Warning: SPOILERS for Godzilla: King of the Monsters are in play. If you haven’t seen the film yet, bookmark this page until you’re caught up.
There were quite a few new Titans introduced to audiences in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. But in addition to those monsters, a lot of new human friends were introduced to us along the way through the film’s focus on Monarch and its organizational chaos.
Out of all of the folks making their MonsterVerse debut in director Michael Dougherty’s addition to the Godzilla canon, there’s one that I think is the MVP of the film, without question. After seeing the film twice, I cannot recommend more enthusiastically that Bradley Whitford’s Dr. Rick Stanton be named the official champion of the already impressive supporting cast of human characters.
Now this isn’t putting down any of the work done by any of the other fine actors, returning or debuting, in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, as there’s one hell of a character roster with an equally impressive cast to back it up. But if we’re going for someone who both made a huge impression, as well as helped draw the mythos of the MonsterVerse in greater detail, Bradley Whitford’s Dr. Stanton is the guy who comes through like a hero. Here are some big reasons why:
Rick Is The Perfect Surrogate For The Audience
Wading through a world of Titans and men isn’t easy, especially if you’re a human in such a world. Even if you’re an experienced viewer in the Godzilla universe, there’s quite a bit to take in with this brand new interpretation of the mythos.
As Dr. Rick Stanton is positioned as both a scientific expert and a grade-A smart-ass, he’s in the perfect place to appeal to both newbie and expert who sit down to see Godzilla: King of the Monsters. One moment, he’s reacting a serious crisis with readings and vital information, and the next he’s cracking jokes about having Godzilla in for beers or how he’d rather avoid radioactive materials in the name of preserving any future offspring.
Many of the other characters in the film, such as Kyle Chandler’s Mark Russell or even Charles Dance’s villainous Colonel Alan Jonah, are stoic figures that push the events that need to happen in Godzilla: King of the Monsters so that Godzilla vs. Kong and the rest of the MonsterVerse goes off without a hitch. But with Dr. Stanton firmly in place between those temperaments, its easy to keep the audience invested with someone asking the same sorts of questions they’d be thinking up in their seats.
Dr. Stanton’s Sense Of Humor Helps Move The Film Along
Circling back to Rick’s sense of humor, it’s also extremely helpful to have someone who isn’t afraid to help move the story along with some quick wit. And as Bradley Whitford is given a lot of opportunities as Dr. Stanton to lighten the mood, it assists in not only moving along the heavier moments, but also the entirety of Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
Think of the movie as a plate of food, with the Titan action as the meat and the human story as the potatoes that compliment said meat. There obviously needs to be seasoning in order to help everything mesh together, and that ingredient comes from the personalities of characters like Dr. Rick Stanton. With Rick dropping quips in-between moments of legitimate backstory and exposition, it just makes everything move easier in a film that already has a pretty well paced clip.
It also helps that Bradley Whitford happens to get some of the most sarcastic roles in Hollywood to begin with, be it in heroic and kinder parts like Josh Lyman on The West Wing or in his various villainous turns in films like Get Out and Billy Madison. So not only are you given a good dose of humor to help keep the Titan-ic story of Godzilla: King of the Monsters fresh as ever, you have a comedic assassin delivering lines that kill from the trailer to the final cut.
His Backstory Helps Tie Kong: Skull Island Into The Universe
While it’s merely hinted at in the film, Dr. Rick Stanton has a huge connection to the events of Kong: Skull Island. The connection mentioned during Godzilla: King of the Monsters is the fact that Rick is a fan of the “Dr. Brooks’ Hollow Earth Theory,” which alludes to his knowledge of Dr. Houston Brooks’ work.
Houston shows up not only in Kong: Skull Island, played by Corey Hawkins, but he also appears in this film in the Mothra cocoon scene, as portrayed by Joe Morton. But as noted in his official Monarch biography, Dr. Stanton is actually a colleague of Dr. Brooks, as they both worked for LandSat, the company that was present for the secret mapping mission in Kong: Skull Island.
Said mission intrigued Rick earlier in his career, and as he got more familiar with Houston’s role in the venture. This in turn lead to an introduction to Dr. Serizawa, and then his work as Monarch’s big time Crypto-Sonographer.
He Could Also Be The Best Link To The Future Of The Franchise
At the end of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, we’re told about expeditions that Monarch is carrying out as part of researching “The Hollow Earth.” Now you have to know that whether it’s spelt out or not, Dr. Rick Stanton would sign up for those missions in a heartbeat, leaving him to be a potentially strong link into the events of Godzilla vs. Kong.
On top of that, if Dr. Stanton volunteers to go on one of these missions, his good friend Dr. Houston Brooks would undoubtedly be joining those expeditions as well, as his work is crucial to the Hollow Earth Theory. Which means that the friendship between these characters could see Bradley Whitford and Joe Morton’s characters stealing the screen together in Godzilla vs. Kong, or any other project their storyline would be present for.
Should this come to pass, and frankly there’s no reason it shouldn’t, having Bradley Whitford and Joe Morton playing off of each other would be a hell of an exciting prospect. Not to mention, if this isn’t something Godzilla vs. Kong explores, then you have a compelling side-story/short film that could be used to help flesh out the further MonsterVerse. And you know Dr. Stanton would have a hell of a riff on the debate to whether Godzilla is a male or female Titan.
If you haven’t given Godzilla: King of the Monsters a shot, we hope we haven’t spoiled too much of the film for you. But it has to be said that with his comedic timing and his ability to deliver gags, as well as pseudo-scientific information and readings, Bradley Whitford really is the MVP of the MonsterVerse’s latest chapter. He is a valuable asset in a cast full of heavy hitters, and no matter where this film franchise goes next, Dr. Rick Stanton should be along for the ride.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is in theaters now, with Godzilla vs. Kong set to make its debut on March 13, 2020. If you’ve looking for excitement in-between those two dates, let our 2019 release schedule be your guide to adventure and merriment.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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