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Godzilla: King of the Monsters Theatrical Review

By May 29, 2019 02:58 PM EST

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is an extravaganza of special effects. If you like seeing big noisy monsters destroying cities you can recognize, you’ll love this film. In that regard, it’s a visual treat.

The very first "Godzilla, King of the Monsters" movie I ever saw was the 1956 version shot on film in Black & White, and it starred of all people, Raymond Burr (Perry Mason). I watched it when I was about 7 years old on late night television decades after it was made and thought that a 400-foot tall dinosaur, awoken from undersea hibernation by atomic-bomb testing, who was attacking Tokyo, was just the coolest thing ever.

Since then there have been many sequels and variations of the original story, most introducing a virtual soufflé of monsters for Godzilla to fight. Many of these films stared a couple of guys in monster costumes fighting each other while stepping on miniature buildings. That's not to say they've all been cheesy, they haven't. There have been a few I've really liked, especially Roland Emmerich's 1998 version with Matthew Broderick and Jean Reno. 

The bottom line is, it's a real testament to the Godzilla mystique that we're still watching movies about him today.

This incarnation of the tale is a 200 million dollar over-the-top, state-of-the-art visual effects sequel to the 2014 version that starred Brian Cranston. Once again the world is being overrun and destroyed by monsters that only our ‘protector' Godzilla can vanquish.

Here's The Storyline…unfortunately there's not much of it.

Members of the secret scientific crypto-zoological agency Monarch, who are charged with containing the earth's mega-monsters, are not doing a great job of it. All promise of control over the confined beasts rests in an invention created by Dr. Emma Russell (Farmiga/ The Conjuring), who along with her daughter Madison (Brown/ Stranger Things) are kidnapped by sinister forces hell-bent on saving the earth by releasing the monsters. Hot on their trail are Emma's estranged and very stressed out scientist husband Mark (Chandler/ Game Night), and Monarch's scientists and soldiers traveling in a heavily armed flying fortress called the Argos.

As the classic Godzilla monsters Rodan, Mothra, and several others (all designed to honor their Toho Films origins) are released, and begin destroying the world under the control of the nasty three-headed monster King Ghidorah, humanity's very existence hangs tenuously in the balance. 

Will Godzilla show up to defend us? Will he fight this penultimate monster? Can he win the battle? Will Mark find his wife and daughter? Will the Argo and its crew survive? Will you be awake to see the outcome? Will you care ten minutes after the film ends? These and many other heart-stopping answers are yours for the mere price of a ticket.

The acting in this film is tragically poor; I don't think director Michael Dougherty ever gave it a thought. If he could have found a way to get rid of his actors completely and concentrate solely on the FX, I'll bet you he would of. Vera Farmiga, usually wonderful to watch, was just passing through the story with not a believable word or tear to be found. As to Kyle Chandler, his performance was laughable.

However, Millie Bobby Brown was fantastic, she's someone to watch, she's going to have a big career. Also, as always, I enjoyed Bradley Whitford every time he was on screen. 

My take… As I said before, it's an extravaganza of special effects. If you like seeing big noisy monsters destroying cities you can recognize, you'll love this film. In that regard, it's a visual treat.

Grade: C

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MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 131 minutes
Distributed By: Warner Bros.

For more information about Godzilla: King of the Monsters visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

About Alyn Darnay

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