Monarch: Legacy of Monsters
In the aftermath of the revelation that giant Kaiju actually exist, two estranged siblings search for their missing father, unraveling a mystery involving the Monarch organization.
Spoiler Level: Mild
In 2015, Cate Randa (Anna Sawai) travels to Japan in search for her missing father only to find that he led a secret lift with a whole other family and discovers she has a half-brother, Kentaro (Ren Watabe) she didn’t even know about. The world has changed since the discovery that giant monsters exist and Godzilla fought the MUTOs in San Francisco. Cate was there during the attack and suffers from PTSD from living through the ordeal. At first, the siblings are at odds, but as they discover more about their father’s ever deepening mysterious past, they realize they must work together to figure out what happened to their father. Helping them out is tech expert, May (Kiersey Clemons), who is also Kentaro’s ex-girlfriend adding a bit of spice and a retired army officer with a relationship to their family, Lee Shaw (Kurt Russell). Mixed in with the 2015 timeline, the show flashbacks to the 1950s, showing how Cate’s and Kentaro’s grandparents Keiko (Mari Yamamoto) and Bill Randa (Anders Holm) met and discovered their first MUTO and founded or became a part of the Monarch organization along with a young Lee Shaw (Wyatt Russell) who is supposed to be protecting the pair.
I am and have been a huge Godzilla fan, and so this series does pique my interest, but it really isn’t about Godzilla or the MUTOs, it is more about life after Godzilla and the ramifications of living on a planet with giant creatures and how that shapes and affects us emotionally. The story is also a mystery at its heart with conflicted siblings trying to discover what happened to their father who reportedly died in a plane crash. The group is also being chased by Monarch as they have some files of information that the mysterious organization desperately wants. The characters are well cast with some great performances. It is also fun and interesting that Kurt and Wyatt Russell, real life father and son, are playing the younger and older versions of the same character. The script is well written, and the dialogue feels natural. Expositional information is well delivered, giving the audience enough information to follow the immediate storylines, and breadcrumb clues on what the mystery may reveal in future episodes. The one negative of the series I would mention is that you really need to pay attention, the show jumps between several different time periods, starting in the 1970s, then 2014, then 2015, then 1959, then back to 2015, back to 1952 and so on. Where it isn’t extremely difficult to tell what period they are in, and after the first initial jumps, there is no transition or indication of which period you are in. You should also note, that at least the first two episodes do not go past 2015, meaning that the series takes place in a time before Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong.
The first two episodes of the series premiered on Apple TV+ on November 17th, 2023, with subsequent 8 episodes being released weekly on Fridays giving the first season a total of 10 episodes. The production value on the show is very high, and although we don’t a lot of screentime with the monsters, the special effects and creature images are very realistic. The music by Leopold Ross is wonderful and reminiscent of the original Godzilla: King of the Monsters score by Bear McCreary. I enjoyed the first two episodes and even with the confusing time jumps, I liked that we get two different storylines that will eventually intertwine.
I found the show fun and interesting with a good mystery and quite a bit of action.
Now showing only on AppleTv+
Monarch Legacy of Monsters: May Godzilla Bless You
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Acting - 9/109/10
- Music - 10/1010/10
- Production - 10/1010/10
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