‘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

Expo in Stanwood can help you get ready for the country

The Country Living Expo and Cattlemen’s Winterschool is set for Jan. 27 at the high school.

Curries continues home-cooked Indian cuisine at new location

The restaurant, now located on Evergreen Way, also puts an Indian spin on Northwest cooking.

Want to buy a house this year? Here’s how to start saving up

Here are five ways to help you put 10 percent of your income per year toward buying a house.

Beer of the Week: Scuttlebutt’s Night Circus

The Everett brewery’s head brewer had nightmares trying to dial in its new coffee and coconut ale.

A visit to the nursery helps put you in the mood to garden

Not ready to get back into gardening? January is still a fun time to poke around a garden center.

Plant of Merit: Hybrid oriental hellebores, Lenten rose

What: Oriental hybrid hellebores, with the common name Lenten rose, are a… Continue reading

Long rocking bench with strange fence is for protecting baby

The settee is a furniture form that dates to the 1810s. It’s a lengthened Windsor or Hitchcock chair.

Home and Garden calendar for Snohomish County and beyond

“The Promise of Spring”: Plant sale and workshops by Northwest Perennial Alliance,… Continue reading

‘Portlandia’ ending after eight seasons of lampooning hipsters

The sketch comedy series launched its final season this week.

Most Read