Ian West’s review published on Letterboxd:
I was so excited for this movie when it came out and ended up being so so on it... didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. I even dozed off a few times in the theater during the second act but I think that may have been for other chemically induced reasons. In retrospect this is definitely my favorite of the monsterverse—seamlessly mixing compelling to me human drama with exceptional kaiju action, stunning visuals, and methodical pacing that utilizes genuine suspense when it’s finally time for our titular titan to make its appearance.
The slow unravelling of full disaster mode and everything going on was actually a bit nerve racking for me as far as tension goes since I’ve actually been in a crumbling building might die at any second situation where I was covered in the ashes of dead people (so please... spare me the surface level insight) and it’s handled better here than in most movies I’ve seen. I actually buy Elisabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor Johnson as a married couple opposed to the ‘we look like we just met 7 minutes ago on set’ interactions of Vera Farmiga and Kyle sugar free vanilla weaksauce Chandler. I love that there’s no mustachiod villain in this like Charles where’s my damn paycheck Dance or Damián Jeff Bezos with hair stand in Bichir. Ken Watanabe is great, Bryan Cranston is solid, and ol’ David Strathairn avoided the mail it in pitfalls he’d sign off on in the sequel.
The rest is all sweeping imagery, half seen images of destruction from inside buildings, trains, casinos, the infamous halo jump scene, and expertly shot kaiju showdowns that level cities to rubble. It’s a wonderful picture to look at and still has a few toes in the door as far as realism goes which I really appreciate given the serious nature on display. It’s nowhere near as gorgeous or well scored as King of the Monsters or as abrasively fun and idiotic as Godzilla vs Kong, but hot damn it is pretty ominous with its tone and easily a movie I see myself loving more and more over time.
Kinda love this now.