Disclaimer #2: If you're any kind of Godzilla fan and you're reading this before seeing the movie. Stop reading. Get in your car. Go to the nearest theater where Godzilla is playing, and SEE THE FREAKIN MOVIE!
This is not Roland Emmerich's Godzilla.
This is the real deal. Godzilla in all the glory and power that he was meant to be. I would honestly suggest this is probably the best Godzilla movie ever made.
Possible Spoilers After the Picture
The crux of the movie is focused on Ford Brody, a man who's mother was killed during a disaster at a nuclear power plant fifteen years prior. Ford just left everything in the past and joined the military, while his father became obsessed with finding out what really caused the disaster.
The real trouble starts with the appearance of a M.U.T.O. (Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism). It breaks out of the site where it was being watched, and takes to the sky, heading off into the Pacific Ocean from Japan. It lands in Hawaii, where the Big Guy finally catches up. This fight is more of a teaser though, and only seen in short glimpses and on TV's in the background. It is impressive nonetheless.
The MUTO escapes though, and continues East across the Pacific while another one rises up out of the Nevada desert. Everything culminates in San Francisco, where a battle between Godzilla, the two MUTO's, and the military takes place.
I've only really heard of one big complaint about the movie, which is they don't spend enough time on Godzilla.
Honestly, while a bit more on-screen time and footage of his fights would have been cool, I can't argue that it would have made the movie better. As it was, it gave the Big Guy multiple chances for badass entrances, which they almost all were.
I've also heard a few people complain about Ford Brody's performance. He does seem a little unemotional at times, but if you stop and think about some of what he's been through, his training, and what's going on around him, his stoicism actually makes a lot of sense.
Everything else about this movie is spot-on in my opinion. Even the music of the opening credits brings back reminders of the classic Toho Godzilla movies, and the music throughout harkens back to that era. The MUTO's are original, while being somewhat reminiscent of Kamacuras.
Godzilla himself looks incredible. He's a bit bulkier than any of his previous incarnations, but it's built up properly, with large, rough scales and armor plating. He's also not just some mindless beast defending his territory. There are several scenes where he recognizes the humans scampering around him and while he doesn't go out of his way to preserve the cities around him in battle, he doesn't randomly knock over or smash buildings. In a few of his scenes, he even has facial expressions. Not quite thinking expressions, but you can definitely make out notable differences between anger, rage, and indifference. And yes, he has been re-powered, and there is a breath weapon.
Seriously, if you are any kind of Godzilla fan, you will love this movie. Even if you're not a fan of Godzilla, it's an incredible action monster movie in the same vein as Pacific Rim.
I'm not holding my breath, but here's hoping this fall and winter sees the Big Guy's first real film awards.
A 5 star ride for Godzilla fans, easy a 3.5 to 4 for everyone else.
And yes, another movie already has the green light. Here's hoping they keep the same director.