsters starts to become more of a chore than a joy to sit through in its latter stages.
Final Say –
Despite brief snippets of the film it could’ve been, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is far too serious and sadly dull for its own good stopping this monster rumble in its tracks, a shame for all and a potential road-blocker for the franchise moving forward.
2 Dunkin Donuts billboards out of 5