Godzilla: King of the Monsters Review: Godzilla Reigns Supreme
Godzilla: King of the Monsters, directed by Michael Dougherty, is the latest installment in the extended world and history of the Godzilla films. For a great article on facts about Godzilla, please check out a piece by fellow We Live Entertainment writer, Aaron Neuwirth. After the 2014 Godzilla film, in which we saw the destruction of San Francisco, we meet the Russell family. Daughter, Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) and mother, Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) are living together in China while they research the Titans and Emma works with Monarch to develop a new device to help with the Titans. Their estranged father and husband, Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) has secluded himself following the tragic loss of their son in 2014 San Francisco. The two parents had very different reactions to the loss of their son and are handling it in very different ways, putting Madison in the middle of it.
While monitoring the actions of a dormant titan, Mothra, an evil eco-terrorist group headed by Jonah Alan (Charles Dance) comes and kidnaps Emma and Madison to control the Titans and reset the natural balance and order of the world. However, things are not quite as they seem as the world turns to chaos, and as the Titans battle it out, we are not quite sure for whom we should be cheering.
What Michael Dougherty has done with this Godzilla: King of the Monsters is nothing short of spectacular. He has elevated the monster movie game to a whole new level. Every single frame of the film is beautifully shot. The way that he handles and frames each shot with the monsters shows he has a genuine love and appreciation for the characters and the world in which he is playing. He has an eye for the epic monster scenes and creates something incredible to see. I know everyone says, “see it on the biggest screen,” but this is one of those situations where you’re going to get the best out of the film that way. Seeing it in IMAX brings the whole thing to life. The visuals are epic and enchant the audience from the first battle until the end.
While the monsters were spectacularly done, the human characters ended up being my least favorite part of the film. While the actors are all incredible in their own right, it felt like perhaps there were too many characters and too many storylines that we were supposed to care about, but in the end, didn’t. The standout performances of the film were from Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler as well as a few excellent scenes from Ken Watanabe. Millie, as the youngest actor on screen, gives an outstanding performance as Madison that required a lot of varied emotions and she rose to the occasion. Kyle Chandler, while some lines were a little off, held a lot of the story and kept audiences engaged. The rest of the cast, while they did serve a purpose, it felt like there were too many characters with great actors that we didn’t get to see what they all can do in the short runtime.
Written by Michael Dougherty, Zach Shield, and Max Borenstein, the story shows the in-depth knowledge and admiration they have for the history of Godzilla and all the characters attached to him. The real stars of the film are the Titans, and the writing shows that. While it does take a bit of time to get to the real action of the film, extended scenes of serious battles are sure to reward the audience for its patience.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters ups the ante for monster films. It has set a whole new standard and reminds us that Godzilla is the true king.