Godzilla vs. Kong It’s finally hit theaters and at HBO Max, and the initial reaction is pretty much the same as ever with these movies: “Giant monsters are good. Bad little humans. ”

While Warner Bros. MonsterVerse has racked up huge profits by pitting a host of famous cinematic creatures in chilling battles across a four-film series, its human characters have repeatedly been the subject of ridicule and scorn by critics and the Tanto. audiences and filmmakers have struggled to tell human stories around all the chaos.

These complaints aren’t exactly wrong, don’t even get me started on whatever Millie Bobby Brown and Brian Tyree Henry they are running in Godzilla vs. Kong – but I would propose that the human situation in MonsterVerse is not as dire as it seems. Most of the meaty little characters have been, shall we say, less than fascinating. However, there are some hidden exceptions amid the chaotic monster madness. And so, counting from five to one, I present to you the five least horrible (and therefore most tolerable) human characters in MonsterVerse.

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5. Bryan Cranston as Joe Brody in Godzilla

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Godzilla

Image via Warner Bros.

It’s a pretty tired complaint by now: the lead in the first MonsterVerse movie shouldn’t have been Aaron Taylor-Johnsonboring naval officer, but rather his father, the exhausted widower played by Bryan cranston. At the beginning of that movie, Cranston appears to be the center of attention, as his character attempts to solve a puzzle involving a nuclear collapse that resulted in the death of his wife. It’s an interesting and shocking thing that is immediately denied when Cranston dies and the human side of the film turns into boring soldiers doing boring things in the dark. It’s a huge missed opportunity, but Cranston still makes the most of the screen time he’s given him.

4. Kaylee Hottle as Jia in Godzilla vs. Kong

Kaylee Hottle in Godzilla vs.  Kong

Image via Warner Bros.

Also known as the only worthwhile human character in the latest MonsterVerse installment, Jia is a deaf young man from Skull Island who learns to communicate with Kong using sign language. She has several tender moments with the great ape, forming a connection with the beast that shows that he is indeed a great soft-hearted. Even better is the actress Kaylee hottleThe inspiring personal story: The young actress is also deaf in real life, and this is her first role in a movie. She absolutely crushes him.

3. Samuel L. Jackson as Preston Packard in Kong: Skull Island


Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

Samuel L. Jackson, perhaps more than anyone else who has acted in these movies, had the right idea. If you’re going to turn heads amongst all the monster chaos, you better go big. And that’s what Jackson does in Skull island – raising his voice, jumping his eyes and basically turning up the volume of his performance to 11. Jackson’s character, Packard, a simple variation of Moby DickAhab, he doesn’t feel alive unless he’s waging some kind of war, and he makes killing Kong his own personal mission of revenge. I’m not sure if it’s a good performance, but it’s certainly fun. When it comes to this series, we will embrace it.

RELATED: How ‘Godzilla vs. Kong ‘changed my mind on which monster is better (and why the fight was unfair)

2. Ken Watanabe as Dr. Ishirō Serizawa in Godzilla and Godzilla: King of the Monsters


Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

Considering Godzilla’s Japanese origins, it makes sense for Warner Bros. to fill at least some of the human roles with Asian actors, with the most notable thus far being Ken watanabeSerizawa, open-minded scientist and monster researcher (named for a character from the original 1954 Godzilla). Watanabe brings dignity and intelligence to the role, as Serizawa is quick to sympathize with the giant lizard that many others fear. Honestly, it’s a bit under-utilized in 2014. Godzilla, but their role takes on additional depth in King of monsters, where he has a heartwarming personal moment with Godzilla before sacrificing himself for the greater good.

1. John C. Reilly as Hank Marlow in Kong: Skull Island


Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

Hands down, the best character to appear in all four MonsterVerse movies is John C. ReillyHank Marlow, United States Army pilot stranded and a little insane. For starters, Marlow is one of the few characters in the series who gets what feels like a full and complete arc. The poor guy is stuck Skull island for more than two decades and he just wants to go home and be reunited with his family. When he finally does, in a scene set alongside Skull islandIn the end credits, it’s the only major human-based emotional moment in the series that completely lands. And unsurprisingly, Reilly just crushes the role, marrying the inherent humor of a man trapped out of time on an island ruled by a giant ape with a deeper yearning that convinces audiences to support him. Yes, Kong is the king. But when it comes to MonsterVerse’s human characters, Hank Marlow reigns supreme.

KEEP READING: Let’s Talk About ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’s Big Spoiler Character

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