From beginning to end, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is the type of sequel that hits the ground running from the beginning, and never stops to catch its breath for the entirety of its running time. Although 2014’s “Godzilla” was deliberately paced and character-oriented, it was held back from greatness by its lack of interesting characters, which is course-corrected here, thanks to the presence of a veritable cornucopia of dependable character actors. Additionally, the movie is much more interested in showing off its internal universe and the expensive-looking CGI that make it come alive than its predecessor, and it’s truly awe-inspiring in many shots. The battle scenes between the monsters are absolutely riveting, with director Michael Dougherty gleefully throwing everything at the audience except the kitchen sink, and some of the movie’s shots are so well staged that they could be paintings (Mothra’s first ascension and Ghidorah’s electrical take-over in particular). In many ways the movie feels like a response to the criticisms surrounding its predecessor, and while I enjoy the original, I can see how Dougherty’s cranked up sequel is much more of a crowd-pleaser.
Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)