A few of my thoughts. NO PLOT SPOILERS PLEASE! Although i will be talking about the characters motivations a little bit.
Basically, its an exciting movie but it played out more like the TV series than the previous 2 films did.
okay, first off, I just couldnt get into the series/early stuff. Way too much angst and it just plain made me uncomfortable, despite loving the hell out of the concept and universe. I would be drawn in and repulsed again and again and again.
then the new 1.1 remake came out and its was fantastic. They kept all the bits I liked and toned down the childhood situations/traumas to something I felt was more realistic. I was hooked. 2.2 simply nailed it and i had been awaiting 3.3 with a fervour worthy of Asuka's constant yelling.
3.3 starts great but quickly goes downhill.
Now i should point out that i have no real issues with the events of 3.3 except that pretty everyone except for Shinji and his Father seem to have reverted to pre-remake selves and/or are total assholes.
Obviously, this is my reaction and i will say that I think if you were okay with the tv series you'd probably be fine with this.
But for me, tonally, it feels like a MASSIVE backslide, destroying all the 'progress' made with the previous 2 remakes.
If I put the characterisation to one side, this movie has everything else in bucketloads. Great fights, great visuals, just amazing developments in general. I just wish so much that the writer(s) hadn't gone back to the well quite so much with regards to the people.
its like a Da Vinci painting where Da Vinci lost the ability to do eyes and so settled for drawing googly eyes instead. Jarring and kinda ruins the brilliance of everything else.
in conclusion, I enjoyed it, but saddened at how much I disliked it.