In Godzilla vs Kong, we see the return of the two main characters from Godzilla: King of the Monsters: Mark (Kyle Chandler) and Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown). While Godzilla vs Kong followed Madison's story for Team Godzilla, it did not give us much detail about Mark and his struggles of being a single parent nor did it give any detail as to how much the events in King of the Monsters affected them personally. Luckily for us, the novelization of the movie goes into much more detail with Mark's story.
To recap from what we learned in King of the Monsters, Mark was dealing with a drinking problem he developed after the loss of his son, Andrew. While Madison and Emma were coping with Andrew's death in their own way, Mark's drinking and constant fighting with his wife lead to a divorce. Mark left Monarch afterwards and decided to seclude himself in the wilderness to concentrate on studying animal behavior and taking photos of wild life such as wolves. However, he receives a visit from Dr. Ishiro Serizawa and Dr. Lindsey Graham to persuade him to come back to Monarch to save his wife and daughter from eco-terrorists. On this journey to save his family, Mark also takes a journey from hating Godzilla for taking his son to forgiving Godzilla by the end of it all.
Three years after the battle in Boston, Mark has been searching to find ways to give Madison a regular life after everything she has been exposed to. She deserves to live the rest of her teenage years as a teenager. Go to a regular school, live in a normal house, and having friends her own age. When Mark heard there was an office position open at the Pensacola branch, he asked for a transfer immediately. He thought his dream of giving Madison a regular life was about to come true.
The problem is that she never learned how to interact with peers of her own age. The social order at school is more primal. If you have a single ounce of any weirdness then you are a target for scrutiny. With Emma's reputation of turning coat from a researcher at Monarch to an eco-terrorist hanging over Madison, she was a prime target. The only friend she ever made that was her own age was Josh. Also, thanks to being homeschooled by Emma and being surrounded by Monarch scientists, she feels bored in her classes. Not feeling like she is learning anything new. To add to her stress pile, Madison has developed PTSD ever since Boston. She constantly has nightmares of Ghidorah looming over her and watching her mother get eaten in front of her.
Despite his efforts, Mark could never get Madison to move on from Monarch, Godzilla, and Boston. He is especially irked when he learns that Madison has been listening to a conspiracy podcast called Mad Truth since they keep filling her head with conspiracies on Godzilla and Apex.
While at work, Mark notices on the map that Godzilla's routine check up patterns have been off lately. He could not make out what Godzilla is thinking based on his recent travels. Usually, Godzilla being awake is taken as a sign that another Titan is on the move either disobeying Godzilla's orders or because the Titan has been captured and is calling for his help. This time, however, none of the monsters are awake. They're all quiet. Mark even finds Godzilla's check up at the mouth of the Amazon Basin unusual since Behemoth is nowhere near that location and Rodan does not inhabit Isla De Mara anymore.
After some time, Mark was beginning to believe that perhaps Godzilla was just stretching his legs until a new image of Godzilla has been reported. The photo was taken by a witness on a yacht that was en route from Galveston to Veracruz and reported that he spotted Godzilla heading northeast from the witness's position. Mark triangulates Godzilla heading for Pensacola. He hoped Godzilla would turn back around away from shore as Godzilla has done in the past three years, but his gut was telling him that something changed this time. When Godzilla was twenty miles off shore, Mark contacts command and control and orders for an evacuation.
After Godzilla's attack on the Apex facility in Pensacola, Mark is overwhelmed by news reporters asking questions about the possibility of eco-terrorists controlling Godzilla with another ORCA device and if rumors of Ghidorah still being alive at the North Pole is true. Questions that Mark could not answer. Once he arrived at the relief camp, Mark makes a phone call that he missed expecting to be someone else. However, the call he missed was from the new director of Monarch, Director Guillerman (Lance Reddick). Guillerman filled the role as director after Dr. Serizawa sacrificed his life to save Godzilla. Now, Godzilla has turned from humanity's ally to humanity's enemy. Guillerman noticed Mark predicted Godzilla was going to attack and needed him at Castle Bravo ASAP.
After talking with Director Guillerman, he notices another missed call from Madison's school with a message saying Madison was absent. Mark was able to Madison easily since she had just arrived at the relief camp. Madison tries to reason with her father that Godzilla had to be provoked some how, but Mark didn't want to listen. He did not want her involved and the stress of the media turning Godzilla from ally to enemy is weighing him down. They get into an argument with Mark shutting down Madison's arguments for Godzilla to lash out the way he did. Angry with her father for not trusting her judgement, she decides to return home.
Feeling guilty, Mark returns home with a pizza as a way to make amends. Mark tries to apologize for his behavior earlier due to the stress at the relief camp and wishes for her to not get involved this time, especially after how everything happened. He could not bear to face losing another child if Madison got involved again. On top of that, Mark tells Madison that he has to visit Castle Bravo for a while and this angers her even more. She realized that her father tried to "blackmail" her with his fear and it's not fair to her that she does not get to go. After their bickering, they call a truce.
Mark arrives at Castle Bravo and goes to meet Director Guillerman where he learns about the plan to move Kong to Antarctica for the Hollow Earth mission and Apex's search for a power source that can defeat Godzilla. Mark even knows Dr. Nathan Lind and was shocked that he was even leading the mission despite his awful track record. The more Mark hears about this plan, the more it is starting to sound like one of Madison's theories from the podcast. He tries telling Director Guillerman that they're rushing too quickly into a situation they do not understand and have no knowledge of what Apex will do with this energy once they have it. After having to clean up one mess left by Dr. Serizawa, Mark and Guillerman hope that they don't come across a similar mess.
On the Argo heading for Hong Kong, Mark thinks back to the last time he was there with Emma and how the times were happier back then. If he could experience those days with Emma one more time, he would take it. However, he is not visiting Hong Kong to go to the beach. Godzilla was on his way and moving fast. Other than his attack on the convoy that was escorting Kong, not much happened since then. However, a signal similar to a Titan call was detected and was coming from Apex's headquarters. Not just any Titan call, but the call of King Ghidorah. Mark is not too sure, but tells Guillerman that the signal seems manufactured and synthesized the wrong way in some key areas. By that note, the signal is suspected to be the main reason Godzilla is heading for Hong Kong, but for whatever reason was unknown.
Mark checks his phone and is still upset that Madison had not answered any of his messages. Even calling her was of no use. He would have been okay if she was still sulking as long as it meant Madison was still home, safe and sound. Yet, that was not the case. Mark's sister, Cassidy, has been in a state of panic when she learned Madison was not home and nowhere to be found. He has a hunch as to what Madison is up to and feels horrible for not seeing the signs. He feels especially bad for Josh for being bullied into one of her messes. Though, he hates to admit with all of his sister's efforts to look his daughter, Mark must rely on Madison to take care of herself. If he only believed in and trusted Madison more then perhaps she would not have ran away. In the meantime, Godzilla is close and Mark has to distract him long enough for the evacuation process to be completed.
Mark arrives at Monarch's command and control in Hong Kong where he is greeted by Guillerman. Mark asks where are Apex's defenses and Guillerman answers that they're not responding. Mark hoped that the signal was Apex luring Godzilla into a trap. No trap was sprung as Godzilla made landfall and was heading towards Apex's headquarters. He watches Godzilla stop short, turning his head looking confused, and drills his atomic breath into the earth. He had seen Godzilla do this before for seconds at a time directed at an enemy. Now, it seems to Mark that Godzilla's enemy is the earth itself.
Mark wished he could understand Godzilla's actions. Wished Dr. Serizawa, Dr. Chen, or anyone else from his previous team could help him understand what Godzilla is doing. Once Godzilla was back to marching towards Apex's headquarters, Mark sees Godzilla's true target as a giant axe, then a hand, and the rest of the Titan's body rose out of the hole. It was Kong that Godzilla was targeting and was amazed that Godzilla could drill a hole that far down into the earth. He now hopes that they would show off their threat displays to each other and be done with it, but since Godzilla and Kong are both alphas he knows what is going to happen next and tells Guillerman they are about to watch round 2.
Mark is fascinated by the axe, but something about the axe looks familiar. He tells a technician to get a radiation signature reading on the axe. He watches the fight and as soon as he saw Godzilla charge up, Mark assumes the fight will be all over. Then, he witnesses something unexpected happen. Kong was able to block Godzilla's attack with his axe and saw the axe charging up. Mark learns the blade part of the axe was from a Godzilla fin before the technician could finish reading his findings.
He, Guillerman, and the rest of his team continue to watch the conclusion of the fight witnessing Godzilla the winner. After the fight concluded, a techie detects the signal from the Apex headquarters has returned, but stronger than ever. Guillerman tells Mark that maybe they will see what Apex has been developing and Mark is afraid that he could be right. What was revealed was something Mark nor anyone else from Monarch could expect. Mark looked in horror as a red beam was fired and a robot Godzilla rises out from beneath the facility. He now knows what Godzilla has been after, but Mark is unsure if he should root for Godzilla or the robot that Guillerman calls MechaGodzilla.
From inside the facility, Madison, Josh, and Bernie had just watched the CEO of Apex, Walter Simmons, get swatted by the mechanical titan like a hand swatting a bug. While Josh and Bernie are frantically trying to shut down the robot, Madison manages to get a hold of her father. Madison tries to tell her dad she is in Hong Kong, but the line drops. Mark has heard her voice. He knew it was Madison, but it was from an unknown local number. Mark is now even more worried about his daughter unable to figure out what kind of situation she has gotten herself mixed up in. The battle between Godzilla and MechaGodzilla snaps him back from his worries. He now knows that he should root for Godzilla since Madison would and has always believed in Godzilla.
Mark continued watching the fight now Godzilla and Kong has joined forces. Kong was in a sticky situation trying to hold back MechaGodzilla's tail from drilling into him. Then, something went wrong for the robot as the drill on its tail had stopped and the robot is twitching. Mark watches in the background a blue light getting brighter and saw Godzilla fire his breath at Kong's axe to give Kong the leverage he needed to end the fight.
In the aftermath, Mark and Madison were able to find each other in the crowd, but this time holding each other glad that both of them are still alive. Josh and Bernie gather around Mark and Madison. Bernie introduces himself to Mark and asks if he could interview Mark on his Mad Truth podcast about the Monarch facility in Roswell. Mark also notices Nathan in the crowd with Dr. Ilene Andrews and nods to him in acknowledgement of his presence.
Overall, Mark's story was about him worrying for Madison and giving her a normal life. In the end, he had to learn that her life will never be normal and to trust Madison's instincts. I can see where some parts could be left out of the movie, but the beginning of his story where Madison and Mark are constantly arguing before Godzilla attacked Pensacola would set up for a better emotional impact at the end of the movie. Also, the scenes of Mark with Director Guillerman would have given more screen time for Lance Reddick's character since the movie only has him appear for ten seconds giving only two lines.
What are your thoughts of Mark's story? Do you think it would have added anything to the movie or do you think it was better left out? Leave a comment in the comments section of your thoughts on Mark Russell in Godzilla vs Kong. Make sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Minds, MeWe, Gab, and Parler to stay up to date for more news, reviews, and discussions.