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By Viswanath Dhanisetty.
I really want to get to the meat of what makes this movie great. I’ll also be skipping describing the plot, because it is best for you to experience it and all you need to know is this complex equation: Godzilla x Monster fights = Awesome. So let me get some general mediocre things about the movie out of the way. The main problem I can think of for this movie is the human element. It is simply just functional. There is nothing outstanding about the performances by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, or Ken Watanabe. They all did their jobs fine, portraying their characters realistically and grounded. This isn’t even a negative, it’s just something that could’ve been improved upon. I’m nit-picking at this point for negatives if I go any further, so I’ll skip to the positives.
Godzilla… Oh my f*****g Godzilla!!! Seriously I’m getting goosebumps as I’m typing this. The thing I most liked about this version of Godzilla is that he really felt like a force of nature, completely unstoppable. The character designs are so detailed that you recognize even the subtle expressions and know exactly what the creatures are thinking. This adds a lot of personality to the monsters, they are not just CGI animals. Also Gareth Edwards brilliantly puts you through an emotional roller coaster from sheer terror to childlike glee. There were moments where I was genuinely terrified, to the point that I realized I was pushing myself into my seat and holding my breath. On the opposite side of the emotional spectrum there were moments where I was smiling ear to ear, jumping up and down on my seat with excitement, and even cheering loudly with both my fists up in the air. I am a grown man… I never do that, and this movie made me react like that without hesitation.
On top of all that, I really like the pacing of the movie. For a long time, the movie teases you with little glimpses of Godzilla. Much like the 1954 version, you don’t really get to see Godzilla and monster fights in full action till the last 30mins of the movie. I can see how that can be disappointing for some, but it didn’t really bother me. Mainly because the climax of the movie just pays off so well. All the fights are beautifully showcased and choreographed. You feel every bite, crunch, and punch.
Summing up, you have to watch this movie in cinema. If you are on the fence about IMAX, I say go for it because the level of immersion in this movie is the highest since Gravity. I would like to end with a quote from the director himself when asked, what he wanted to achieve with this version of Godzilla: “make it last 2 hours, and uh… lot of foreplay, and so when there is the climax, it is the most powerful it could be.” Lot of intentional innuendo there by him, but honestly I couldn’t describe this movie any better.