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Godzilla: King of the Monsters

by JC Alvarez
Tuesday Aug 13, 2019
'Godzilla: King of the Monsters '
'Godzilla: King of the Monsters '  

Available digitally today!

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There's a new king of the summer blockbusters.

On the surface it may appear as little more than just a monster movie on a scale that can only be imagined on an IMAX-sized screen, but at its core "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" is a statement — a very loud statement — about the catastrophic effects of climate change and the human race's disregard for the health of the planet itself. Vera Farmiga's character, a xenobiologist named Emma Russell, says as much in the first act of the summer blockbuster, a proper sequel to the 2014 film. Man has ruined the planet, and Godzilla and his ilk are the remedy.

When the monsters first appeared and laid waste to most of the West Coast, including San Francisco, Emma and her family suffered a terrible tragedy. Her husband Mark Russell, played by Kyle Chandler, has alienated himself from his wife, and desperately tries to keep his ties to their daughter Madison ("Stranger Things" star Millie Bobby Brown) relevant, but the cut is too deep for Mark. Not only did they lose their son in wake of Godzilla's rampage, but Emma had become obsessed with finding the rest of the remaining "Titans" and establish a form of communication between man and beast.

The science agency known as Monarch, led by Dr. Serizawa (Ken Watanabe, reprising his role) and Vivienne Graham ("The Shape of Water" star Sally Hawkins), is determined to protect these creatures, but the government wants them exterminated, including Godzilla and a certain large gorilla that resides on Skull Island. With the help of Emma Russell, they've developed a means to speak with the "Titans," but when an ecoterrorist (played by "Game of Thrones" Charles Dance) kidnaps Emma and Madison, his organization's agenda becomes clear: The monsters are the planet's only hope, and they all need to be set free.

Directed by Michael Dougherty, the script to "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" is inconsequential. All you need to know is: Monsters are big, some are bad (really bad), and Godzilla may be mankind's only hope of controlling the growing threat. The feature film sets a new standard for summer blockbusters; it doesn't reboot or redefine the "monster movie/disaster movie" genre — it brings it into the 21st Century. Dougherty may have selected a familiar and able cast that includes Farmiga, Chandler, and even Bradley Whitford, but the real stars are obvious. "Godzilla" is in the title, and this sequel establishes that King Kong shares the cinematic landscape of these creatures.

The movie also reintroduces some of Godzilla's most infamous co-stars, including Mothra, the winged reptile Rodan, and the most notorious villain of the lot, the three-headed dragon "Monster Zero," also known as Ghidorah. And if you've always been a fan of these big screen monsters, you'll be overjoyed to notice that they are all instantly recognizable. When Godzilla and Ghidorah battle they lay waste to major cities, including Washington D.C. and Boston. In that regard, "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" doesn't disappoint — it's bombastic, it's loud, and for all intents it is the definition of a summer blockbuster. It's pure escapism, though made super-sized.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters -- The IMAX 2D Experience

Members of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species-thought to be mere myths-rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity's very existence hanging in the balance.


Runtime :: 132 mins
Release Date :: May 31, 2019
Language :: Silent
Country :: United States


Dr. Mark Russell :: Kyle Chandler
Dr. Emma Russell :: Vera Farmiga
Madison Russell :: Millie Brown
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa :: Ken Watanabe
Dr. Ilene Chen/Dr. Ling :: Ziyi Zhang
Dr. Rick Stanton :: Bradley Whitford
Dr. Vivienne Graham :: Sally Hawkins
Alan Jonah :: Charles Dance
Sam Coleman :: Thomas Middleditch
Colonel Diane Foster :: Aisha Hinds
Admiral William Stenz :: David Strathairn
Staff Sergeant Martinez :: Anthony Ramos
First Lieutenant Griffin :: Elizabeth Ludlow
Asher Jonah :: Jonathan Howard
Senator Williams :: CCH Pounder
Dr. Houston Brooks :: Joe Morton


Director :: Michael Dougherty
Screenwriter :: Michael Dougherty
Screenwriter :: Zach Shields
Producer :: Mary Parent
Producer :: Alex Garcia
Producer :: Thomas Tull
Producer :: Jon Jashni
Producer :: Brian Rogers
Executive Producer :: Zach Shields
Executive Producer :: Barry Waldman
Executive Producer :: Hiro Matsuoka
Executive Producer :: Keiji Ôta
Executive Producer :: Dan Lin
Executive Producer :: Roy Lee
Executive Producer :: Yoshimitsu Banno
Executive Producer :: Kenji Okuhira
Cinematographer :: Lawrence Sher
Film Editor :: Roger Barton
Film Editor :: Richard Pearson
Film Editor :: Bob Ducsay
Original Music :: Bear McCreary
Production Design :: Scott Chambliss
Costume Designer :: Louise Mingenbach
Casting :: Sarah Finn

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".


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