The director Gareth Edwards is known for his monsters and special effects, and Godzilla himself did not disappoint. He was represented as massive, gnarled, ancient and powerful - a true primordial predator. The inevitable metropolitan destruction was also very impressively depicted. Fans of the original movies take note, you are likely to be pleased with Godzilla's depiction and the storyline in this movie compared to the "other" American Godzilla movie released in the 90s.
Additionally the cast was excellent. They managed to give the movie rare moments of genuine emotion. A standout was Brian Cranston as the father of the main character. Really, Godzilla would probably have been more cohesive (and possibly shorter) if the writers had expanded on his storyline rather than switching to his son's. More Brian Cranston I say!
That being said, the other actors did the best they could with the script they had. What really let this movie down was its bloated and highly serious plot. A lot of the movie is made up of unnecessary and ultimately unsuccessful side missions by the American army trying to contain the threat. This allows the main character, a military sergeant, to be in almost every scene of the movie, as he seems to be allowed to participate in each and every mission even though he wasn't a member of those divisions.
A little humour would have been welcomed in order to break up the seemingly endless succession of missions. The idea that the main character needs to get back to his young wife and son can only keep you interested for so long. Monster movies should have human interest as giant lizards aren't known for their in-depth dialogue. But in this case there was a little too much, and Godzilla really ended up being a side character in a GI Joe-style action film.