The main complaint I’ve read in relation to Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla is that there is too little of the creature the film is named after. I withheld from reading most reviews before seeing it, but saw the tweets pertaining to this. Some critics were asking if audience could handle it.
I saw. And I handled it. I handled it spectacularly, chortling like a silly bastard with each awesome punch, every insane nuclear surprise, and I laughed and cheered with the final battle. Seriously. I’m not embarrassed to admit it.
But many can’t and that’s proof we are potentially ruined.
Jaws couldn’t be made today because people would be upset there weren’t more attacks from the titular shark throughout the film. Godzilla is having that problem and I don’t really understand because you saw a lot of monster action throughout. Sure, we get about 20 minutes of fairly slow character building, giving the audience a chance to care about someone in the film. But after that, we see the M.U.T.O. quite often and Godzilla in amazing, fleeting glances.
And this is perfect because it makes the last 20-30 minutes so. Damn. Entertaining. If we had tons of fighting before the third act, then it wouldn’t feel as monumental. It would feel like more of the same. If Michael Bay had directed Godzilla, the monster would have dropkicked an animal over Tokyo while some bullshit song by Imagine Dragons drowned out the screams of the people on the ground.
That happens in the first two minutes. And then, within 10 minutes, Godzilla puts on a pair of oversized sunglasses for comedic effect.
Can we not have patience anymore? Sure, the characters could have been written with a few more dimensions and Ken Watanabe could have been given some more to do (if there is an Oscar for “STARING AT SHIT FROM AFAR,” he’s got that wrapped up.) I’m not giving the film a free pass. It has its issues, but dammit, it’s a fantastic popcorn film. One of the best in the last few years, I believe.
I appreciated that it took time. I respect Edwards wanted to build up to the fantastic final battle where San Francisco turns into rubble. I think saving Godzilla for those final moments makes them even better.
If you need a Godzilla film that delivers on action throughout and you see a ton of the main monster, then go watch this version.