***Tiny spoilers, you have been warned***
After years of anticipation, the new Godzilla movie finally hit the theater and I was one of the dorky people waiting for the doors to open for the first screening. I loved it. It was obvious the people making the movie are fans and it was fun to see my favorite monster updated.
The things I enjoyed most about the movie are the same I enjoy in all my franchise favorites, although there was a disappointing lack of jig dancing, the fights, destruction and a cohesive story. I always want more Godzilla, and this movie is no exception, but the anticipation of his arrival and first roar probably enhanced the moment. Godzilla looked great and effectively conveyed an array of emotion; his roar and atomic breath were used perfectly.
The story was cohesive, well paced and included plenty of elements found in many of the previous movies including kids in peril, annoying love stories, clash of science and military sensibilities and main characters that are miraculously always in the middle of the action.
I prefer when Godzilla’s main antagonist is another monster; it allows him to be both terrifying and sympathetic simultaneously. The M.U.T.O. are a welcome addition to the kaiju club and have a strong story and distinctive look from past foes. They will not replace King Ghidorah as my favorite, but I was glad to see a new, fully realized creature and not a recycling of the past or a lame foe. The monster battles were awesome and I loved how some of them were revealed via background action and newscasts.
I had a few nits, I always do. While I enjoyed the M.U.T.O., I did not love their facial/eye design. Bryan Cranston’s wig was a bit wonky. Lead actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson bores me and seems interchangeable with many action actors of his generation; I hope he is more interesting as Quicksilver in the upcoming Avengers movie. While I liked the story, I wish Godzilla had a bit more to do in the beginning and that the M.U.T.O were not the sole cause of the early destruction; I don’t mind waiting for my movie monsters, I just want them to be the focus.
Overall, I am a huge fan of the movie and had a lot of fun watching it. The audience was really into it and there were many pockets of discussion all over the theater as people were analyzing it in depth. The only problem with seeing the movie first thing is I had to patiently wait for my few monster-movie friends to see it as well so we could compare thoughts. Looking forward to the sequel!