I had a blast at Godzilla. I spent a little more time waiting around for monsters than I would have liked, but the pacing and scope of this film were absolutely spot-on for Godzilla. I'm not a connoisseur of kaiju cinema, and I'm certainly no expert on Godzilla's canon so somebody who is should probably fill in all the details here. I liked the 1998 Ferris Bueller Godzilla film well enough, but that was just a movie with a big, reptilian thing in it. This time around Godzilla put actual Godzilla in.
(Look, I know that the classic Godzilla shape is dictated by what mid-20th century technology can create by putting a man in a rubber suit. We're stuck with that now. If you want kaiju that look less like men in rubber suits, there's always Pacific Rim.)
I left my usual kaiju complaint at home. You know the one: "that's too big to be real, because physics." I just can't bring that into a Godzilla movie and expect to do anything but eyeroll when things the size of skyscrapers start tearing down actual skyscrapers.
And speaking of skyscrapers, I think Godzilla is worth seeing in 3D. My friend Sam Butler saw a 2D showing, and he loved it, but the 3D allowed me to wrap my head around just how enormous Godzilla was, especially in scenes where there's something relatable in the foreground, then a cityscape, and then Godzilla in the back. Wow.
In case you're worried about the pacing, let me say this: the parts of the movie that only have people in them, with no monsters at all? They're pretty good. I don't like waiting, but I liked those parts just fine.
Godzilla comes in at #4 for me for the year so far. It easily clears the Threshold of Awesome. Steps right over it on its way downtown, even.
UPDATE: Because you care, and because I forgot to mention it: No, there is no shaky-cam in the action sequences. There's some tumble-cam when there's tumbling, and some running-cam when people are running, but other than that the camera is solid. For the record, shaky-cam in Winter Soldier is why Spider-Man 2 ranks higher for me this year.
UPDATE #2: I saw the film a 2nd time in 2D, but in the fancy DBox seats. It felt a little bit like sitting on a rumble pack, but by the end of the film I was used to it, and I guess it was cool. Not worth $15 for a matinee seat, though. And the 2D? Pretty good, but I was right about the sense of scale not being the same. Was the movie fun the second time around? Yes. And THIS time I caught the Mothra reference in the masking tape on the terrarium. Nice touch.