‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ has come to cinemas courtesy of director Mathew Dougherty. Some of the cast members from the 2014 ‘Godzilla’ film are back, as well, with Sally Hawkins portraying Dr. Vivienne Graham, and Ken Watanabe as Dr. Ishiro Serizawa.
Dr. Graham and Dr. Serizawa are part of a secret organization known as Monarch who monitor the existence of Titans of which Godzilla is one of them. The story takes off five years after the events of the first Godzilla movie, and highlights the repercussions of the devastation that resulted and carries them over into ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’.
Before I continue, a little public service announcement to those reading this. There is an end credit scene with some juicy information you will not want to miss. Having said that, let us continue with the review.
There’s a reason why Godzilla is king, and this movie establishes that with a resounding monstrous roar. We learned in the first movie that there are titans other than Godzilla hibernating within the Earth. ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ introduces us to a lot of them, including Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah. If you followed early Japanese monster movies, then these names should sound familiar to you. If not, the film introduces them properly, anyway. With these titans, you get to wonder how Godzilla could be called ‘King’. I mean, he can’t even fly, and that’s a disadvantage in itself with these three flyers. The film convincingly explains how he exacts his dominance to earn the title ‘King of Monsters’, though. It’s not an easy path for Godzilla and he needed a bit of help to get where he needed to be.
There might be some people turned off by the focus on the monsters (the titans) over the human characters. On the contrary, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ is a classic case of man vs. nature, and what results of the conflict. Make no mistake: while this is a giant monster movie, there is still a human element that cannot be discounted. What should humans do with the titans? Should they destroy them? Can humans co-exist with them? These are some of the questions that come out when you talk about man and his relationship to these titans.
There is also a lot of environmental activism in the film. With the titans and Godzilla representing nature, how do you deal with them? The answer to this question is an integral part to the resolution of the movie and I think that most people will agree that the answer that leads to the conclusion is a lot better than humanity’s extinction.
Speaking of nature, there is a lot of biological science that plays into the the nature of these titans. We get to see how alphas are established in a pack, and what happens when you have an invasive species in the environment. Also, the movie suggests that there are situations nature can and should handle on its own without human intervention. If there is any human intervention needed, it is more of a secondary role than a primary one. That’s something that some people might have a hard time swallowing. Live with it or Godzilla will swallow you…whole.
There’s a short ‘Stranger Things’ cast reunion here for the eagle-eyed, though very short. There’s also the mention of the Hollow Earth theory with regard to the existence of the titans. How do these two snippets of information translate into the film? You’ll just have to see for yourself.
All in all, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ is a monster brawl with environmental overtones. It shows that man cannot solve everything. Sometimes, man has to let nature take its course. Sometimes, all that man can do is watch, and pray. Appreciate the message while you witness the fight for the crown. Long live the KING!!!