Look, all the world wanted was a good kaiju epic. What they got was a smorgasbord of exposition (thanks Ken Watanabe!) masquerading as slow-burn buildup, culminating in five screen minutes of lame and generic fighting.
Most importantly, there’s just so much time and effort devoted to convincing us how realistic it all is that these (disappointingly scant) climactic concessions to stomping Toho japery come off as laughable – incongruous to a fault.
The acting’s serviceable, the visuals and thrills exquisite, the film peppered with enough genuine brilliance to make it so worthwhile – but eventually its misplaced high-mindedness becomes somewhat embarrassing.
Though a lovingly-made and (relatively) worthwhile franchise update, the Nolanesque seriousness becomes pointless and distracting. When it comes down to it, what would you rather see here: more relentless “logic”, or big monsters hitting each other?
CAST: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, David Strathairn, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche.
DIRECTOR: Gareth Edwards
WRITER: Max Borenstein (story by David Callaham)
SYNOPSIS: The world’s most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.