‘Godzilla’: Monster reptile hogs all the scenes

It must be getting tiresome after all these years. You’re trying to sleep off a terrific atomic hangover, but they keep pulling you back from your reptilian slumber. Another city to crush, another opponent to battle. Power lines everywhere. They send missiles at you, but they don’t work; they never do. Pretty soon, they unleash the nuclear option. Again.

Maybe it’s just me, but Godzilla looks weary in his latest outing, 60 years after his debut. This new “Godzilla” uploads some dazzling special effects (in 3D in some theaters) and unleashes them on Tokyo, Las Vegas and San Francisco.

Godzilla himself goes up against a couple of angry MUTOs, large dinosaurish creatures related to a meltdown in a Japanese nuclear plant in 1999. Echoes of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster are very much encouraged.

“Let them fight,” says a scientist (Ken Watanabe), a man who has clearly seen Godzilla’s big-time clashes with the likes of Gamera and Mothra in the past. And so as the monsters make their way toward the North American coast, we can anticipate a battle royale on a seismic scale.

Like any diva, Godzilla doesn’t make his appearance until the show is well under way. Much of the time we’re focused on a Navy bomb expert (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and his wife (Elizabeth Olsen), who are drawn into the fray.

There’s also some backstory about his parents (Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche) and their involvement in the discovery of the MUTOs. The obligatory military effort against the monsters is led by David Strathairn — a fine actor, but not the man you want defending the future of the planet.

Listing these actors seems irrelevant. They are all equally colorless, their dialogue bland, their characters non-existent.

Taylor-Johnson, from the “Kick-Ass” movies, gives off little personality. I kept wishing the young version of Bruce Willis would swagger into the movie and take over, spreading a little humorous bravado around.

But no. Although the cast is intriguing, this movie has the same shortcomings as director Gareth Edwards’ previous effort, “Monsters.” Interesting idea, fantastic special effects, but incredibly awkward when it comes to detailing the human side of things.

If you don’t care about the human stuff, “Godzilla” has lots of destruction, evocatively shot. Godzilla himself looks great. Now let’s let him rest on the bottom of the ocean for a while until the next time a summer blockbuster is required.

“Godzilla” (2 1/2 stars)

Another go-round for the 60-year-old giant reptile, this time summoned when a couple of dinosaurish creatures emerge from a nuclear-plant disaster. Interesting cast — Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston — and dazzling effects, but the human part of the movie is completely bland and colorless.

Rating: PG-13, for violence

Opens: Friday at Alderwood Mall, Cinebarre Mountlake Terrace, Everett Stadium, Galaxy Monroe, Marysville, Stanwood Cinemas, Sundance Cinemas Seattle, Thorton Place Stadium, Woodinville, Blue Fox Drive-In, Cascade Mall and Oak Harbor Plaza.

More in Life

Using a rod to assist in running wiring through an attic space, Don Thomas, of R&D Handyman Service, works on installing a ceiling fan at a home in SE Everett on Monday, July 24, 2017 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
                                Don Thomas of R&D Handyman Service installs a ceiling fan at a home in southeast Everett. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
When fall chores loom, just hand them to the handyman

Here are three local businesses that can help you prepare your home for the rainy season.

And this year’s winners of Everett’s Monte Cristo Awards are…

The awards recognize local homeowners and businesses that take special care of their properties.

‘Happy Death Day’ applies ‘Groundhog Day’ premise on horror genre

Smart writing and Jessica Rothe’s performance make this worth seeing.

Adventurer 1st to finish Race to Alaska on stand-up paddleboard

Karl Kruger will speak about his trip at the Everett Mountaineers Banquet on Nov. 4 in Lynnwood.

Therapy helped ease debilitating pain after injury

Columnist Jennifer Bardsley shares her experiences with complex regional pain syndrome.

How to prune a hydrangea: An exception to the pruning rule

It helps to think of a growing blackberry vine when you’re about to cut back this blooming shrub.

Visiting Germany’s Lutherland, birthplace of Reformation

The sights include the church where the first Protestant service took place in 1521.

Can you top ‘Hamilton’? Author Ron Chernow is about to find out

The notable writer’s latest book, published Oct. 10, is a lengthy biography on Ulysses S. Grant.

Most Read