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Monarch: Legacy Of Monsters Review: A Mystery Box Series With A Little Bit Of Godzilla For Good Measure

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is a new Apple TV+ series set in the MonsterVerse, the franchise connecting Godzilla and King Kong. While the previous films in the franchise focused mainly on the monsters, this series takes a different approach by putting more emphasis on the human characters. The show follows Cate Randa as she investigates the mystery surrounding her deceased father, leading her to cross paths with Monarch, the organization that deals with the monsters. With its time-jumping storyline and engaging characters, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters keeps you hooked, even though it’s light on monster action. Despite the lack of Godzilla appearances, the presence of Kurt Russell brings charisma and charm to the show. While it may not be exactly what fans of the MonsterVerse were expecting, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters still offers an entertaining and engaging viewing experience.

Monarch: Legacy Of Monsters Review: A Mystery Box Series With A Little Bit Of Godzilla For Good Measure

Plot Summary


In the world of the MonsterVerse franchise, the humans have often taken a backseat to the more exciting and awe-inspiring monsters like Godzilla and King Kong. However, the new Apple TV+ series, “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters,” seeks to shift the focus onto the human characters while still incorporating the beloved creatures. While the show does feature monsters, it primarily revolves around the human characters’ journey and attempts to make them compelling.

Human-focused storyline

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” is a show that delves into the lives of the humans who navigate the world of the MonsterVerse. While the monsters undoubtedly garner attention, the series aims to develop the human characters, making them more than just mere plot devices. It explores their personal stories, motivations, and relationships, providing a deeper understanding of their roles within the larger MonsterVerse universe.

Introduction to Monarch

One of the central organizations in the MonsterVerse is Monarch, and “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” revolves around its secrets and operations. Often referred to as the “CIA for Godzilla,” Monarch plays a crucial role in monitoring and studying the monsters. The series delves into the history and inner workings of Monarch, revealing the extent of its influence and the challenges it faces in dealing with these colossal creatures.

Time-jumping adventure

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” takes audiences on a thrilling time-jumping adventure, constantly shifting between different timelines and locations. From the present day to the 1950s and beyond, the show keeps viewers on their toes as they explore the MonsterVerse’s rich history. This narrative structure adds an element of excitement and unpredictability to the series, keeping audiences engaged and eager to uncover the mysteries that span across time.

Role of Kurt Russell

One of the standout aspects of “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” is the inclusion of Kurt Russell in the cast. Russell’s performance brings a breezy and charming demeanor to the show, captivating audiences whenever he appears on screen. His charisma and on-screen presence elevate the series, adding a touch of old-school movie star charm to the MonsterVerse universe. Comparisons between Russell’s portrayal and that of his son, Wyatt Russell, also add an interesting dynamic to the storyline.

Lack of monster presence

While “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” is set in the MonsterVerse, it is worth noting that the series does not heavily feature the monsters themselves. Instead, the focus remains primarily on the human storylines and the mysteries surrounding Monarch. This approach allows for a deeper exploration of the human characters but may leave some viewers longing for more monster action. However, the limited monster appearances emphasize the importance of the human characters in navigating the MonsterVerse.

Character Analysis

Cate Randa

Cate Randa, portrayed by Anna Sawai, serves as one of the central characters in “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters.” As she investigates her father’s mysterious past, Cate embarks on a journey that takes her deep into the secrets of Monarch. Sawai’s portrayal brings depth and complexity to Cate, making her a compelling character to follow throughout the series.


Kentaro, played by Ren Watabe, is Cate’s secret half-brother, creating an unexpected dynamic between the two characters. Together, they uncover the truth about their father and his involvement with Monarch. Watabe’s performance adds an emotional complexity to Kentaro, showcasing his internal struggles and growth as the series progresses.


Kiersey Clemons portrays May, a computer expert with her own set of secrets. May brings a unique skill set to the team, using her technical expertise to unravel the mysteries surrounding Monarch. Clemons delivers a captivating performance, infusing May with a mix of intelligence, resilience, and a secretive nature that keeps audiences guessing.


Mari Yamamoto portrays Keiko, a scientist studying monsters and one of the founders of Monarch. Keiko’s character provides insight into the early days of Monarch and its mission to understand and protect the world from the monsters. Yamamoto brings depth and gravitas to Keiko, embodying her passion and commitment to the cause.


Anders Holm plays Bill, another scientist who joins Keiko in her quest to study monsters and establish Monarch. Bill’s character bridges the timeline between the 1950s and the present day, connecting the series with previous films in the MonsterVerse. Holm’s portrayal adds humor and wit to Bill, creating an engaging and memorable character.

Lee Shaw

The character of Lee Shaw is a military man who acts as an escort for the scientists in the 1950s timeline. Played by Wyatt Russell in the past and Kurt Russell in the present day, Lee Shaw is a pivotal figure in the series. The casting of both Russells adds an extra layer of intrigue and connects the different timelines, making for a fascinating portrayal of the character.

Mystery Box Format

Influence of ‘Lost’ and other mystery-driven shows

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” draws inspiration from shows like “Lost,” which employ a mystery box format to captivate audiences. The constant introduction of new mysteries keeps viewers engaged and eager to uncover the truth behind the enigmatic world of Monarch. This approach creates a sense of anticipation and adds a layer of excitement to the series.

Constant introduction of new mysteries

Throughout “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters,” every episode presents new mysteries for the characters and audience to unravel. From the origins of Monarch to the secrets of the monsters themselves, the show keeps audiences guessing and invested in the storyline. This continuous stream of mysteries ensures that there is always something new to discover, maintaining the momentum and intrigue of the series.

Focus on Monarch’s secrets

One of the central themes of “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” is the exploration of Monarch and its hidden agenda. The show delves deep into the secrets and operations of this clandestine organization, revealing its true intentions and the extent of its knowledge about the monsters. This focus on Monarch adds depth and complexity to the narrative, inviting viewers to question the true nature of this powerful entity.

Revealing one mystery leads to another

With each solved mystery comes a new set of questions and revelations. “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” continually introduces twists and turns that keep audiences on their toes. The show establishes an intricate web of interconnected mysteries, ensuring that the desire for answers remains strong throughout the series. This clever storytelling technique ensures that viewers are always left wanting more, eagerly anticipating the next revelation.

Human vs Monster

Comparison between human and monster storylines

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” offers a unique perspective by focusing on the human characters’ experiences within the MonsterVerse. While the monsters are undoubtedly awe-inspiring, the series strives to strike a balance between the human and monster storylines. This contrast allows audiences to explore the human element of the MonsterVerse, emphasizing the emotional and personal journeys of the characters.

Limited monster appearances

Unlike other MonsterVerse films and shows, “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” does not heavily rely on constant monster appearances. Instead, the series chooses to prioritize the human characters and their interactions with the monsters. This approach provides a fresh take on the MonsterVerse universe, exploring the human impact and perspective while still acknowledging the awe-inspiring presence of the creatures.

Importance of human characters

While the monsters may be the main attraction of the MonsterVerse, “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” highlights the significance of the human characters. Their actions, motivations, and relationships drive the narrative forward, shaping the events and impact of the monster encounters. This emphasis on the human element allows for a deeper exploration of the emotional stakes involved in navigating a world populated by colossal creatures.

Disparity in audience interest

While some viewers may be drawn to the MonsterVerse solely for the monsters’ spectacle, “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” appeals to a wider audience by investing in the human characters’ development. By creating relatable and engaging characters, the series bridges the gap between those who solely crave monster action and those who appreciate the interpersonal dynamics and human stories within the MonsterVerse.

Balancing act between monsters and legacy

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” strikes a delicate balance between the awe-inspiring monsters and the intricate legacy of the MonsterVerse universe. By focusing on the human characters’ journeys within this vast and dangerous world, the series explores the legacy of Monarch and its impact on the events unfolding throughout the MonsterVerse. This balance allows for a more comprehensive and immersive storytelling experience.

Pacing and Storytelling

Engaging and fast-paced narrative

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” delivers an engaging and fast-paced narrative that keeps viewers invested from start to finish. The show’s brisk pacing ensures that there are always new developments and revelations, preventing the storyline from becoming stagnant. This approach maintains a sense of excitement and urgency, leaving audiences eager for the next episode.

Time-jumping structure

The time-jumping structure adds an element of unpredictability and intrigue to the series. By shifting between different timelines, “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” offers a broader perspective on the MonsterVerse’s history and the characters’ interconnected journeys. This narrative technique keeps viewers on their toes, as they unravel the mysteries that span across different eras.

Unexpected twists and turns

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” is filled with unexpected twists and turns that constantly challenge viewers’ expectations. As the characters uncover new information and face unexpected obstacles, the series keeps audiences guessing about what will happen next. These surprises maintain the show’s momentum and ensure that viewers remain engrossed in the storyline.

Endless string of mysteries

The continuous introduction of mysteries keeps “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” intriguing and captivating. As one mystery is solved, another one emerges, creating a sense of anticipation and curiosity. This never-ending string of mysteries fuels the narrative, driving the characters and viewers to seek answers and unravel the secrets of the MonsterVerse.

Lack of resolution

While “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” offers an engaging and thrilling journey, it is worth noting that some mysteries may remain unresolved. The show embraces its mystery box format, leaving room for interpretation and allowing audiences to speculate and continue their own investigations. This approach ensures that the series maintains its mystique and invites further exploration.

The Role of Kurt Russell

Impact of Kurt Russell’s performance

Kurt Russell’s presence in “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” brings a new level of charisma and charm to the series. Russell’s performance lights up the screen and captivates audiences, showcasing his talent as an established movie star. His portrayal adds a sense of excitement and energy to the show, making it all the more captivating for viewers.

Breezy and charming demeanor

Kurt Russell’s portrayal in “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” is characterized by his breezy and charming demeanor. His on-screen presence elevates the series, infusing it with a touch of old-school movie star charm. Whether he is delivering lines with wit and humor or exuding confidence, Russell’s performance keeps audiences engaged and entertained.

Elevating the series

Russell’s inclusion in “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” elevates the series to new heights. His star power and talent add credibility and gravitas to the storyline, enhancing the overall viewing experience. Russell’s involvement in the show ensures that audiences are invested in the characters and their journey, making for a more enriching and enjoyable series.

Comparison between Wyatt Russell’s portrayal

The casting of Kurt Russell in “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” provides an interesting dynamic when compared to his son, Wyatt Russell’s portrayal. While both actors deliver compelling performances, Kurt Russell’s experience and star status bring a unique energy to the series. The comparison between the two performances adds depth and complexity to the storyline and enhances the audience’s understanding of the characters’ dynamics.

MonsterVerse Connection

Link to Godzilla and King Kong films

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” is intricately linked to the Godzilla and King Kong films within the MonsterVerse. The series draws upon the rich history and mythology established in those films, connecting the events and characters in a cohesive narrative. By building upon the existing MonsterVerse canon, “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” offers fans a deeper and more immersive viewing experience.

Expectations for monster appearances

While “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” primarily focuses on the human characters, it is natural for viewers to anticipate monster appearances throughout the series. Given the MonsterVerse’s reputation for awe-inspiring creatures, the show is expected to deliver on the promise of showcasing these iconic monsters. However, it is important to manage these expectations, as the series aims to find a balance between the human and monster elements.

Dependence on Monarch’s trappings

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” relies heavily on the world and mythology established by Monarch. The organization’s secrets and operations serve as the driving force behind the series’ narrative. By exploring Monarch’s trappings, the show sheds light on the deeper layers of the MonsterVerse, offering a more comprehensive understanding of the universe beyond the monster battles.

Sustainability of monster-centric series

While “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” may not be as monster-centric as some viewers might expect, this approach ensures the sustainability of the series. Constantly focusing solely on monster battles may limit the storytelling possibilities within the MonsterVerse. By incorporating human elements and uncovering the mysteries surrounding Monarch, the series opens up new avenues for exploration and allows for a more well-rounded narrative.


Balancing human and monster elements

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” strikes a delicate balance between the human and monster elements of the MonsterVerse. While the show primarily focuses on the human characters and their journeys, it does not completely disregard the awe-inspiring monsters that define the MonsterVerse. By incorporating the human perspective and exploring Monarch’s secrets, the series ensures a comprehensive viewing experience for fans.

Brisk pacing but lackluster story

The fast-paced and engaging narrative of “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” keeps viewers captivated throughout the series. However, despite the constant stream of mysteries and twists, the overall story may feel lackluster to some viewers. The relentless introduction of new mysteries and the lack of resolution may leave audiences yearning for a more cohesive and satisfying conclusion.

Constant stream of unanswered mysteries

One of the most prominent aspects of “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” is its reliance on unanswered mysteries. The continuous stream of questions and revelations keeps audiences invested and intrigued. However, it is important to note that this mystery box approach may not provide all the answers, leaving room for speculation and interpretation, which may frustrate some viewers.

Anticipation for monster appearances

While “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” mainly focuses on the human characters, the absence of constant monster appearances serves to heighten the anticipation for their eventual arrival. This strategic approach ensures that when the monsters do appear, they have a significant impact and reinforce the majesty and power of the MonsterVerse creatures. Viewers can look forward to these awe-inspiring moments.

Overall rating and premiere details

“Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” presents a unique and engrossing exploration of the MonsterVerse universe. With its balanced approach to human and monster elements, the series offers a fresh perspective while still honoring the legacy of the MonsterVerse films. The brisk pacing and captivating performances, particularly by Kurt Russell, warrant a solid rating of 6 out of 10. “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” premieres on Apple TV+ on November 17, 2023, providing fans with a new way to experience and immerse themselves in the MonsterVerse universe.