‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ Review — It Was a Monster Mess

VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse!

Godzilla: King of the Monsters Review

In 2014, Godzilla returned to the big screen in a fairly successful, well-reviewed revival directed by Gareth Edwards. However, two complaints dominated the conversation about Godzilla – the human characters were completely uninteresting and there just wasn’t enough monster-on-monster fighting. The validity of those complaints are still the subject of debate, after all nobody enters a Godzilla movie with expectations of nuanced human character and the choice to obscure the big beast for most of the movie was a deliberate choice in the vein of, say, Jaws. Five years later and Godzilla returns to the big screen in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and it would seem the makers of this gigantic sequel heeded every complaint levied at the 2014 film. The result is a sequel that’s overpacked and underwhelming, featuring plenty of monster-on-monster action but often in conditions that make it nearly impossible to follow the action which is the key selling point of this sequel. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is simply a monstrous disappointment.

The sequel opens in San Francisco amidst the rubble of the first film’s climactic fight as Dr. Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) and Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga), both scientists who work for the secret government agency Monarch, look for their missing son. In the big battle between Godzilla and the MUTOs, their young son was killed in the mayhem. Five years later, the wounds of the past have still left scars on the Russell family. Mark is estranged from his wife and has left Monarch to study wolves in the wild. Emma, on the other hand, continues to work with Monarch in studying the gigantic monsters known as Titans often with her teenage daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) by her side. Emma has developed a device called Orca which communicates with the gigantic beasts using some kind of sonic frequency that can make them docile. It’s very obviously the MacGuffin for the film. The first time we see the Orca in use is to awaken Mothra.

But if everything worked out perfectly there wouldn’t be much of a movie. After Mothra is awakened, an ecoterrorist group led by Jonah Alan (Charles Dance) captures both Emma and Madison as well as the Orca with the plan to unleash all of the world’s hidden monsters to bring about a new kind of balance to the world, basically wiping out a sizable portion of the population and allowing nature to reclaim the Earth. Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and Dr. Vivienne Graham (Sally Hawkins), each returning from the first film, track down Mark in order to utilize his expertise in tracking down the Orca as well as his ex-wife and daughter. Monarch assembles a team of scientists and soldiers for a globetrotting adventure to prevent the latest batch of monsters from being unleashed, but when the three-headed monster King Gidorah is set loose humanity’s only hope comes in the form of Godzilla, whom the title reminds us is king of the monsters.

The first big monster fight in Godzilla: King of the Monsters takes place at a Monarch base in Antarctica amidst a blizzard. The sequence is absolutely chaotic in its construction and the elements chose for this fight ensure that most of what unfolds is absolutely unintelligible. I suspect that director Michael Dougherty realized just how incomprehensible everything was in this battle as he made sure to use the next scene to show a picture of significant character with “DECEASED” written beneath their picture. The subsequent fights also suffer from the same chaotic construction amplified by inclement weather conditions that it’s nigh impossible to follow the monsters attacking each other and the expansive roster of human characters.

The entire roster of human characters, although incredibly well-cast, are just uninteresting and completely lacking in any depth. As the film gets to its monsters fighting, Dougherty often pulls back on the action to follow the humans scrambling through the chaos but there’s never any reason to care about any of these characters. They’re paper cutouts of characters mostly lacking in personality. The presence of Thomas Middleditch as a Monarch scientist, O’Shea Jackson Jr. as a solider, and Ziyi Zhang as another scientist are completely wasted. The only supporting character that seems to understand just what kind of schlock he’s in is Bradley Whitford who is a rather spirited cynic trapped in an absurd monster movie. Combined with the underwhelming main characters, there is a complete void of humanity at the heart of the Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which wouldn’t be a problem if we weren’t forced to spend so much time with these nothing characters.

I’d be willing to give Godzilla: King of the Monsters a pass on its horrendous human characters if it delivered on its promise of crazed kaiju action, but the action is so incomprehensible and underwhelming that it fails on its most basic level. There are nods to the expansive lore of Godzilla and his titanic compatriots, but they’re minor moments of fan service for the most dedicated fans or little teases for next year’s impending Godzilla vs. Kong. The destruction of King of the Monsters levels metropolitan cities in a matter of moments but it left me more bored than anything. All the advanced computer effects in the world can’t make this sequel any more thrilling than a man in a rubber suit laying waste to cardboard cities. In trying to please those who didn’t care much for the first film, the brains behind Godzilla: King of the Monsters threw so much at the screen they overwhelm you with inanity to the point of numbness. Sometimes a lot less is a whole lot more.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters
  • Overall Score


Simultaneously overstuffed and underwhelming, Godzilla: King of the Monsters features plenty of kaiju fights but no reason to care what happens to anyone or anything in this monstrously disappointing sequel.


One Response

  1. Rick Villafana June 8, 2019 Reply

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Boom! Blu-ray
Shout! Factory Brings the Infamous Flop ‘Boom!’ to Blu-ray

Tabloid culture is the insidious offspring of pop culture. The stars...

Us Review
Now on Blu-ray: Jordan Peele’s Terrifying Sophomore Flick ‘Us’

There are fewer debuts as successful as writer-director Jordan Peele’s Get...

Swing Time Criterion
Rogers and Astaire Swing Into the Criterion Collection with ‘Swing Time’

Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire first worked together in 1933 in...

Event News Event Reviews
Dr. Jonathan Young Talks Symbolism and AlienCon 2019

Dr. Jonathan Young is a psychologist, theologian, storyteller and cast member...

Tolkien Red Carpet From WonderCon

Relics & Rarities Red Carpet From WonderCon

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Taco Bell Xbox
The Newest Taco Bell Box is an Xbox – Your Chance to Win a Taco Bell Xbox

Taco Bell and Xbox are partnering up to give fans a chance...

Exclusive Track Premiere from Madden NFL 19!

(July 26, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA) – Lakeshore Records today...

Star Ocean Anamnesis
The Most Intuitively Fun Gameplay of Any Mobile RPG – Star Ocean Anamnesis Review

Star Ocean Anamnesis is hands down the most fun and intuitive gameplay...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
#DancingToTheWhiteHouse is a Conservative Political Comic Book Satire

Very rarely are political comics coming from a conservative stance and...

Stan Lee, the Co-Creator of the Marvel Universe, Dead at 95

According to reports earlier today, Stanley Martin Lieber aka Stan the...

Five Questions for Gary Morgenstein About ‘A Mound Over Hell’

Gary Morgenstein is a journalist, public relations expert and author with...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Blue Yeti Nano Microphone Review

We have been playing with the Blue Yeti Nano for a...

Wrestle Crate Pre-Christmas Unboxing

    Welcome to our first unboxing of Wrestle Crate, this...

Eagle Eyes
Protect Your Eyes with Eagle Eyes Glasses – Eagle Eyes TV Kit Review

Eagle Eyes TV Kit review – Feel the difference and get...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Five Questions for Eduardo ‘Dudu’ Dantas about His Bellator 222 Fight

Former two-time Bellator MMA World Bantamweight Champion, Eduardo “Dudu” Dantas is...

Mike Kimbel Talks About his Bellator 222 Fight

Young lion, Mike Kimbel is a 2-1 fighter in the Bellator...

Frank Mir Faces Dan Severn at Josh Barnett’s ‘Bloodsport’

Tonight, April 4, 2019, UFC, Bellator and MMA veteran, Frank Mir...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Emissary of Death! (A new chapter in the search for a Defense against the dark arts teacher saga)

Professor Wick explains his "Emissary of Death" spells.

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the new defense against the dark arts teacher Pt:3

the Death Eaters discover what Baba Yaga does best.

David Ortiz & EL Artista Cigars Announces the Launch of a Second ‘Big Papi’ Cigar Brand

(TAMBORIL, DO) – EL Artista Cigars announces a new line extension for...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Coastal Commoners Ep. 9 Happy Thanksgiving!

This week the Commoners discuss some race baiting issues that bothered...

Coastal Commoners Ep 8 – Saying Farewell to Stan Lee

This week the commoner’s say farewell to Marvel Comics legend, Stan...

Coastal Commoners Ep 7 Mid-Term Elections!

Oh the headaches of elections and what can go wrong. We...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Twin Peaks: The Return Vinyl Soundtrack
Mondo and Death Waltz Recording Company to Issue ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’ Soundtrack on Vinyl

The owls are not what they seem. The legendary show from...

They Live Vinyl Soundtrack
Death Waltz Records Has Awakened An Amazing Vinyl Edition of the ‘They Live’ Soundtrack

  It took the world long enough but it seems that...

They Live Vinyl Soundtrack
BUY! Mondo and Death Waltz to Reissue John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’ Soundtrack on Vinyl

Yesterday was the 71st birthday of the great John Carpenter and...