I very much enjoyed this film. I haven't had much background as far as the "Monkey King", other than the Japanese series when it was being broadcast in the U.K. (Under the appropriate title "Monkey"). Still, I kind of was aware of the characters, and liked their appearance in this flick. One thing I didn't care for was the length, which was no doubt easier to handle during it's television broadcast. Also, towards the end shortly after the scene shifts to the modern day. I think if you give it a chance, you'd like this.
Next, overall ratings (subject to change): 4 out of 5 stars (80%), 7.5 on 0-10 scale.
Compared with other Godzilla films: I'd still have to put the original (1954) and "Mothra vs. Godzilla" (1964) above it. And, though I have lately fallen in love with Godzilla: Final Wars, I'd place the new movie above that. So, overall for the "G" franchise, this current edition would be a solid #3 in my book.
Ok - from here on, there may be a few spoilers, though I'll try to keep them to a minimum, or so as to cause minimum 'damage.'
What I liked most: Godzilla vs. MUTO(s) battles Initial MUTO reveal A cute reference/homage to "Mothra" Doctor Serizawa - a nice reference to 1954 Gojira
What I hated most: Human character build-up (though it was kept at a minimum, so this wasn't even close to being a deal-breaker). The typical trope involving family separation (probably a necessity for widening the movie's appeal, but which wasn't really interesting to myself). The title screens, where information appeared next to the main credits, then was redacted/blanked out. I was able to catch some of it, and I know that it was probably intended simply to supply subliminal information, but I wish some of it had been left on screen just slightly longer before being blanked out. When I finally get a copy of the movie, I'll probably spend some time just going through those title screens and using freeze-frame to see what was there. So, I can't really say I 'hated' it so much as it was annoying. The scene involving the unhatched young of the MUTO, which sadly brings up memories of the '98 movie
One side note: I am so grateful that use of color tinting was kept to a minimum. There were a few scenes where 'orange' coloration seemed to be used, but it fit with the actual mood. Also, it was used in a quick segment of the title screens.
Sound-wise, I really didn't pay much attention to once Godzilla started to mix it up with the MUTO(s). But such being the case, it must have been effective, since I really didn't have cause to wonder "what is THAT?", except when that was intended.
Music-wise, it seemed like the cues were a little confusing. Still, when the ominous "Uh, oh - something's up" theme played, it did indeed seem to set the table for expectations.
I'm not going to try and recap the storyline (I've tried, unsuccessfully, about four times). So, I'll mention that it did take a while before Godzilla finally made an entrance. Though the human interest portion was mildly important to establish the overall plot, it still seemed to take up an inordinate amount of time. Also (and this may be contrary to what many people may say), I feel there was overexposure of the MUTO entities - their screen-time seemed almost twice that of the title monster. And, I had believed prior to seeing the movie that the MUTO were in fact much smaller - but if they had been, then the battle scenes with Godzilla wouldn't have been so dramatic. Interesting during the first match-ups, it looks like Godzilla is, bottom line, getting his ass kicked by both MUTO, but "G" finally gets pissed off enough to use his atomic breath. I had been waiting seemingly forever for that moment, and as the spines (and, a friend mentioned, his tail - though I didn't really notice it's onset) started glowing, my anticipation rose to a climax as "G" finally blasts one of the MUTO. The attack on the second MUTO was even cooler, and brough up memories of the old-fashioned Kaiju monster battles I grew up to love. The finale, as Godzilla is leaving the city is (in my opinion) marred by a shot of a television report, with a news-ticker line mentioning "King of the Monsters" (egad...homage is nice, but downright kissing the original movie's ass gets old), as well as the questioning "Savior of the city" tag-line. So much had been made about how Godzilla would be a neutral-style creature, but that last bit seemed to be establishing him as a "good" monster. Though it doesn't ruin the movie for me, it does indeed cause me to shake my head, sigh a little (like "G" does), and just ask myself "why?" Anyways, that's my basic take-away from the movie. Maybe I'll go back and redo this later (since I'm running on a small lack-of-sleep).