starring Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ziyi Zhang
screenplay by Michael Dougherty & Zach Shields
directed by Michael Dougherty
by Walter Chaw Everyone is really stressed out in Michael Dougherty's dreadful Godzilla: King of the Monsters (hereafter Godzilla 2), the crass follow-up to 2014's Godzilla, Gareth Edwards's lovely, Spielbergian reboot of the storied Toho franchise for the American market. Everyone here starts at about a 9, temple-veins popping and spittle flying--the undercard attraction to the titanic title bouts between immense CG phantoms. For his part, everyman wolf biologist Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) starts at "Nicholson in The Shining" and ramps up to "Pacino in Heat" before settling down somewhere near status quo William Petersen for the remainder. That little muscle in Chandler's jaw gets a good, clenched workout. Mark is called onto the scene because his ex, batshit Dr. Emma (Vera Farmiga), has spirited away their high-strung daughter, Madison (Millie Bobby Brown), who's designed an electronic doohickey called "Orca," the better to talk to all the giant monsters people have discovered across the globe. Operation of said doohickey appears to involve standard smartphone skills, so the necessity of pulling Mark out of the wilderness to help track down Emma is suspect. He's certainly scream-y and agitated about the whole thing.