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May 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The principal complaint from critics about Godzilla, the new movie starring Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Elizabeth Olsen, is that there isn’t enough of him. Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal begins his review of the movie with this comment: “Patience is a virtue, and you’ll need lots of it during the first half of “Godzilla,” which threatens to be a lizardly variant of Waiting for Godot.” Morgenstern notes that “the star of the show doesn’t have anything to do until almost an hour has drifted by.” A.O. Scott in the New York Times comments on “the sheer agony of waiting for something to happen.” Of course, the audience is teased by the appearance of two other monsters — MUTOs they’re called — but Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times remarks that director Gareth Edwards lets the tease “go on too long. … By the time Godzilla emerges in all his gory glory, you may feel more taunted than teased.” The film’s climax sees a monster battle take place in San Francisco, in which the downtown section of the city is the big loser. And Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle acknowledges that the scene “really does look as if it’s actually happening. Still, without any human participation of any importance, it’s hard to get worked up about any of it — and that’s even if you happen to be watching the movie in downtown San Francisco.” Nevertheless, Lou Lumenick in the New York Post argues that the showdown in the second half is worth waiting for. “The big guy demonstrates he’s still got the old mojo when he finally waddles out of the Pacific,” he writes. And Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune also believes that the wait for the monster pays off. “Is there enough Godzilla in Godzilla?” he asks rhetorically. “Folks, there is. There is just enough,” he continues. “While it does indeed take close to an hour for the prehistoric being to get his first full-on, gangway-world-get-off-of-my-runway close-up, director Gareth Edwards lays the expository groundwork nicely and hands the audience what it craves in the second half.”