Directed by Michael Dougherty
May 13, 2019 (Beijing) / May 31, 2019 (United States)
A new threat arises in the form of King Ghidorah who has been awoken by a group of ecoterrorists and now Godzilla with the aid of Mothra must stop this new menace.
The film is set several years after the events of the first one. A new normal has settled upon human civilization and people are trying to decide what to do with the Titans. Should they kill them, or should they figure out how to coexist with them? Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) is a mother working with Monarch to study and perhaps learn how to coexist with these ancient beings. She has been working on a device called the Orca that can affect them. Ecoterrorists attack her facility and capture her and her daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown). This starts a chain of events that releases multiple creatures around the planet including Monster Zero (King Ghidorah) who is not of this earth and is a rival to Godzilla’s dominance.
If it had been any other child actress besides Millie Bobby Brown as the daughter, I think her role would have been minimized but given her stature at the time of this film she got a more prominent role than normal. Children being so central to a story like this are usually dead weight, but she does a pretty good. The character helps move the story along.
Ken Watanabe returns as Dr. Ishirō Serizawa. His role this time is less exposition and more to utter ominous phrases. He is kind of wasted. He is more tone setter than anything, but I guess you cannot turn down a paycheck.
King of The Monsters is a very good sequel. It is heavier on the monster battles and lighter on the human stories, but you do not see a Godzilla movie to learn about the human characters. The human drama is a bonus. Some people have criticized the depiction of the human characters in the movie, but you do not see a movie like this for the human characters. You see a movie like this for the monsters and the battles they get into. And the battles are truly epic here. They do not skimp on the devastation. Burning Godzilla was especially bad ass.
They do some fan service here and give you the battles you want to see and even a team up that hard-core fans want. And it makes for a very satisfying and exciting film for the viewer.
It is unusual for a film to have a theme of eco-terrorism let alone let the ecoterrorists remain as villains throughout the whole story. Alan Jonah (Charles Dance) is the leader of a group of ecoterrorists and he is just so cold and villainous in the role. These ecoterrorists realize that the Titans generate life wherever they go even though they destroy so much. Plant and animal life just explode in their aftermath. They plan on healing the earth by releasing the Titans one at a time but Ghidorah, not being part of this planet, throws that all out of whack. And Dance does not care because he is for it.
King of The Monsters, in contrast to its predecessor, has counter agendas in it but nothing too secretive and too dark. Most are just done by emotionally hurting individuals trying to do something good. Aside from the ecoterrorists that is.
Monarch has really bloomed in scope and power since the first movie. I am not sure if they were always supposed to be as big and interconnected as they are here, but it is definitely a much larger organization than presented before. They are more like SHIELD from the MCU.
You get a sense that the Titans have been known in one form or another throughout human history. It is even indicated that there was a much older advanced civilization that worshiped the Titans in a scene set in an ancient city towards the center of the Earth. What happened to this civilization is not clear.
Godzilla: King of The Monsters is a great action kaiju monster fest. I loved every minute of it. I have watched it way too many times and you will too!