Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) ***

May 28th, 2019
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir.: Michael Dougherty; Cast: Kyle Chandler, Vera Famiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Ken Watanabe; USA 2019, 132 min.

Godzilla goes out for walkies for the 35th outing for Godzilla since Japanese director Ishiro Honda created the dinosaur’s debut feature in 1954. Nowadays, Godzilla doesn’t only trample all over global cities, but has morphed into humankind’s helper – luckily still destroying everything in sight.

Michael Dougherty (Krampus) works hard with his co-writers Shields and Borenstein to find a storyline that joins up the intervals between Godzilla’s fights with less human-friendly titans, like the three-headed King Gidorah, but his family-friendly plot is dwarfed by the mammoth action set pieces.

Doctors Mark (Chandler) and Emma Russell (Famiga) have co-invented the Orca sonar device, which enables them (and their employer Monarch, a worldwide technology giant), to synthesize the cries of various titans, so that they can communicate with them. Their teenage daughter Madison (Brown), complains about their parents, still hankering after her older brother, who died in some titan related accident. Her parents are divorced and Madison lives with her mother, a firm believer that the titans should “clean up the world”, so that the planet can heal itself – never mind its denizens, who are after all responsible for the mess!.

This sounds like Thanos from the Avenger, but eco-terrorist Alan Jonah (Dance), wants the same, and it is not quite clear why he has to kidnap mother and daughter. Anyhow, the latter escapes, and via the sound-system of Fenway Park Baseball Stadium in Boston, communicates on her own with the titans, Dad leading a team of international scientists to help Godzilla in his fight against his enemies like Rodan, the dragon and Morah, a larvae, who turns into a luminous super moth.

With Godzilla down and out on the bottom of the ocean, Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Watanabe) takes it on himself, to save humankind, getting Godzilla back to life with a shot of nuclear radiation. Well you might guess where all this is leading…

The family saga not withstanding, this is a great action feature, which has to be seen on a very big screen. The production values are as stunning as the logic of the scientific troupe. And to make everyone happy, we overhear the scientists whispering to another,  “thank heavens, Godzilla is on our side – but for how long?” Might this lead to the return of the bad monster of old in the next instalment?  For everyone reliving their childhood an absolute must! AS


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