sleepy’s review published on Letterboxd:
Despite its clear flaws, this felt like a breath of fresh air for a studio driven blockbuster in the superhero dominated era we are currently stuck in. Mainly due to its lack of self-seriousness and headstrong embracement of a 'fun first' model of filmmaking.
The biggest flaw the film has is in its writing. Characters are all cardboard cutouts, with only John C. Reilly being slightly memorable. Everyone feels like a supporting cast member, with no lead. This role is supposed to be filled by Tom Hiddleston I guess, but despite a hilariously stupid introduction scene for him which got my hopes up that he'd be a fun blockbuster hero caricature, he ends up being extremely boring. I think that Brie Larson should've been the lead, but she's similarly boring in this film, which is not her fault since the script doesn't call for any of the characters to be interesting in the slightest.
Though Jordan Vogt Roberts salvages an otherwise stupid film by excitedly slapping needless amounts of style into most scenes. I really enjoyed the shot composition and bizarre fetishisation of Vietnam war motifs. All of the action is suitably bombastic & exciting, and the film makes up for the lack of character development or otherwise good writing with a breakneck pace. This very much feels like an overreaction to the silly criticism that "Godzilla 2014 didn't have enough Godzilla in it", levelled from people who clearly hadn't actually watched a Godzilla film before. The insane pace helps mask the lack of compelling characters by constantly introducing new ideas and having an action sequence around every corner.
Through the film's acceptance of its own dumb nature, it becomes easy to enjoy and appreciate. This is one of the rare "turn your brain off and have fun" blockbusters that doesn't get bogged down with dullness. I was also happy that they kept all the franchise building stuff to a skippable post credits sequence. This sequence is terrible but at least they're not shoehorning it into the actual film like Marvel, DC and others are nowadays.
Enjoyable, if hugely flawed. A shame that so many people who will eat up everything that Marvel / Disney puts out, will probably dismiss this due to its lack of self-seriousness and more clear flaws. I'd take a film that compromises a few elements for the sake of keeping itself consistently fun, unapologetically stylish and knowingly silly over one that's wholly average in all areas anyday.