Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Let’s put the bottom line at the top. If you go to movies to watch skyscraper-sized (albeit faithfully redesigned) Toho classic creatures (including Mothra, Rodan and the three-headed King Ghidorah) slug it out while wreaking infrastructure mayhem and killing millions of people, this delivers what’s required. If on the other hand, you prefer in your popcorn movies some sort of narrative cohesion, a modicum of suspense, or a reason care about any of it, perhaps you should give it a pass. Okay, kaiju was never intended to be fine cinema. But this pummeling, overstuffed, and very loud battling-beastie smackdown seems closer to Transformers than any traditional Tokyo-crushing monster mash. It does get points, though, for its spectacularly overqualified cast, which includes Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Ken Watanabe, Ziyi Zhang, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins and Charles Dance. But there’s little these mere humans can do when faced with a pointlessly convoluted afterthought of a plot, a thunderingly tedious score, editing that looks like it was done with a flame-thrower, and a near-total lack of excitement. I got bored. (131 min)