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Monarch Legacy of Monsters episodes 1-2 first impression: Decent start with lots of human drama and some monsters too

There's not much monster action yet, but Monarch: Legacy of Monsters promises more

Monarch Legacy of Monsters episodes 1-2 first impression: Decent start with lots of human drama and some monsters too
The King of Monsters in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

Last Updated: 05.17 PM, Nov 17, 2023

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Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, the new MonsterVerse live action show on AppleTV+ kicked off today with a two episode drop. And much to the delight of monster movie fans, the show has gotten off to a good start, with its non-linear narrative spanning several generations and impressive visual effects of the monsters. Those who have been following the MonsterVerse movies since 2014’s Godzilla will be aware of the Titans and the organization that’s been not-so-secretly studying them – Monarch. The show takes viewers through a timeline starting in the late 1950s, to Godzilla’s fight with other MUTO (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms) in 2014, dubbed G-Day, and immediately after.

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At the heart of the story is the Randa family, beginning with Bill Randa and Keiko, and their son Hiroshi, all of who had ties to Monarch. The family secret, though, comes to light only after Hiroshi goes missing and is presumed dead and his daughter Cate stumbles upon an apartment lease in Tokyo and set of keys that she decides to check out. Turns out, Hiroshi had another family in Japan, and a son – Kentaro. But before Cate and Kentaro can figure out their shared family drama, they are drawn into a bigger mystery while sifting through their father’s ‘Monarch’ files.

A still from Monarch: Legacy of Monsters
A still from Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters episodes have a run-time a tad under 50 minutes each and cram a lot of multi-generational narrative into it, giving viewers a basic idea of what the tone and direction of the show is going to be – the origins of Monarch and, of course, the Titans they study. And while the humans took centre stage in the first two episodes, the showrunners are aware that most of their target audience tunes in to see the monsters. Godzilla and G-Day, are at the centre of the tale, but the team ensures that the glimpses of the King of Monsters are fleeting, leaving audiences wanting for more. There’s brief action between a giant arachnid (spider) and crustacean (Crab), and a more definitive look at massive bat-like creature (Camazotz?) that’s become the subject of dragon folklore in the Philippines. By the looks of it, as and when the action picks up pace, Godzilla will have more than a handful of MUTOs to contend with.

Kurt Russel in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters
Kurt Russel in Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

The show’s cast includes Kurt Russel and his son Wyatt, both of who play the same character across different timelines, John Goodman as the older Bill Randa, as well Anders Holm, Mari Yamamoto, Anna Sawai, Ren Watabe, Joe Tippett, Takehiro Hira, Elisa Lasowski and Kiersey Clemons, among others. AppleTV+ will have weekly episode drops every Friday, with the season ending in January 2024, ahead of the next MonsterVerse movie, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.

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