Updated: Jan 10
I am just going to dive into this review. No trivia or anything. There will be spoilers if you haven't guessed by the title already. So if you don't want to be spoiled then now is the time to close this article and come back after you have seen the movie.
Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is one of the best Godzilla movies I have ever watched. It takes the 2014 movie and turns the knob up to a hundred. It goes balls to the walls crazy. You got the cheesy plot, cheesy human characters, and monsters fighting each other for a good part of the movie. Despite having everything a fan could ask for, is it properly executed? You could say that it could have been better.
When it comes to the story, the first act of the movie drags until the second act and this is where the movie does not hold anything back. My only criticism is that there are too many characters the movie is trying to juggle. Part of the movie follows the Russell family, another part is about the terrorists, another about Dr. Serizawa, and then the monsters and it feels sort of cluttered. The story about the Russell family is focused on Mark and Emma on how it has affected them after losing their son, Andrew, in the events of the 2014 movie and how their daughter, Maddison, is caught in the middle of it. The eco-terrorists capture Emma and Maddison so they can use Emma's bio-acoustic device called the Orca to wake up Ghidorah and Rodan. Dr. Serizawa is ridiculed for believing that Godzilla and other monsters can coexist with humans after what happened in 2014 and he believes that Godzilla is the proof that coexistence is possible. So there are all of these different stories being juggled and takes up a lot of time. However, despite what critics say the movie really focuses on the human characters more than the monsters and it isn't that bad at all. I liked the characters from Kong: Skull Island better, but the characters in Godzilla: King Of The Monsters are more enjoyable than the characters in Godzilla (2014). There are just some scenes that could have been cut out and made more room for more monster action.
There are a lot of moments that I liked. I loved Dr. Serizawa's sacrifice scene. This scene is very ironic because in the original 1954 movie, Dr. Serizawa was the one that kills Godzilla with the oxygen destroyer. In this movie, he does the exact opposite by saving Godzilla with a nuclear warhead and before the nuke goes off he walks up to Godzilla's face and gives him a very sad goodbye. This scene could have been one of the most emotional scenes in the movie if the scene showed the rest of the characters having a moment of silence. Instead, Mothra's sacrifice was way more emotional than it should have been. It shouldn't have because Mothra dying in a Godzilla movie isn't that uncommon, but something about Mothra sacrificing her life to save Godzilla just had my heart strings tugged more than Dr. Serizawa's sacrifice.
The movie is jam packed with monsters. There are the main four (Godzilla, Ghidorah, Rodan, and Mothra) and there were five other monsters in the movie that only had a couple minutes of screen time. Dr. Serizawa said that there were 17 monsters and counting meaning there were more monsters that were not shown. Kong is among one of those monsters that was mentioned and didn't show. The monsters that were shown actually had interesting designs. There was one that looked like a mammoth, a giant spider, a MUTO made an appearance, and there is the mountain monster that was seen only briefly. All of them had interesting designs, but I would have liked to have seen them do something rather than being told. At least show one of them struggling to put up a fight against Ghidorah or Rodan or Godzilla or maybe have one of them attack Monarch's base and have Mothra swoop in. That would be interesting to see since the movie is telling the audience they are attacking the cities across the globe.
Another complaint about Godzilla (2014) is that Godzilla did not have enough screen time. Same is true here that the amount of screen time is about the same, but the movie does not leave you hanging for very long to see him. His appearances is more spread out and they go straight into the action most of the time he is on screen, which in turn makes it feel like he has more screen time. The main focus in this movie is on King Ghidorah. He really steals the show and is the best representation of the iconic villain on screen. In the previous films he has appeared he was not much of a threat unless he was under some mind control. In Godzilla: King Of The Monsters, the movie really does a good job making him terrifying and powerful. As for Rodan and Mothra, they were awesome as well, but despite Michael Dougherty hyping them up they do not get a whole lot of screen time. Perhaps much less than Godzilla and I wish that I could have seen more of them as well. Mothra really puts up a fight and I'm glad that she fights more physically than having to resort with using gusts of wind like in every other movie she appeared in. As for the most hyped monster, Rodan, I expected more from him. He was given so much praise from the director that I thought he would do something new. Rodan is a hot head, that's for sure, yet I expected something more.
To set up for Godzilla vs. Kong, Godzilla: King Of The Monsters really makes sure that you know that the movie is happening and they really hammer on that hard. Whenever they are not talking about Godzilla and the other monsters, you will hear about what is happening on Skull Island. You will hear about the monsters on Skull Island escaping or you will see on the list of monsters that Kong is on that list or you will see stock footage from Kong: Skull Island in the background. Even during the credits when you see the newspaper clippings that you find out that Godzilla is bringing the monsters over to Skull Island as well as a photo of a cave painting showing Kong and Godzilla fighting. So if you didn't know that was happening Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is going to remind you over and over that it will and to get hyped for it.
Lastly, I want to talk about are the easter eggs in the movie. They're not really easter eggs if they actually play a role in the movie. Some of these are the maser cannons, the oxygen destroyer, Godzilla turning into Burning Godzilla, Ghidorah being called Monster Zero, and Dr. Chen having a twin sister (a reference to Mothra's twin fairies). All of these are call backs to the original Godzilla movies and they sort of play an active role in the movie. Not as much as others, but a few of them. Even Kong and Skull Island were mentioned a lot in this movie and that is just to set up for Godzilla vs Kong. The most criticism I have seen from fans is that all of these references may drive away the general audience. I will be honest, I think the general audience is not being given enough credit here. Sure, they may not understand them if they have watched little to no Godzilla movies and yet I think that is not going to drive them away. That would really be nitpicking if they criticized the movie because there were too many references. What the general audience really cares about is if they are going to like the movie. Is the story good? Did the actors do well playing their role in the movie? Is it goofy? Is it scary? So on and so forth. That is what they care most about. Everything else is secondary that don't really matter.
Godzilla: King Of The Monsters is easily hands down the best American Godzilla film so far. TRULY PHENOMENAL! It does not fix all of the issues the 2014 movie had, but it delivers more on the action. While the characters were not great and the story did drag, they were not as bad as the critics on Rotten Tomatoes made it out to be. This is a movie that really shows it was made by a fan of the series and he really puts in the effort to show just how much he loves Godzilla. My only recommendation is that you at least watch Godzilla (2014) before seeing this movie in theaters.