The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah.
About one and a half hours into the latest ‘Godzilla’ film my mind drifted from the action on screen and one thought came into my mind – why is this so boring?. You’d think giant monster fights against scenic backdrops with characters racing against time to save the planet would be ripe material to turn into something engaging, but ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ fails to achieve that on most levels. The script is unnecessarily convoluted, makes little sense and character motivations are all over the place, relying on seemingly intelligent characters making beyond idiotic decisions (trying to join in the fight with the creatures on display the most egregious example), but even if you can accept that point, there’s little else going for ‘King of the Monsters’.
In terms of the plot (of what plot there is), ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ picks up 5 years after the events of ‘Godzilla’ as governments and shady military organisations carry out research to help prevent future attacks, with Godzilla himself having disappeared beneath the surface of the ocean. These experiments lead to the discovery of further ‘titans’ or large scale monsters who are unleashed because the plot requires it, inevitably causing havoc across the globe. The film has a good cast who are mostly all squandered in this dull movie but none are treated worse than poor Vera Farmiga, who has to grapple with a character so badly written it’s amazing it made it past all the drafts and rewrites. Bradley Whitford is good fun but it feels like he’s in a different movie than everyone else, one altogether more tongue in cheek and comedic and one I’d probably rather have watched than this.
The monsters themselves are almost too big to the extent that they struggle to fit on even a big cinema screen and whilst I understand they need to be large to drive home the scale of what the human characters are facing, it makes some of the big battles hard to follow. There are moments of visual splendour in there (Godzilla’s radiation is a cool effect) and the effects work is pretty good but I did find the film to be quite murky and difficult to follow, not aided by everything of importance taking place in the dark.
In the attempts to deliver a spectacular monster showdown, the filmmakers have forgotten that a little human drama can go a long way to complement the larger scale action and I felt ‘King of the Monsters’ was a major letdown particularly in this regard. I’d lost interest long before the end and frankly this was a pretty poor movie in most respects.
Directed By: Michael Dougherty
Starring: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, Aisha Hinds, O’Shea Jackson Jr., David Strathairn, Ken Watanabe and Zhang Ziyi