When writer/director Michael Dougherty (“Superman Returns”, “Krampus”) and writer Zach Shields (“Krampus”, “Craggio (Short)”) sat down to write Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, they must have the movie cliché book close to hand.
Do we have a British bad guy? Check, Charles Dance (“Pride And Prejudice And Zombies“, “Game Of Thrones (TV)”). Do we have a dysfunctional family with an estranged father? Check, Kyle Chandler (“First Man“, “Manchester By The Sea“), plays the father with Vera Farmiga (“The Commuter“, “Bates Motel (TV)”) as the mother.
Do we have a young girl who may, or may not, save the day? Absolutely, welcome Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things (TV)”, “Intruders (TV)”). What about some comedy? Bradley Whitford (“The Post“, “Get Out”) step forward.
Some actors from the East? Ken Watanabe (“Bel Canto“, “Pokemon Detective Pikachu“) returns alongside Ziyi Zhang (“Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”, “The Cloverfield Paradox“) as a historian and let’s throw in Sally Hawkins (“The Shape Of Water“, “Paddington 2“), why not.
Finally, and naturally, we have monsters, quite a few of them. There’s obviously Godzilla, some three-headed, winged thing, a massive butterfly, mammoth and some other odd things that you wouldn’t like to meet down a dark ally. They all have names and, if you know them, well done you, it means nothing and brings nothing to the story.
The story, such that it matters, is that Charles Dance is a former British soldier and now an eco-warrior who wants to release all of the monsters that the agency Monarch have in various locations around the globe.
He manages this, with a little help, and unleashes the three-headed monster who quickly defeats Godzilla and becomes the king of the hill, or world.
So, we have Chandler, Watanabe, Zhang and some others on one-side. They all believe in Godzilla, praying he’ll be the one to save humanity and flying around the world to do all they can to save him.
On the other side we have Dance and his henchmen who also fly around the world releasing monsters, killing people and generally being massive bell-ends.
In the middle if Brown who is torn between the sides before making her mind-up, attempting to save the day, reuniting people, the usual schtick.
The film is eye-rollingly cringeworthy, the effects are ok though fight scenes aren’t that great. The movie doesn’t bring anything new to the world, it’s hard to feel entertained by the end.
It’s far too long at over two-hours, it has more cliché’s then I’ve had hot dinners and it has lost everything that Gareth Edwards managed to bring to the first one. Still, naturally, there’s a sequel in the works. So that’s something to look forward to then, honest.
29th May 2019
THE QUICK SELL
The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla