Bring me a city and I’ll stomp the living crap out of it…

GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS

Directed by: Michael Dougherty

Written by: Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields (screenplay), from a story by Max Borenstein. Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields

Featuring: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ziyi Zhang, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch

After the stomping mess made of various cities around the world humanity quickly realises that ‘god-like’ monsters exist. None so huge and godlike than Godzilla. Monarch is formed to study and to try and formulate a strategy to contain or destroy these behemoths. Dr. Emma Russell accompanied by her young daughter Madison work at one of Monarch’s establishments where it is believed that there is more to the ‘monsters’ than first thought. As more and more monsters get aggressive and start destroying parts of the world a plan to stop them must be formulated – does that plan include Godzilla or is he part of the problem? As dark forces form, not all monster generated, something must be done, and quickly!

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is about great big monsters stomping the crap out of cities and people and then having no-holds barred fights with each other. It is that simple. The original Japanese versions were as bonkers fun but had an underlying message about the nuclear proliferation and horror of having atomic bombs dropped on your country. Perhaps it may not have seemed that obvious, but it was there amongst Tokyo being stamped into matchwood.

The message for this 2019 version is the planet’s health and how if we do choose the correct path then we will not need Godzilla or his wacky enemies to destroy the planet will do it ourselves. Really though this is about massive monsters stomping cities into rumble and roundhouse pounding each other with much fire and roaring.

In this respect Godzilla: King of the Monsters works perfectly. It knows what it is, director Michael Dougherty apparently loved these films and the little kid in him shows in every frame on the screen. The cast Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, in particular, are great, play this all with a straight bat which is the only way to do this. It is camp and silly but if you wink to the audience you ruin it. Kyle Chandler, having taken on King Kong a few years ago and got away, now takes on Godzilla, his mates and enemies and his own estranged family this time around. Charles Dance pops up, in cold bad-mode but at least not two dimensional although ruthlessly evil like only Charles Dance can be.

For all the acting talent up there on the screen, Godzilla: King of the Monsters lives or dies by its monsters. The fighting, roaring, jumping up and down a bit and general mayhem by a roster of rather silly monsters is perfect. It took me back to the days of stamping around the fields near my house being a monster whilst my brother and his mates laughed at me. For me this was the purpose of the film.

So, what if the storyline involves separated parents, mistaken motivations, two conflicting ideas, one of which is obviously ‘bad’ this is not the purpose of the film, but it pads it out, so something is there. It is perfunctory and perhaps it could have been better but in all honesty I did not care. How can you care when you can watch a giant moth curing a giant ‘lizard-king-thing’ but cuddling him?

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a giant monster film with some human bits as filler before the WWE of creature fighting gets going. The human bits are not the best, but the actors are good and beside the aforementioned thespians we also get Sally Hawkins, Bradley Whitfield in best Bradley Whitfield-mode, Thomas Middleditch so much better here as the ‘nerd’ that he was in Zombieland 2, shoring up the human roster.

To me this was all good. It made me feel the exhilaration of being a little boy watching monster knocking the stars out of each other. Perhaps I was in the right mood to watch that type of action, who knows?

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is camp, silly, trashy, daft but above all it was fun, really fun.

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