Film Review: Monsters rule as humans lose plot

Downtown Film Reviewer Cara O'Doherty has given Godzilla, King Of The Monsters, out now nationwide, three stars... read her review here
Film Review: Monsters rule as humans lose plot
Godzilla, King of the Monsters

IT is monster time, or more specifically it is time to talk about Godzilla: King Of The Monsters.

Godzilla, a Japanese creation, has been kicking around in the movie world since 1954. He is a Kaiju, a giant monster loosely based on Japanese mythology.

He has been the focus of over 30 films and appeared in games, books, and TV shows. This outing is a sequel to 2014’s Godzilla and 2017’s Kong: Skull Island. Together they form part of the MonsterVerse franchise, which are building up to a film set to open in 2020, Kong V Godzilla.

Things we need to know from the previous films? A scientific team called Monarch has been studying and researching giant monsters, referred to as Titans. Oh, most of San Francisco was wiped out during an epic battle in 2014. And finally, Godzilla may be big and mean, but he is actually on the side of the humans, which is a little hard to believe when you see the size of the beastie.

Right, time to talk about the new film. The world is divided. There are those who believe all Titans should be captured and killed — or just killed on the spot because capturing things this size would be next to impossible. Others want them to be protected and believe humans can learn to co-exist with Godzilla and Co.

Dr Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) and Dr Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) are experts in big beasts. Their son was killed in the Battle of San Francisco, their daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) was lucky to survive.

Mark turned to drink, decided Titans were the enemy, quit Monarch, and went to live in a forest to study wolves. His wife decided she didn’t want their son’s death to be in vain so stayed on at Monarch to further her understanding of monsters. She now lives in a secret compound with Madison and has devoted everything to developing a device, the ORCA, which will allow humans to communicate with the Titans.

Emma believes humans and Titans should be able to co-exis to make for a better, healthier world. Most don’t share her beliefs.

Dr Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and Dr Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins) work for Monarch and are trying to explain to a U.S government senate hearing why Titans could be good for the world, when they get word that Emma’s compound is under attack.

A retired English colonel (Charles Dance) has led the attack on the compound. He kidnaps Emma and Madison, kills everyone else, and accidentally releases a giant moth that Emma had been communicating with.

The reason he has taken Emma is that he needs her technology to communicate with Titans and he needs her alive so she can operate the equipment.

The good people at Monarch drag Mark out of the forest to join the hunt for his family, but also because he understands ORCA technology — he had helped to develop it before his son died.

They are able to track Emma and, on the way, they have an encounter with Godzilla. Mark wants him dead, but they have a bonding moment, and he begins to see the monster in a different light.

They find Emma and the rest of the gang, but all hell breaks loose when the baddies release a ginormous three-headed dragon monster, which makes Daenerys Targaryen’s three pyromaniac dragons look like a handful of kittens.

Big monster on the loose leads to fight number one, which doesn’t end well for Godzilla, but it is early yet, he will be back.

Meanwhile, there is another Titan to contend with off the coast of South America and then there’s more and more and more — but why and how are they suddenly appearing? That is the big question.

First off, this movie has plot holes the size of Godzilla’s head. People do things for the most confuddling reasons, and the explanations don’t help us understand things any clearer.

Ziyi Zhang plays a set of twins, but with no real discernible differences between the two, it is hard to follow who is where and why. The script takes itself seriously, leading to some terribly cheesy dialogue. But let’s ignore all of this for a second because this is beautiful too.

The cinematography is divine and the action seriously heart-stopping. What you want from these films is great action and perfectly conceived creatures. Full marks on both counts, it’s just a pity the humans get in the way, despite some good efforts from the cast.

Watch it for the monsters, if you do you will have a blast.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more