Godzilla is back! Does his latest film return him to the top of the movie monster universe or is this another misstep in the legendary creature’s history?

The Good: Let’s get this out of the way. The money shots in “Godzilla” are amazing. It’s everything you expected and with some especially brutal fight moves, Godzilla has his moments to shine. Also, after “Pacific Rim”, which took a much more light-hearted summer approach to its tone, it was nice to see “Godzilla” take a more serious, darker approach. Bryan Cranston is solid in a limited role.

The Bad: Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to love this film, it falls flat in a lot of areas. First, while Godzilla does shine in moments, he barely gets more than those moments on screen. If you thought it was odd to only see Batman for a fraction of the runtime of “The Dark Knight Rises”, it’s far worse here. In fact, Godzilla barely makes an appearance for the first half of this film. It’s a cardinal sin to have the the character a movie is named after be reduced to what feels like an extended cameo in my book.

The human characters are the film’s real weak points. With actors like Cranston, Aaron Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, and David Strathairn anchoring the cast, you have great talent here. But frankly, we’re given very little character development, some cliche movie tropes and even less reason to care about these characters. That wouldn’t be a huge problem for me in a summer blockbuster, but once the decision was made to put these characters front and center, the movie suffers greatly.

There’s also quite a lot of … questionable logic used by numerous characters. And I mean questionable by summer movie standards.

Frankly, I was bored by this movie. Being forced to watch characters we care nothing about all the while talking about Godzilla without actually showing him makes this movie a chore to get through in parts.

The Final Word: What looked like the breakout hit of the summer after its marketing campaign is a dull summer misfire. While Godzilla does have his moments to shine they are so few and far between it can’t compensate for weakly written characters making silly decisions.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

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