Following the events of the previous film, the monster hunting organization known as Monarch have located and secured at least 17 different titans across the planet. A shadowy and nefarious plan to release all of the monsters leaves the fate of Earth hanging by a thread and, once again, Godzilla comes forth to restore the balance.
The special effects and CGI in Godzilla: King of the Monsters are outstanding. Every monster looks epic and huge and amazing. The scene where Mothra emerges from its cocoon beneath the waterfall is stunning and gorgeous. The shot of King Ghidorah atop his mountain throne is devastating and terrifying. Godzilla looks as great as ever, but his ‘final form’ at the end of the film is a new spectacle to behold. Every battle is a visual treat.
King of the Monsters incorporates the story that dominated the 2014 film, and manages to build on the mythology and characters while doing so. Ken Watanabe and Sally Hawkins reprise their roles, and play a bigger part in the overall story. The plot is much more complex and interesting, and adding the threat of an eco-terrorist organization increases the drama while feeling organic to the setting. That said, Emma (Vera Farmiga) and Jonah (Charles Dance) will certainly be empathetic villains to a portion of the audience. Who wouldn’t want a race of primordial titans to cleanse the Earth of parasitic humanity?
The performances here are great. I was excited to see Millie Bobby Brown in a role outside of Stranger Things, and she did not disappoint. Her ability to express convincing emotion is awesome, certainly cultivated from her role in the Netflix show. The scene where Godzilla shows up and Madison simply smiles is a perfect example of such subtle mastery. Kyle Chandler and Vera Farmiga are excellent in their opposing roles, and Charles Dance is ever the intimidating and nefarious presence.
The sound design is amazing, evoking the sense of immense size and power of each of these titans.
Much like the 2014 Godzilla, the film drags a bit while focusing exclusively on the human characters. Luckily this isn’t a huge issue, as the action is virtually nonstop.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters improves upon its predecessor in every way, blending meaningful plot and character development with enormous monsters and wholesale destruction. This film is easily enjoyable for long-time fans of Godzilla, as well as franchise newcomers or fans of action movies in general.