It’s doubtful anyone going to see Godzilla II is expecting it to be the hot blockbuster of 2019. The reason we see oversized monster movies is for the escapism, the humour, and the outright ridiculousness of the spectacle before us.
Godzilla II: King of the Monsters certainly takes the 2014 tale up a notch, introducing us to three new nemeses: Mothra, Rodan and the three-headed-snake-meets dragon, King Ghidorah. In part II, the crypto-zoological agency Monarch now have to face off against these Titans, as the world continues to grapple with the existence of monsters, and what their presence means for mankind.
It’s a TV-meets-the-movies mash up, as Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown plays Madison, the daughter of Mark (Kyle Chandler – Bloodline, Friday Night Lights), whose brother died in Godzilla’s last attack. Along with her Mum Dr Emma (Vera Farmiga – When They See Us, The Frontrunner), the trio are trying to save the world from future destruction, with varying beliefs in how that should be done.
You’ve already been warned: Godzilla II isn’t a movie with a particularly ground-breaking plot. But it does find depth in questioning why monsters would need to invade earth. Are they trying to attack us, or are they nature’s next answer to Earth’s longevity?
Madison and Mark also anchor the movie emotionally, grappling with the effect of their family’s loss, and whether or not they can find forgiveness and hope after death.
Godzilla II is big, boof-ish and perfectly outlandish. It gives us pause to think about humanity’s environmental impact and the larger consequences of inaction. And it encourages us to believe everyone has a good side – even monsters.