What Godzilla: King of the Monsters understands — as does the first Pacific Rim movie — is that giant monster movies are supposed to be cathartic.
The 2014 Godzilla was a disaster film for the first two acts. It follows a few human characters while Godzilla and two other kaiju (called MUTOs) awaken, flatten multiple cities, and fight each other.
It didn’t really work until the third act because Godzilla is supposed to be the focus. It wasn’t until the giant lizard was kinda, sorta on the side of the humans (you never get a sense of Godzilla’s real alliances, if he has any), and struggled to finish off the other two monsters, that the movie clicked.
Godzilla — or King Kong, or the giant Jaeger mecha — is the actual protagonist. The humans are just set dressing.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters, at least, got that part right. The human characters treat him as a benign dictator of sorts, a less destructive alternate to King Ghidorah (a three-headed dragon monster who’s part of the historical Godzilla canon), who can keep the other monsters — called titans in this film — in line. There’s a lot of Easter eggs that reference older Godzilla films, including the “oxygen destroyer” from the original.
One major flaw, which it shares with everything I’ve mentioned so far except Kong: Skull Island, is that the monster fights are difficult to follow. Everything is obscured by rain, snow, and cloud cover, and is poorly lit. What’s the point of a monster fight if you can’t follow the action?
I’m just pleasantly surprised that there’s an honest-to-Godzilla cinematic universe/franchise with these creatures, who have been around for over sixty years now. It’s a fun, big-budget alternative to the bimonthly superhero movies and animated remakes saturating theaters nowadays.