GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS – Film Review

Members of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch face 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. When these ancient super-species-thought to be mere myths-rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.

If you were one of the many people that complained that 2014’s Godzilla had a severe lack of action and the Godzilla character in general, then you’re certainly in for a treat in the form of Michael Dougherty’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Although the titular titan is not in the movie a whole lot, there are plenty of other gigantic creature fights to get excited about.

And while the action in this movie is admittedly quite fun and entertaining to watch, it all feels like dumb, mindless fun with absolutely nothing else to offer, which is quite a shame because the aforementioned 2014 film managed to tell a genuinely compelling and interesting story about both the humans and Godzilla, all while delivering the spectacular Kaiju action that fans of the franchise love to watch.

Sadly, King of the Monsters doesn’t have human characters that are fun or intriguing to watch. The movie also never makes an attempt at trying to flesh them out and instead, they all feel like one-note characters instead of well-developed people that feel real.

Millie Bobby Brown gives her all in the role of Madison Russell and it’s clear that she had an absolute blast in this role, and honestly, who wouldn’t have fun? Being in a Godzilla movie is nothing to sneeze at, and Brown knows it. She commits to the role and delivers a strong performance and the same thing can be said about Vera Farmiga as her mother Emma.

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

But as great as they are in the film, their characters feel disappointingly flat and dull. By the end of the movie, I honestly didn’t feel like I had a strong sense of who they were. Their characters didn’t really go on journeys that transformed them into new and different people. They feel like the same people at the end of the movie as they did in the beginning. Their character arcs are sadly nonexistent.

All of the focus this time around was seemingly put into making King of the Monsters absolutely jam-packed with action. There are tons of sequences where we see humongous creatures fighting in the sky and absolutely devastating entire cities and towns, nad for a lot of people, this will be exhilarating and, as a result, it will make it a good movie for them. And if you watch King of the Monsters and find yourself having a blast with it, that’s totally understandable.

I just found the whole thing to be incredibly goofy and over-the-top and not in a good way. There were so many moments where I should have been on the edge of my seat with my mouth agape because of how epic the fight scenes were, but instead, I was mostly underwhelmed. A couple of the fights actually do work and they are entertaining to watch (particularly the amazing end fight), but a lot of them feel tedious.

So while Godzilla: King of the Monsters is admittedly the most action-packed installment in the MonsterVerse thus far, that doesn’t mean it’s any good. Its story is practically non-existent and the characters are extremely poorly written. If you don’t care about the human characters and you just want to watch Godzilla and other monsters brawl it out for a little over two hours, you’re gonna have the time of your life.

Overall Grade: D+

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of monster action violence and destruction, and for some language

Cast: 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

Directed by: Michael Dougherty

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Release Date: May 31, 2019

Running Time: 132 minutes

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