The good news is Godzilla is back, in all his spine-rattling glory.

The bad news is he went and destroyed most of San Francisco in the process. If you're a commuter, you might want to call in before you go to work, just to make sure your building is still there.

Like they say, you can't make a reptile omelet without breaking a few reptile eggs. Godzilla has remained a fascination among sci-fi lovers for more than 50 years and, because of his status as perhaps the longest-tenured (and tallest) popular figure in the genre, no studio wants to touch the character unless they do it right. Think about Bryan Singer trying to do Superman. It wasn't bad at the time, but the public's love of the character made it clear that you just can't make a "Superman" movie. You have to pay proper respect to the character, or else the crowd turns on you.

Which is what happened with Roland Emmerich's 1998 version of the Godzilla story, which made some fans believe Emmerich never saw a Godzilla film before. He just didn't get it.

That's not to say the concept doesn't need updating. So feel free to be hopeful about the latest "Godzilla" movie. Directed by Gareth Edwards and written by Max Borenstein and Dave Callaham, this is the Godzilla you grew up loving, while clearly being a 21st Century upgrade.

But not so fast. For one thing, the big guy doesn't make a clear appearance until halfway through the movie. For another -- while the producers do an admirable job of sticking to the original "Nukes are bad" theme that spawned Godzilla back in the '50s, it's not entirely clear who's bad, who's good, and why.


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Then again, it barely matters in the end. The special effects are excellent -- a bare minimum of computer generated effects were used when it came to destroying cities -- and the writers did a wonderful job of making us wait until the big guy did what he did to make his fans pump a fist in the theater.

"Godzilla" may be the most fun movie of the summer.

Check back later for my more comprehensive review.

Contact Tony Hicks at Facebook.com/BayAreaNewsGroup.TonyHicks or Twitter.com/insertfoot.


This film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows a scene from "Godzilla." (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures)
This film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows a scene from "Godzilla." (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures)