Godzilla: King Of The Monsters

Certificate: 12A

Starring: Vera Farmiga, Charles Dance, Millie Bobby Brown, Kyle Chandler, Ken Watanabe

Release date: 2019

2 out of 5


The third film in Legendary Entertainment’s MonsterVerse – which began with 2014’s Godzilla and was followed by 2017’s Kong: Skull Island – this picks up after the events of the first movie, in which San Francisco was squished underfoot when giant lizard Godzilla saved us all from other mega monsters who weren’t as friendly.

Godzilla swam off into the sunset at the end of the first movie, but there are other monsters (also known as Titans) lying dormant all over the world, and five years on, scientist Emma Russell (Farmiga) thinks waking them is a good idea so we can all coexist and live happily ever after. Her ex-husband Mark (Chandler) isn’t convinced, despite having worked with her on inventing the ‘Orca’, a machine that can communicate with the Titans and may even be able to control them. Gee, do you think the Orca is going to fall into the wrong hands and bad things might happen?

Of course they will, for the stage is being set for beasts like Rodan and a three-headed monster named King Ghidorah to make a gruesome appearance.  And when they do pop up, they look impressive (those with delicate stomachs may not enjoy a scene where Ghidorah grows a new head – ewww), even if you can’t see them too clearly (most of the action seems to take place at night or in the middle of a big storm).

There are lots of humans cluttering up the plot (don’t the filmmakers know we’re only here for the monsters?) – along with Mark and Emma, there is their daughter (Stranger Things’ Brown), some army types, resident cynic Bradley Whitford, plus Sally Hawkins and Ken Watanabe from the 2014 and Dance as the one-note baddie – none of whom are fully realised, and all of whom have to spout dumb dialogue. There’s no real explanation for the behaviour or motivation of any of them, meaning we don’t care about, or even hate, any of them at all.

At least Godzilla gets a bit more screen time than in the previous movie when he finally returns from his holiday. If you can stay awake during the tedious and humourless first half (someone forgot that monster movies should be fun when they were making this) the final battle between Godzilla and the really evil monsters is pretty good.

Here’s hoping 2020’s King Kong Vs Godzilla learns from this missable summer movie and is bigger, better, packed with monster goodness and – yes please – enjoyable, too.

Is Godzilla: King Of The Monsters suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

This is a 12A certificate in the UK and is aimed at older kids and adults. Children under the age of 10 are likely to be scared by the monsters.

It is a monster movie, so there are scenes of people in peril, explosions, natural disasters and numerous action sequences.

The movie features battles between the monsters, including a scene in which a monster’s head is ripped off (and then it grows back, which is pretty gross).They creatures attack, breathe fire etc, and the humans are often in danger.

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