Shockingly, the violent release of smoke, fire, and meteoric debris is positioned more as a climactic afterthought than as the main attraction.
Its obsession with male genitalia, or, more specifically, penis receptacles, is emblematic of its aura of male entitlement and its consideration of women as prizes to be lanced.
The setup and geography are consistent with the original, though the film never makes the mistake of trying to rebottle the lightning that electrified Sam Raimi’s movie.
If Godzilla was a manifestation of Cold War paranoia, the Cloverield monster is a reflection of the chic nihilism that is the J.J. Abrams brand.
The film doesn’t make its individual moments coalesce into something more than just a loud, frantic, hollow gimmick.