After a long five-year wait, Godzilla is back visiting the Hollywood hills once more. The kaiju is ready for a close up as Godzilla: King of the Monsters prepares to hit theaters this month, and his glamour shots weren't done in vain. After all, the sequel is a worthy addition to the Godzilla canon and stands as the best U.S. adaptation of the monster by far.
For those curious, Godzilla: King of the Monsters kicks into motion several years after Godzilla has his monstrous showdown in San Francisco. Audiences follow a family torn apart by his cataclysmic debut, and things only get worse when several new threats get involved. When Emma (Vera Farmiga) and her daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) are forced from one of Monarch's research stations and taken hostage by eco-terrorists, an intense reckoning comes for all the Earth's Titans. And when all else fails, it falls to Godzilla to restore balance.
And yes, it is Godzilla who does all the heavy lifting here. While Monarch does step into its own as a military operation at last, Godzilla is the one who fans will want to keep a close eye on. The apex predator isn't about to let the Earth fall to pieces under his watch, and Godzilla: King of the Monsters finally gives him some real challenges to face down.
Plenty of fans might have been disappointed by the outright lack of monster-on-monster fights in Godzilla back in 2014, but its sequel doesn't suffer the same mistake. Godzilla: King of the Monsters kicks off with all-out action as Mothra comes into play within its first few minutes. Not only is the moment truly epic, it sets the tone for Godzilla's eventual return and formidable fight with Ghidorah. To say these scenes are intense would be putting things lightly, and each battle will leave audiences blown away by their sheer scale. The final act of Godzilla: King of the Monsters forced me to the edge of my seat for its entirety and kept me there well after the credits rolled.
Not only does Godzilla: King of the Monsters deliver when it comes to action, but its epic soundtrack and visuals make the sequel a delight for cinemaphiles. The soundtrack for the sequel lifts in all the right places, and its godly bravado enhances all of the kaijus as they fight for dominance. Few films as of late have managed to pair sound effects so well with footage, and fans will surely be scrambling to relive some of the sequel's best moments by sampling its soundtrack.
As Godzilla: King of the Monsters combines its stunning aesthetic with a painfully relevant eco-centric message, the movie carves a niche into the Godzilla franchise that's completely worthwhile. This is the easily best Godzilla film made in Hollywood without question and aligns itself with themes posed by fan-favorite entries like Shin Godzilla. For fans new and old, Godzilla: King of the Monsters is packed with fiery thrills which beg to be seen on the biggest screen possible. Despite some overly complicated story lines tying the film's human leads together, Godzilla and his kaiju compatriots overshadow those flaws with their ever-escalating beefs. So it is easy to see why audiences will walk away from Godzilla: King of the Monsters uttering a simple phrase: "Long live the king."
Rating: 5 out of 5