26 September 2023

Godzilla II: King of the Monsters

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Director: Michael Dougherty, Roadshow Entertainment.

Cast: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown.

A sense of wonder in inevitable after you’ve watched Godzilla II. Total escapism as you drag yourself back to reality!

It follows in the footsteps of the 2014 Godzilla and the 2017 Kong: Skull Island. The new story is an epic action adventure that pits Godzilla against some of the most popular monsters in pop culture history.

The human heroes are part of a top-secret project called the Monarch Initiative. It pursues the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members 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.

In fact, humanity’s very existence hangs in the balance as ancient super-species – believed to be mere myths – rise again and vie for supremacy.

It’s interesting to note that women characters are put upfront: they take aim at the monsters, are out there flying the fighter jets and proving they are unmatched at meanness.

This time around Vera Farmiga and Millie Bobby Brown play a mother and daughter (Emma and Madison Russell) duo who have deeply personal reasons for getting up-close-and-personal with the ‘kaiju’ (or monsters ‘who after the 2014 Godzilla are now across the earth’).

Farmiga plays a scientist as does Sally Hawkins. Certainly these damsels are not in any state of distress. Aisha Hinds, as Colonel Diane Foster, leads the troops while Elizabeth Ludlow plays First Lieutenant Griffin, a chopper pilot who constantly manages to find herself in danger.

The backdrops are truly epic battles against which the storylines which are notable: abandonment in the name of the greater good, the acidic nature of anguish and obscurities inherent in family relationships.

Director Michael Dougherty (X2, Superman Returns) and X-Men screenwriter, says the film has an enduring message to take away. Do not tamper with the planet “otherwise mother nature releases her 800 megatonne monsters. For me personally, this film is really about finding a symbiotic relationship between man and Godzilla slash nature. To me Godzilla has always been mother nature’s protector”.

“If you make a Godzilla film without that [message], it’s not a Godzilla film, it’s just a giant monster [movie].”

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