There will be (kind of) spoilers below.
In 2014 Warner Bros. released a Godzilla reboot which performed reasonably well at the box office. Its $529 million gross was enough to get a shared universe of giant monster films greenlit, including this month's Kong: Skull Island - a dumb but entertainingly well-made creature feature about a spooky primordial island where spiders the size of skyscrapers stab people in the face with their legs. It also wiped the taste of the atrocious 1998 film starring Mathew Broderick out of our mouths - even as a kid I knew that movie was offensive in its badness.
The success of Godzilla also served as a springboard for the career of director Gareth Edwards. Prior to Godzilla, Edwards had only directed one film, the superb no-budget indie flick Monsters. Warner Bros. nevertheless trusted him with the keys to their franchise based on his obvious talent and the fact that they probably didn't have to pay him that much since he had no credits. I doubt Edwards is complaining; last year he helmed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which was both a very good film and a money-printing machine. Yet while Godzilla was financially successful and launched a promising directorial career, critics and fans have been divided in their feelings about it and it basically boils down to the way Edwards chose to use the main character.
One camp feels that Godzilla is not in the film enough. Only at the very end do we have a show-stopping spectacle where giant monsters duke it out while crushing the city of San Francisco in the process. Everything leading up to that is mostly build-up, where the destruction and massive scale of the creatures is hinted at rather than directly observed: we see enormous scales barely peek out of the ocean surface before vanishing again, or we see huge animal tracks carved into mountain sides but not what made them. To these critics, the lack of action and the thin human characters made the film a bore.
Other critics felt that the slow build made the eventual climactic battle much more effective. Edwards shoots scale magnificently, being sure to place the camera in ways that convey how big these monsters are in a man-sized world. He takes his time with carefully observed details in order to expertly build the film's reality and give us a real sense of that scale. Moreover, when the effect of a destructive force is cleverly hinted at, it's much better at ratcheting up tension than lazily splashing CGI all across the screen. A simple viewing of Jaws should convince anyone of this.
In Godzilla, there is a scene where a foggy river becomes filled with the burning detritus of a monster attack. The attack happens off-screen. All the characters see is burning, mangled metal floating down a river, suggesting something terrible happened upstream. It's visually haunting and it conveys what these monsters can do without us having to watch them do it. If this bores you, then you have probably become inured to the suggestive power of cinema while waving your pitchfork around screaming: "We want monster fight! We want monster fight!"
People bored by this film are thus not only wrong, but they threaten Western Civilization itself. The lack of patience needed to appreciate the film's slow-burning narrative structure and visual imagery is emblematic of a shallow society obsessed with social media and instant gratification, one that slavishly craves spectacle at all costs, and is bored by nuance. In short, the very kind of people who would have no interest in mundane policy details but would instead be seduced by the sugary, nonsensical gibberish of a celebrity buffoon like Donald Trump, a bright shiny disaster film containing no subtly whatsoever but which is fun to look at.
If only we had known then what we know now, the reaction those people had to Godzilla might have given us an inkling that they were about to elect Orange Godzilla as President. Maybe by the time Godzilla and King Kong fight each other in their shared cinematic universe (which will probably be around 2020) our tastes as a society - in politics, in movies - will have matured. One can hope.