FILM REVIEW: Godzilla - monster movie is a mess
SHOWCASE CINEMA DE LUX PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW
CAST: KYLE CHANDLER, VERA FARMIGA, MILLIE BOBBY BROWN, KEN WATANABE, SALLY HAWKINS, CHARLES DANCE, O’SHEA JACKSON JR, ZIYI ZHANG, BRADLEY WHITFORD, THOMAS MIDDLEDITCH, AISHA HINDS, ANTHONY RAMOS & DAVID STRATHAIRN
RUNNING TIME: 2 HRS 11 MINS
DIRECTOR: MICHAEL DOUGHERTY
This monster mash is such a gigantic mess – here’s hoping it hasn’t destroyed the Godzilla/King/Titans shared movie universe for good.
With a terrible clichéd script, dull story and bumbling creature battles – this really is disappointing.
And that comes despite using so much monster lore, with Godzilla’s legendary foes – such as King Ghidorah, Mothra and Roden – wasted in a dark and broody backdrop.
This sequel to the mediocre 2014 Godzilla blockbuster hit – which looks far better now by comparison – and part of the King Kong: Skull Island world – with Godzilla vs Kong still planned – sees the crypto-zoological agency Monarch take centre stage.
Vera Farmiga’s (The Conjuring series) palebiologist Emma Russell lost her eldest boy – with her now estranged husband Mark (Super 8’s Kyle Chandler) – when Godzilla destroyed San Francisco five years ago, and is now lead scientist for the corporation as she lives with her daughter Madison (Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown) in China.
She tracks downs and studies Titans – giant monsters that once roamed the Earth – and after witnessing the birth of giant larva dubbed Mothra, she calms her down with a device called ‘Orca’ – which can emit frequencies that can alter the behaviour of these behemoths.
But when eco-terrorist Alan Jonah kidnaps her, Madison, and more importantly steals the Orca, it sets off a chain of events that awakens infamous monsters situated around the world – and it’s left to Godzilla to help the planet and restore the balance.
The human saviours come in the form of Chandler’s Mark, and a massively dizzying cast of characters – including Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins’ returning Ishiro and Vivienne from the first movie and newcomers such as Straight Outta Compton star O’Shea Jackson Jr as soldier Jackson Barnes – that just add to the bloated and hap-hazard storytelling at hand.
But with only pockets of entertainment provided by new and eclectic monsters – for the most part this is all rather boring.
It has too many ideas, has a really mundane eco plot, and really outstays its welcome with repetitive battles – and with so many facets and characters it just doesn’t come together into one coherent piece.
And Millie Bobby Brown just plays a tweaked version of her Eleven character from Stranger Things – complete with her trademark shriek.
Which leaves you worried that they’re potentially messing up a franchise that promised to be so much more after the competent original – and Godzilla ends up being the King of boredom this time round. Maybe Kong can save him.
By Gavin Miller