Pros: continuation of the first part; recognizable actors; special effects and battle scenes Cons: sublime dialogue; darkened scenes of Godzilla II: King of the Monsters / Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Genre fantasy, action
Directed by Michael Dougherty
Cast: Vera Farmiga (Dr. Emma Russell), Millie Bobby Brown (Madison Russell), Kyle Chandler (Mark Russell), Ken Watanabe (Dr. Ichiro Serizawa), Charles Dance (Alan Colonel), Zhang Ziyi (Dr. Chen), Thomas Middleditch ( Sam Colman), Sally Hawkins (Dr. Vivien Graham), etc.
Warner Bros., Legendary Entertainment, Wanda Qingdao Studios
Year of release 2019
In cinema, the story of the giant monster Godzilla began in 1954, when a film was released in Japan about the awakening of a prehistoric reptile located at the bottom of the ocean. The picture became a cult classic, and after it there were about thirty attempts to re-tell the story of Godzilla. During this time, the kaiju (as the Japanese call it and other monstrous creatures) went through a mutation, increased in size and began to spew heat rays. From film to film, the character changed character – at the request of the screenwriters, he became either an antagonist or a protagonist. The only thing that remained unchanged was the ability to destroy everything that came under his large paws.
The first Godzilla films were special due to the specific shooting conditions of those years. The monster was played by actors (dressed in voluminous costumes, which gave the kaiju an awkward appearance) who destroyed miniature models of cities. For close-ups, hand puppets were used, thanks to which viewers could see a semblance of Godzilla’s facial expressions.
Over time, computer graphics were added to the on-screen image of the monster. The real restart of the franchise happened in 2014, when the multimillion-dollar American film “Godzilla” was released on big screens (Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen and even Juliette Binoche starred in it). In this film, the appearance of the kaiju no longer seemed funny; on the contrary, it inspired fear. According to the plot of the film, a group of scientists discovered a cave in which Godzilla had been staying for a long time. Before their arrival, he disappeared into the sea, but years later returned to land when San Francisco was attacked by other awakened monsters. Godzilla defeats them and floats off into the ocean, leaving people alone with destruction and the loss of loved ones.
The new film “Godzilla II: King of the Monsters” is a continuation of these events. It shows the world years after the tragedy in San Francisco, during which the Russell couple lost their son. Now Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) works for the cryptozoological organization Monarch, studying the monsters that once ruled the Earth. She and her daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) witness the birth of a new kaiju called Mothra and, taking this opportunity, test her invention on him – a device with bioacoustics that can control giants. After this event, an organization of eco-terrorists takes mother and daughter hostage, hoping to use Emma’s invention to awaken all the monsters. The criminals want them to destroy everything around them, returning the natural balance to Earth. Upon learning of this, Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) tries to save his wife and daughter, and at the same time the whole world. He and the Monarch employees are unlikely to succeed without the help of Godzilla, who has not appeared from the ocean for a long time.
The director of the new film was Michael Dougherty, who also took on the duties of screenwriter (previously worked on the scripts for “X-Men 2”, “Superman Returns”, “X-Men: Apocalypse”). Dougherty tries to balance between sci-fi action and family history, adding to it all reflections on whether people can be stronger than natural forces. In many ways, the storylines with people become a background (not always interesting) to the main scenes of the film – battles between kaiju. Among them appear monsters already known from Japanese films: the flying Rodan and the three-headed monster King Ghidorah, capable of controlling the elements.
The defining moments of “Monarch” sometimes feel dull due to the sublime dialogue. But the special effects are what really keep the attention of the two-hour film. A lot of screen time is devoted to fight scenes in which monsters are revealed from all sides. Hollywood-famous Roger Barton (“World War Z”) and Bob Ducsay (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) worked on editing such episodes.
Due to the specifics of the plot, clouds are constantly gathering over the Earth, so the most epic battles take place in the rain. Sometimes the stormy darkness makes it difficult to see all the nuances of what is happening, but if you go to see a film in 3D or IMAX, then more details will appear.
The film “Godzilla II: King of the Monsters” will be interesting to those who watched the previous part, released five years ago. Familiar characters appear in it, including Dr. Ichiro Serizawa, played by actor Ken Watanabe. But even without knowing the background, you can watch the film without any problems.
the film “Godzilla II: King of the Monsters” turned out to be darker and larger-scale compared to the first part. There is a possibility that the story will receive another continuation.