With a whopping 35 films and counting, Godzilla is, without a doubt, one of the most well-known film properties in the world. When you have such a large assortment of films, there's bound to be transitional periods where the films adapt to modern audiences, but still keep the essence of the original concept. The 2014 Godzilla film was the first attempt from the US since the not-so-great adaptation starring Matthew Broderick about a reptile that didn't feel like Godzilla whatsoever (shout-out to the Buffy season 7 conversation that acknowledges it). In the 2014 version, Godzilla was more slow-burn, only showing glimpses of the iconic monster for a majority of the runtime. In Godzilla: King of the Monsters, there were bountiful fights and creature features, but there's clearly a disconnect between what fans want vs. what casual Godzilla-watching critics want in a Godzilla film.
Despite the fact that critics might not have initially understood the film, the audience scores for Godzilla: King of the Monsters came back with a majority of them approving of the sequel. So why does Godzilla: King of the Monsters deserve more love than some of the other Godzilla films?
Kaiju fights of epic proportions
Depicting Godzilla fights has transitioned over the years, with people in suits, to computer-generated versions of the reptilian king. Because of those realistic restraints in prior films, Godzilla hasn't always had action-packed installments, and some tend to come down to those all-important moments in the final act.
In Godzilla: King of the Monsters, we are instantly thrown into the world with introductions to new faces, but we also witness epic cinematic clashes. Part of the lure of Godzilla is that it has potential for destruction, and there are always high stakes rivalries between titans. This is one of the first films in the entire catalog that feels like it disregards those constraints to introduce new expectations for any monster movie in the future. Sure, you might not enjoy some of the more human elements of Godzilla, but Godzilla: King of the Monsters made it a point to focus; it's time where it was important — Godzilla and the other kaiju.
Godzilla is finally appreciated
We've seen Godzilla as an enemy to mankind in a hefty amount of the films over the last 65 years, and more recently, he's made the transition to hero. Godzilla was originally feared because… Well, because he's a 300ft tall, atomic breath-powered monster, of course.
As the films progressed and others were introduced, Godzilla became a natural protagonist who was an ally to humankind, and in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, this notion is addressed. It's a polarizing subject throughout the film as many are resentful of the destruction in his path, but he ends up being viewed as a real hero. He's shown to combat any force (of his size, of course) that endangers humanity, and it's about time humans put some respect on Godzilla's name. Who else is going to save us from Ghidorah or Destroyah? I'll wait.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters was made with love
One of the things that I think all real fans can appreciate is a passionate filmmaker. Michael Dougherty came at Godzilla: King of the Monsters with an undeniable admiration for the lovable lizard and really attempted to expand the lore.
It can be enjoyed as a casual viewer without feeling lost, but there are so many fun inclusions for longtime fans of the franchise that it feels like a love letter to the titular character. With a variety of cameos, hints at what's to come, or even the notion of what it takes to become the true king of the monsters, the film embraces all of the best qualities that you could hope for from an installment. If you're watching a Godzilla movie, you're looking for a good creature feature, to begin with, so buckle up and enjoy the ride thanks to Dougherty's vision.