Godzilla's name has been largely connected to a campy tone with some sweet monster action. Yet, with the 2014 reboot of the world's favorite giant lizard, expectations were quickly subverted with a haunting teaser that set the stage for a monster movie unlike any other. A look at a strikingly-harrowing hellscape with music from 2001: A Space Odyssey? Ok, this ain't your dad's Godzilla.
Unfortunately, while it did in fact maintain the far grimmer tone that the teaser shows, the movie was completely lacking for personality from its non-gargantuan characters. Bryan Cranston was the only one giving his all with an emotionally-driven performance, but he's quickly dispatched for the sake of the plot. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is then left to fend for himself with an impressively-dull protagonist just isn't interesting enough.
Worst of all is Gareth Edward's insistence on purposely shoving Titan action off-screen throughout. The teaser's immense sense of tension and visual beauty is present, but in the context of the film, they end up being momentary. Godzilla isn't allowed much screentime, the central character is uninteresting, yet is given the most screentime, and the great final showdown serves as a reminder of what Godzilla could've been.