BEASTS FROM THE FAR EAST
GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS (12A) ★★ ★★★
MONSTERS are among us and they aren’t the computergenerated behemoths that stagger through director Michael Dougherty’s protracted demolition derby.
No, the true monsters are you and me: a parasitic race that has plundered the planet’s natural resources, polluted water and air, and slaughtered millions in the name of liberty, religion, greed and technological advancement.
That’s the cheery message to take home from this, a spectacular but corny sequel that justifies the title creature’s interventions as the only way to restore a delicate balance between selfish humans and resplendent Mother Nature.
Performances struggle to be heard above the din of Bear McCreary’s orchestral score
and a symphony of roars, screeches and caterwauls. Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown is the sole exception, using limited screen time to plumb the maelstrom of conflicting emotions of a resourceful 14-year-old, who is collateral damage in the feud between her parents.
The script expresses relationships in short-hand, galloping from one slick set-piece to the next with minimum character development.
Animal behaviour specialist Dr Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) and paleobotanist wife Emma (Vera Farmiga) lost their son Andrew, and ultimately their love for each other, in the devastation of Godzilla’s rampage through San Francisco. The couple are now estranged and Emma has custody of their spunky daughter Madison (Brown), who supports her mother’s work for “secret monsterhunting” consortium Monarch in the Yunnan rainforest in China. Former British army colonel turned eco-terrorist Colonel Jonah Alan (Charles Dance) storms the outpost with gun-toting henchmen. He takes Emma and Madison hostage, forcing the mother to rouse a giant beast christened Mothra with her Orca device, which manipulate Titans’ behaviour with sonar waves.
Godzilla: King Of The Monsters wreaks destruction on a grand scale. Making peace with Dougherty’s blockbuster simply requires us to switch off our brains.
King Ghidorah and Godzilla Millie Bobby Brown as Madison Russell and Vera Farmiga as Dr Emma Russell Charles Dance as Colonel Jonah Alan