By Jonathan Decker
WHAT’S GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS ABOUT?
When a group of giant monsters, led by three-headed Ghidora, are awakened to wreak havoc worldwide, humanity must decide whether to put its trust in Godzilla as a defender while an estranged family tries to survive the chaos. Sequel to 2014’s Godzilla and 2017’s Kong: Skull Island.
IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: B)
Godzilla: King of the Monsters offers everything you could want in a rock-em-sock-em giant monster movie, but not much else. Offering classic good-versus-evil battles between Godzilla, Mothra, Ghidora, and Rodan on a scope and scale never before possible in the days of men in rubber suits fighting over miniature cities, the stunning CGI visuals and atomic sound design practically demand an in-theater viewing. The story relies too-heavily on melodrama, telegraphed plot twists, and eye-rolling contrivances, with dialogue running the gamut from the profound to the unintentionally laughable.
Fortunately the actors, led by Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights, Super 8), Vera Farmiga (Souce Code), Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Ken Watanabe (Inception), and Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) give it heft with their sympathetic performances. A bit more levity, and a bit more action, would be appreciated. For a movie about giant monsters, it takes itself a bit too seriously. But it so lovingly, thrillingly delivers the goods that fans of this type of thing won’t be disappointed.
IS GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS OKAY FOR KIDS?
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is rated PG-13. It has one f-word and several other uses of profanity, a few references to giant monsters mating, and plentiful monster-on-monster violence with punching, kicking, biting, and use of nuclear powers. Humans are collateral damage as buildings collapse, planes crash, and winds sweep them away.
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
One character says “sometimes the only way to heal our wounds is to make peace with the demons who made them.” While we don’t need to have relationships with those who’ve hurt us, especially when there’s been no repentance and restitution to restore trust, forgiveness and goodwill towards those who’ve wronged us can be key to our own healing. The greatest love is to be willing to die for someone else.