HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
Clementine
Hurt by Paradise
Saint Maud
Johnny Frenchman
Glitch in the Matrix, A
Beginning
Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris
Funeral Home, The
Sailors Three
   
 
Newest Articles
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
   
 
  Godzilla: King of the Monsters You can't beat the King, son
Year: 2019
Director: Michael Dougherty
Stars: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe, Ziyi Zhang, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, Aisha Hinds, O'Shea Jackson Jr., David Strathairn, Anthony Ramos, Elizabeth Faith Ludlow, Jonathan Howard
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Five years after Godzilla's cataclysmic battle took a tragic toll on their family, paleobiologist Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) and her daughter Madison (Stranger Things' superstar Millie Bobby Brown) are at a remote island testing a creature-communicating device on newly-birthed giant larva Mothra. The test is a success. However when eco-terrorists led by military specialist Alan Jonah (Charles Dance) invade the lab, taking Emma and Madison hostage, the call goes out to their estranged husband and father Dr. Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler). Reunited with Monarch, the secret monster-researching organization run by Dr. Ishiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe), Mark sets out to save his family and retrieve the device. Only to stumble onto an insane plan that draws Godzilla up from the ocean depths to do battle with an ancient foe.

Depending on whom you ask Gareth Edwards' 2014 Godzilla was either an inspired contemporary take on the iconic Japanese monster movie or a ponderous, snail-paced bore with far too little of the titular titan. Hence the creative team opted for a different strategy with the sequel, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, co-written and directed by Michael Dougherty - creator of cult horror films Trick 'r Treat (2007) and Krampus (2015). And were promptly slammed for delivering a bombastic overdose of 'brainless' monster action. There is just no pleasing some people. Amid the flurry of naysayers deriding the film as not simply a 'bad' movie but symptomatic of everything wrong with modern cinema (which, in a year when far more cynical blockbusters made far more money, is a statement open to ridicule) only a small contingent of kaiju fans recognized KOTM for what it was. Arguably the closest in style, tone and thematic content to a good old-fashioned Showa era Godzilla romp Hollywood has yet produced. Ironically in staying true to the spirit of classic Godzilla, Dougherty likely alienated the mainstream audience he was trying to court. KOTM is a specific type of kaiju film likely to appeal only to a specific type of kaiju fan given that lately even Japanese films like Shin Godzilla (2016) and the turgid anime trilogy have steered Godzilla in a different direction.

As the plot unfolds in delightfully delirious fashion, Dougherty hits all the familiarly outlandish story beats and motifs from the original Godzilla series, in a manner instantly endearing to those with fond memories of Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster (1964) - of which this plays like a loose remake - or Destroy All Monsters (1968). Capturing that strange mix of childlike wonder and apocalyptic dread, KOTM abandons Edwards' attempt at sober realism for amped-up CGI spectacle. Amidst glorious reinventions of series favourites like Mothra, King Ghidorah and Rodan (whose breathtaking sky battle with military jet fighters proves a highlight) the film's computer graphics unapologetically recreate the kind of mass destruction and monster battles kids create with their action figures. Which for some sounds like a bad thing though arguably remains in keeping with the colourful chaos wrought by special effects wizard Eiji Tsuburaya's exploding miniatures in the original series.

Along with revisiting the ecological angst Edwards established in the 2014 film (indeed this time the core conceit is the belief that Godzilla is the embodiment of nature chastening humanity for its hubris and reckless endangering of the environment), the plot again pits haunted, obsessed parents against a stoic, determined child. Dougherty has the good sense to assemble amiable leads Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga and Millie Bobby Brown whose vivid performances transcend fairly cliched roles and keep viewers engaged in the human drama beneath the explosions and rampaging 'titans' (the term used here after Guillermo Del Toro's overrated genre pastiche Pacific Rim (2013) co-opted the word 'kaiju'). On the other hand the film further echoes the classic Godzilla series by featuring so many characters great actors like Zhiyi Zhang (playing twins in one of many neat nods to motifs in the classic series), O'Shea Jackson Jr. and especially Sally Hawkins struggle to get noticed. Though Bradley Whitford relishes a generous supply of waspish one-liners. For all criticisms leveled the script actually has depth along with a number of disarmingly subtle flourishes. Among these Madison's discovery of the thin line between human and monster a moving speech that draws a clever parallel between Serizawa choosing to work with the nation that dropped atomic bombs on his homeland and Mark learning to understand the true nature of Godzilla. Especially ingenious is a plot twist that reverses the motive behind the supreme sacrifice that concluded the original 1954 Godzilla bringing things full circle. For all its showy rampaging monsters and explosions, KOTM maintains a coherent ideology in which nature is embodied by conflicting forces uniting to achieve a greater good. Music by the dependable Bear McCreary, featuring the heartwarming return of Akira Ifukube's classic monster themes along with Blue Oyster Cult's very apt Godzilla song ("History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man.") Bring on Godzilla vs. Kong!

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1154 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: