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GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS

What to know: Excellent cinematography and special effects.
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
Recommended age 12-18
133 minutes
FeatureFilm
WARNER BROS. PICTURES
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Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a one of kind slamfest, despite some bland plot points and characters. The excellent cinematography and special effects really immerse the audience into the ring. All fans of summer monster movies or just summer blockbusters, in general, must check this out in the biggest screen possible.

The film follows secret agency Monarch as its members face off against a battalion of god-sized monsters, or kaiju, including Mothra, Rodan and the ultimate mastermind - the three-headed Ghidorah. These threats leave humanity's very existence teetering towards impending apocalypse. But sometimes, one must fight fire with fire. Their only hope relies in the mighty kaiju Godzilla, who intends to kill these monsters for dominance.

The ensemble cast of Monarch includes many A-list actors from Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe, Ziyi Zhang, Bradley Whitford and Sally Hawkins. All of them give their best, but the mediocre screenplay really gives the human scenes a much more lethargic feel. The family drama between Kyle Chandler's Mark Russell and Vera Farmiga's Emma Russell feel out of place, and it really just adds nothing to the overall plot. Thankfully, Milly Bobby Brown adds a complex perspective with expressive acting and a signature defiant attitude. Bradley Whitford is the most memorable character here, with his wit and well-timed comic relief. Charles Dance, as Jonah Alan, is a great addition as the veteran actor gives his all in this menacing new threat. It's really all in the kaiju here, with their unique designs and characteristics. I quite enjoyed Ghidorah's banter between each of his three heads.

Michael Dougherty spectacularly directs with each roaring fight and exploration of lore. He pays homage to the best of the old Gojira movies. However, I do miss the more small-scale feel that Godzilla (2014) had. Gareth Evans really added something new to the monster movie genre with that. But, there are tons more fights here, which should alleviate fans' complaints about the lack of fights and monster screen-time in the previous movie. The soundtrack helmed by Bear McCreary roars, paying much respect to the original themes that started it all. My favorite scene is a climatic moment, but I can't spoil. It explains most of the surrounding lore and contains one truly chilling scene with Ken Watanabe's excellent acting. McCreary's track elevates this to one of the best scenes this year overall.

The message of this film about the commitment to family, whether from the Russells or between fellow Monarch crewmates. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, due to intense monster fights and language. The movie releases in theaters on May 31, 2019, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

Although I wasn't really exited about this film, I have to admit that I like it! Godzilla: King of the Monsters is pure Kaiju extravaganza. This movie is entertaining and made for the big screen and for fans of the beast.

Kaiju is a Japanese film genre with humongous monsters, usually battling with other monsters or military forces and it is beloved in Japanese culture. The third cinematic installment of Godzilla produced by a Hollywood studio is the sequel to the 2014 film Godzilla.

The film follows the heroic efforts of crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face a battle of gigantic monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, which collides with Mothra, Rodan and their final enemy, the King of Three Heads - Ghidorah. When these ancient super species, thought of as myths, rise again, they all compete for supremacy. The balance of the very existence of humanity is shaking. We also see humans fighting for power and, according to Dr. Emma Russel (Vera Farmiga), humans are the infection. Millie Bobby Brown plays Madison, Dr. Russell's daughter and her character makes very brave decisions. I liked seeing the mother-daughter relationship and how their connection impacts the world. Sally Hawkins and Ken Watanabe reprise their roles as Dr. Graham and Dr. Serizawa.

Godzilla is a metaphor for ecological disasters and we see how humans try to interpret, control, manipulate and even take advantage. The acting is good, but this is a movie more about the creatures and special effects than the actors. There are too many confrontations between the monsters and that, in my opinion, causes the impact of seeing the creatures appear on the screen to be lost, as well as the interest in the story. Godzilla King of the Monsters relies on the strength and power of Kaijus, while humans basically support the scenes.

The special visual and sound effects are very good. The locations and set designs are perfect for the story. My favorite scenes are when Dr. Emma Russell and her daughter Madison witness the birth of Mothra and when she turns into a butterfly.

The message of the film is that we should understand and respect nature and humans should work together to resolve environmental issues. I recommend Godzilla King of the Monsters for ages 12 to 18 and I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars. It is playing in theaters now, so look for it.

Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is over two hours of nonstop monster action! I loved watching the extraordinary action scenes with giant monsters battling each other. The best part of this movie is definitely the special effects, which are amazing!

The action starts with a flashback to the previous Godzilla movie from 2014, but you don't need to have seen that film to enjoy this one. The plot revolves around a new communication technology that allows scientists to control ancient monsters like Mothra, Rodan and of course, Godzilla. Unfortunately, some bad guys steal the technology and try to release the monsters from captivity to destroy the planet, including the terrifying Monster Zero. The good guys have to decide if they want to take the risk of helping Godzilla defeat Monster Zero, potentially making him stronger than ever before.

My favorite part of this movie is a hilarious joke about a fortune cookie, delivered by my favorite character, Dr. Ishiro Serizawa. He's played by Ken Watanabe, who continues his role from the previous movie. Millie Bobby Brown, who you may recognize from Stranger Things, gives an excellent performance as the daughter of two of the scientists who built the technology that communicates with the monsters. There are lots of exotic locations, including Antarctica and overall the special effects are the most important part of this movie, particularly the monsters and especially Godzilla, who frequently shoots something like a giant blue laser beam from his mouth.

Parents should know that there's a lot of bad language and lots of people are killed in various battles, so younger kids are advised to stay away. Also, be warned that there's a very scary preview for the movie IT Chapter Two that plays before the film! So if you don't want your kids to see Pennywise The Evil Clown, make sure to come just as the movie is starting. Godzilla: King of the Monsters doesn't really have a strong message, it's mainly just action, action, action! Don't forget to stick around for the post-credits scene that sets things up for the next film in the franchise: Godzilla vs. Kong.

I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18. Some adults will like it too, although my dad didn't think it was very good. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is in theaters everywhere Friday May 31, 2019.

Reviewed by Will C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 9

I love this movie so much because of the cool creatures that lurk in the world. This is one of the best movies I have ever seen.

This awesome movie is about a family that is trying to save the world from creatures called The Titans. Godzilla is the main titan in this movie. The movie focuses on the wife, Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) and her ex-husband Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler). Both of them are trying to save the world, but this villain veteran (Charles Dance) tricks Dr. Russell to unleash all of the Titans. She unleashes one of the oldest and strongest, three-headed monster named "King Ghidorah." King Ghidorah and the rest of the Titans that are awaken destroy numerous countries and it is Gozilla's duty to stop them.

Something cool is that famous actress, Millie Bobby Brown, from Stranger Things, plays Madison Russell, Emma's and Mark's daughter. She has a very important role and tries to fix what her mom did wrong. The special effects and sound effects are so good that it feels like you are actually there, live! And you can see everything. Seeing Godzilla fighting with King Ghidorah kept everyone in the movie theater on the edge of their seat. At the end of the fight, one of the Titans has a special connection with Godzilla and something very interesting happen.

The moral of this movie is that Godzilla is the one and only Boss. In this movie we learn that family comes first and the monsters second when seeing how Dr. Russell does not pay attention to Madison, because she was so fascinated with the Titans.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it for ages 10 to 18, because there are some curse words and some scenes with strong content ,not suitable for little children. You can see this in theaters on May 31, 2019.

Reviewed by Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 10

see youth comments
The new story follows 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. 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.
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