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Thu, Nov. 21

Godzilla proves he’s still ‘King of the Monsters’

The mighty Godzilla collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. (Warner Bros. Pictures)

The mighty Godzilla collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. (Warner Bros. Pictures)

If you're like me, you'll remember watching the black and white Godzilla movies on lazy Saturday afternoons or even late at night. Using miniature models of cities, it was still intriguing to watch it all destroyed as some guy in a Godzilla costume slowly walked through overbuilt cities crushing cars and destroying buildings. Some of the first Godzilla movies' voice tracks were even out of sync with the characters' mouth movements.

The 2019 version of Godzilla has no such flaws. The theme remains the same: Large monsters awake and wreak havoc on humanity and a lone hero, Godzilla, comes to humanity's rescue. Using modern computer-generated graphics makes it all the more real. Modern aircraft and weaponry were present. The only thing missing were Army tanks (a staple of earlier versions).

Besides Godzilla, considerable detail was given to Mothra's development and eventual blossoming with beautifully designed wings and slow, angelic movements. Ghidorah is the huge three-headed winged dragon menace. Ghidorah's heads spit a fire-like electrical weapon that destroys all that it hits.

There is, of course, a human cast that, once you can get through the preachy lectures of human-caused ecological destruction, adds pretty much nothing to the movie. Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) carries a grudge against the monsters because they killed his son in a previous version. Emma (Vera Farmiga) is Mark's wife and has created a device that kind of controls the monsters and, in her own way, is an ecological warrior denouncing humanity's treatment of the earth. Madison (Millie Bobby Brown – you'll recognize her from Stranger Things) is their daughter and for the life of me I can't figure out her value to the movie. None of their performances were remarkable. The sleeper character was Aisha Hinds, who plays a military grunt with small parts throughout the film. She carried a lot of the emotion I'm sure the producers wanted the audience to have. And she did it well.

There is a lot of action interrupted by human interaction that had the effect of slowing the movie down. Just as the action was gearing up, it would stop with some silly scene with Emma or Madison. And it made the movie seem a lot longer than it needed to be.

Great graphics interspersed with an unneeded human storyline and long enough to get a refill of that big bucket of popcorn. Plus, the voices and mouths are in sync.

It is rated PG-13 and runs a long 132 minutes. I'll give Godzilla: King of the Monsters three out of five Miners.

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