By Ryan Keating-Lambert
Godzilla: King of the Monsters was expected to be cheesy; it was expected to be silly, but no one expected its storyline to be so bloated and mind-blowingly stupid in proportion that it would even rival the titular monster. Although the film does stand tall with state-of-the-art effects, sound and art direction, it’s just a mess, an gargantuan sh*tshow.
Directed by Michael Dougherty (Krampus) and starring Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring) and Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), this third instalment in the MonsterVerse franchise produced by Legendary Entertainment and Warner Bros, takes place after the events of 2014’s Godzilla reboot, and 2017’s Kong: Skull Island.
The infamous kaiju takes on even more ‘titans’ in this one, all because Dr Emma Russell (Farmiga) is waking them up using a sonar machine called the ‘ORCA’. When secret government organisation Monarch is taken over by a band of eco-terrorists led by Tywin Lannister, sorry, Charles Dance, the villains head to Antarctica to unleash Godzilla’s ultimate nemesis, the three-headed dragon Ghidorah.
And it doesn’t stop there, one by one more and more titans are awoken including the majestic Mothra, the only kind-hearted beast of them all, the volcanic pterodactyl Rodan and many more whom fans will recognise from the older cult classics. It goes without saying that the battle scenes here are spectacular – Dougherty continues the franchise’s visual splendor through the epic battles and booming sound design, especially from Godzilla and Ghidorah. The only way to experience this film, if you do actually decide that it’s worth it, is to see it in IMAX 3D.
Related: Godzilla: King of the Monsters sketches based on masterpieces of 16th century art
The Russell family are probably the most irritating broken family you’ve ever met on screen, and the cast look uncomfortable as hell playing it out, especially Kyle Chandler who plays father Mark Russell – the clunky and cringe-worthy dialogue is so bad that it’s borderline unwatchable.
Similarly awkward are the seemingly hundreds of carbon copy military commanders and Monarch scientists who try to work with a script that seems as though it was written to honor the B movie, but instead results in a bunch of generic military nobodies poorly imitating action movie greats of the past. Think Jim Cameron’s soldiers in Aliens or the oil drillers in the Abyss, only cheap and void of anything that resembles a soul.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ Kong: Skull Island found a happy medium with its tongue-in-cheek Vietnam war vets, but King of the Monsters does little more than rack up buzz for Razzie awards, with the robotic Dr Ling played by Ziyi Zhang at the front of the line, followed closely by irritating dude scientist Dr Rick Stanton played by the always irritating Bradley Whitford.
After the complaints that 2014’s Godzilla didn’t give the titan adequate screentime, King of the Monsters does fans justice by packing some serious monster… kaiju, but despite the sheer size of the beast, who looks like he’s been hitting the gym, it’s just not worth it.
Honestly, you’re probably better off just watching the trailer again, which promised something much more – all the most beautiful bits are in there anyway. I must admit, I was very disappointed in this one. I loved the first two – they were a lot of fun, and this film’s marketing was PHENOMENAL. It reminded me of the similarly disappointing Suicide Squad, but I doubt this one will sell as many tickets…
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is now showing in Czech cinemas.
Photo: Bloody Disgusting