Starring: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance, Thomas Middleditch, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Ken Watanabe, Zhang Ziyi
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Monster action sequel co-written and directed by Michael Dougherty. Godzilla: King of the Monsters follows the heroic efforts of the cryptozoological 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 Ghidorah. When these ancient superspecies, thought to be mere myths, rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.
Our Favorite Quotes:
Sam Coleman: What we are witnessing here, senators, is the return of an ancient and forgotten super species, Godzilla, the MUTOs, Kong. We believe that these Titans, and others like them, provide an essential balance to our world. And while some may pose a threat, Monarch is uniquely prepared to determine which of these Titans are here to threaten us, and which of these Titans are here to protect us.
Senator Williams: Thank you for the fifth grade history lesson, Mr. Coleman. But we still haven’t heard one good reason why Monarch shouldn’t fall under military jurisdiction, or why these creatures shouldn’t be exterminated. Monarch was tasked with finding and destroying these radioactive monsters. But you either can’t or won’t tell us how many there are, or why they’re showing up. So, maybe it’s time for the military to put them down.
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: Killing them would be a mistake. They returned because of us. It was our atomic testing that awoke Godzilla. Other creatures like the MUTOs from strip mining and seismic surveys. But these are not monsters, they are animals rising to reclaim a world that was once theirs.
Senator Williams: It almost sounds like you’re protecting them, Dr. Serizawa. As if you admire them.
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: I admire all forms of life. Senators, if we hope to survive, we must find ways to coexist with Titans, with Godzilla.
Dr. Vivienne Graham: A sort of symbiotic relationship, if you will. Like The Lion and the Mouse.
Senator Williams: Or The Scorpion and the Frog. So you’d want to make Godzilla our pet?
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: No. We would be his.
[the other senators laugh]
Mark Russell: Orca was a grad school science project. It was meant to keep whales away from the shoreline. Not so you could talk to your little creatures out there. Listen to me. They’ll think it’s one of them. You use the wrong frequency on one of them, and you’re going to be responsible for a thousand San Franciscos.
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: Which is why we need to get it back.
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: Emma always said, no one knew the Orca better than you.
Mark Russell: It shouldn’t even exist.
Sam Coleman: That may be, Mark, but it’s fallen into the wrong hands. And right now, the Orca is the only thing keeping Emma and Madison alive.
Dr. Vivienne Graham: Mark, we know you’re hurting. But if we find the Orca, we’ll find your family. I promise.
Mark Russell: Jesus. How many of these things are there?
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: Seventeen, and counting, after Godzilla.
Mark Russell: Seventeen?
Dr. Vivienne Graham: Most of them were discovered in deep hibernation. While others we contained at top secret sites around the globe. Cambodia, Mexico, Skull Island. We even found one in Wyoming. They’re everywhere.
Mark Russell: Why don’t you kill them?
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: The government wants to, but Emma and I believe some are benevolent.
Mark Russell: Don’t kid yourself.
Dr. Vivienne Graham: As you know, at approximately 0700 hours, our containment site in China’s Yunnan Rainforest was raided. A specimen, code named Mothra, escaped. Only to cocoon itself later under a nearby waterfall. Where Dr. Emma Russell and her daughter Madison were taken hostage. This is the man responsible. Alan Jonah. A former British Army colonel turned eco-terrorist, obsessed with restoring the natural order. And to fund his operations, he began trafficking in a new and dangerous market, Titan DNA.
Staff Sergeant Martinez: What the hell is someone going to do with a giant worm?
Dr. Rick Stanton: Are you kidding, Martinez? What can’t you do with it? Pharmaceuticals, bioweapons, food. Hell, there isn’t a country or a company on the planet that doesn’t want to get its hands on one of these suckers.
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: [referring to Godzilla] Hold your fire. We don’t know if he will attack.
Mark Russell: Well, he will if you keep those guns on him. Now, I want him dead more than anybody, but unless this is a fight that you know that you can win, for God’s sake, stand down.
Dr. Ilene Chen: [referring to Godzilla] Listen. His heart rate, it’s slowing.
Mark Russell: Open the shields.
Dr. Rick Stanton: Oh, yeah, sure. Let’s bring him in for a beer. Are you out of your goddamn mind?
Mark Russell: Let him know we’re not a threat. Open the shields.
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: [to Stanton] Do it.
Master Sgt. Hendricks: [referring to Godzilla] Hey, what’s with the light show?
Dr. Vivienne Graham: It’s an intimidation display. Like a gorilla pounding its chest.
Sam Coleman: Consider us very intimidated.
Dr. Vivienne Graham: The specimen at this site has been kept entirely off book. And since it’s a more recent discovery, our data is limited. But it seems to be another apex predator.
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: Emma called it Monster Zero.
Dr. Vivienne Graham: It may have been a rival Alpha to Godzilla, battling for dominance over the other Titans.
Chief Warrant Officer Barnes: [upon seeing Ghidorah] You’ve got to be f***ing kidding me.
Dr. Emma Russell: I’m saving the world.
Mark Russell: By releasing those things? That doesn’t make sense.
Dr. Emma Russell: As impossible as it seems, it does. Hear me out, Mark. After we lost Andrew, I swore his death would not be in vain. That I would find an answer. A solution to why the Titans were rising. But as I dug deeper, I realized that they were here for a reason. And that despite all the years that we spent trying to stop them, we never dared to confront the truth.
Mark Russell: Which truth?
Dr. Emma Russell: Humans have been the dominant species for thousands of years, and look what’s happened. Overpopulation. Pollution. War. The mass extinction we feared has already begun. And we are the cause. We are the infection. But like all living organisms, the Earth unleashed a fever to fight this infection. Its original and rightful rulers. The Titans. They are part of the Earth’s natural defense system. A way to protect the planet, to maintain its balance. But if governments are allowed to contain them, destroy them, or use them for war, the human infection will only continue to spread. And within our lifetime, our planet will perish, and so will we. Unless we restore balance.
Dr. Emma Russell: They are the only thing that can reverse the destruction that we started. They are the only guarantee that life will carry on. But for that to happen, we must set them free.
Dr. Ilene Chen: You are murdering the world.
Dr. Emma Russell: No. Because as difficult as this will be, I promise, humanity will not go extinct. Using the Orca, we will return to a natural order. A forgotten order where we coexisted in balance with the Titans. The first gods.
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: This is a dangerous path. You are meddling with forces beyond our comprehension. Gambling with the lives of billions!
Dr. Emma Russell: And what are you gambling with, Serizawa? Monarch is broken. It’s on the verge of being shut down by a government whose only objective is to eradicate the creatures. And if that happens, what will our chances be?
Mark Russell: You are out of your goddamn mind! First, you put our daughter’s life in danger, and now you get to decide the fate of the world. That’s rich, Emma.
Dr. Emma Russell: I couldn’t be more sane, and Madison couldn’t be stronger. After we lost Andrew, I trained her to survive. And at least now, she will have a fighting chance.
Mark Russell: A fighting chance. Why don’t you listen to yourself? It’s not all math, Emma. Some things you can’t control.
Dr. Emma Russell: And there are some things that you can’t run from!
Mark Russell: This won’t bring him back to us.
Dr. Emma Russell: I can only urge you all to take refuge. Over the last sixty years, Monarch has prepared bunkers around the world to save and restart civilization. I suggest you find them.
[Emma signs off]
Dr. Ilene Chen: That b**ch.
Dr. Emma Russell: Madison, we talked about this.
Madison Russell: No, you said you were going to help people, that you would let them…
Alan Jonah: We don’t have time for this! Did you really think this was going to be easy, painless? Is that what you told her?
Dr. Emma Russell: Leave her out of this.
Alan Jonah: Why? You’re the one who pulled her into it. Madison, tell me, what exactly did mommy sell you on? Some grand utopia? Man and monster living together in blissful harmony?
Alan Jonah: [referring to Godzilla] Long live the king.
Madison Russell: [to Emma] You’re a monster.
Admiral William Stenz: Now, as before, we have been trying to lure the creatures with nuclear materials, but they are not taking the bait this time. Their behavior has become random, erratic. And with our forces spread desperately thin, and these things roaming the globe unimpeded, we are running out of options and time.
Admiral William Stenz: [sees Chen talking to Mark] Excuse me, do you have something to add?
Dr. Ilene Chen: Yeah. You’re wrong. Their behavior is not random or erratic.
Mark Russell: If I may, sir? As amazing as this sounds, they’re moving like a pack. They’re hunting. All packs, from wolves to killer whales, they all respond directly to an alpha. And this Ghidorah is the new alpha, and all the other creatures are just doing his bidding. They’re an extension of him. We stop him, we stop them all.
Colonel Diane Foster: Is there another creature that might stand a chance against him?
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: No. Ghidorah and Godzilla’s rivalry was ancient and unique.
Staff Sergeant Martinez: Right, so we killed our best shot at beating this thing?
Dr. Emma Russell: With Godzilla gone, Monster Zero isn’t using the Titans to restore the planet. He is using them to destroy it. This isn’t coexistence. This is extinction.
Alan Jonah: Listen, while you were sitting comfortably in some laboratory, we’ve been fighting for decades in one dirty war after another. I’ve seen human nature firsthand, and I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t get any better. It just gets worse. So I’m sorry that Monster Zero isn’t exactly what we were expecting. But we opened Pandora’s Box, and there’s no closing it now.
Dr. Ilene Chen: Mothra. Queen of the Monsters.
Mark Russell: Are you recording this, Stanton?
Dr. Rick Stanton: I record everything, man. Everything.
Dr. Ilene Chen: It’s like a song.
Mark Russell: I bet there’s only one thing that can understand this.
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: Godzilla.
Dr. Rick Stanton: Yeah, I got it. Picking up the reply. Bringing it up.
Dr. Ilene Chen: [they hear Godzilla] He’s still alive.
Chief Warrant Officer Barnes: So, her and Godzilla, they like, they got a thing going on? That’s kind of messed up, right?
Sam Coleman: Symbiotic relationships between two different species aren’t all that uncommon.
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: Sometimes, the only way to heal our wounds is to make peace with the demons who created them.
Mark Russell: You really believe that?
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: Don’t you? Isn’t that why you are here?
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: There are some things beyond our understanding, Mark. We must accept them and learn from them. Because these moments of crisis are also potential moments of faith. A time, when we either come together or fall apart. Nature always has a way of balancing itself. The only question is, what part will we play?
Mark Russell: Did you just make that up?
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: No. I read it in a fortune cookie once. A really long fortune cookie.
Mark Russell: [as they watch Godzilla rise] My God…
Dr. Stanton: …zilla.
Dr. Ishiro Serizawa: [to Godzilla, subtitled] Goodbye, old friend.
Mark Russell: Emma combined the bioacoustics of Godzilla with a human. That’s how she made the signal for the Orca. The creatures just think it’s another apex predator.
Dr. Rick Stanton: Well, that makes sense. I mean, we are a bunch of horny, murderous carnivores.
Colonel Diane Foster: Yeah, that’s real poetic. Now, what?
Mark Russell: We track it, we find it, we get my daughter back.
Dr. Rick Stanton: [referring to Ghidorah] What about Moe, Larry, and Curly over here?
Dr. Ilene Chen: Godzilla will bring balance.
Dr. Rick Stanton: Oh, I get it. A little Serizawa “let them fight” action. I used to love it when he said that.
Mark Russell: No, this time we join the fight.
Sam Coleman: Is it just me, or has he been working out?
Dr. Rick Stanton: You kidding me? Serizawa’s got that lizard juiced.
Colonel Diane Foster: Damn right.
Dr. Emma Russell: Long live the king.
[Godzilla shows up in his newly-empowered state]
Dr. Rick Stanton: [after Godzilla kills Ghidorah] Jesus. Good thing he’s on our side.
Dr. Ilene Chen: For now.
Madison Russell: Look.
[Rodan and the other Titans bow to Godzilla]
Alan Jonah: [post-credit lines, purchasing Ghidorah’s severed head] We’ll take it.