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Godzilla (1998)

DVD Cover (Columbia Tri-Star)
Movie Connections:
Godzilla
> Godzilla (1954)
> Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
> Godzilla, King Of The Monsters! (1956)
> King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
> Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
> Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster (1964)
> Invasion Of Astro-Monster (1965)
> Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster (1966)
> Son Of Godzilla (1967)
> Destroy All Monsters (1968)
> All Monsters Attack (1969)
> Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)
> Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
> Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)
> Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
> ...Show All Connections?
Genres / Traits:
Creature Film, Sci-Fi Action, Science Fiction, Kaiju
Director:
Roland Emmerich Roland Emmerich
Starring:
Matthew Broderick Matthew Broderick
Jean Reno Jean Reno
Maria Pitillo Maria Pitillo
Hank Azaria Hank Azaria
Kevin Dunn Kevin Dunn

4.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: March 22, 2007
Remaking something as historically-significant as Godzilla had to take a rather large set of balls. On the one hand, you could stay true to the films that made the "character" so beloved and film a guy in a suit stomping on model trains and buildings while fighting off aliens and giant moths. I doubt the American audience would have bought into that, so the guys in charge went in the opposite direction: they completely changed Godzilla in terms of appearance, abilities, and his preferred stomping-grounds. It was a pretty big failure, to say the least: fan-boys around the world had heart attacks at the sight of this new vision of the character, while critics blasted it for being yet another mindless action flick with horrid acting and a lackluster script. Was there any merit behind those claims? Well, yeah... but Godzilla isn't so bad if you take it for what it is: a mindless action flick with little connection to the source material.

You want a storyline? How about this: a giant lizard wreaks havoc through Manhattan for about two hours, and it's up to four unlikely people - the so-called "worm guy" Niko Tatopoulos (Matthew Broderick), Frenchie Philippe Roaché (Jean Reno), Niko's former love Audrey Timmonds (Maria Pitillo), and cameraman Victor 'Animal' Palotti (Hank Azaria) - to stop it. The army also gets involved in the madness, leading to plenty of downtown shoot-outs, and there's also a bit in there about Godzilla being asexual and laying hundreds of eggs in the subway which leads to a swarm of mini-monsters terrorizing our cast.

Really, that's about it for the storyline, unless you factor in any of the worthless subplots (Niko and Audrey's love affair, Audrey trying to become a news reporter, the inept mayor looking out for himself, etc.) that spring up along the way. At its core, Godzilla is simply two hours of action, with our heroes running from the titular beast, the army attempting to kill said beast, and the beast destroying the city. If you favor visual effects and eye-candy over substance, acting abilities, or even a true plot, this is your movie.

I won't detail just how bad the acting was in this review, but suffice it to say that there's a perfectly valid reason as to why leading lady Maria Pitillo pretty much disappeared after her role here. I also won't get into the gaping plot holes that run rampant as the film moves along: just because Godzilla's foot is about twice as tall as a taxi doesn't necessarily mean that he can't squeeze into a subway, right? I won't even point out the numerous Jurassic Park "nods" found throughout the film; I mean, there's always room for "inspiration", correct?

However, the one thing that I can't overlook is the length of the film. I'm fine with the endless action sequences and threadbare storyline, really, I am - but there's only so many times that you can watch this beast run down the street chasing after people before it starts to get old, and considering that's basically what happens for two hours, well... you do the math. They tried to spice it up around the middle of the film by introducing the babyzillas, but all that did was change the story from "huge lizard chases the stars" to "hundreds of fairly large lizards chase the stars." Some variety would have worked wonders in this script, and it got to a point where I was actually hoping for a giant moth or a bunch of little green men to show up just to liven things up a bit.

Overall, it's not quite as bad as the critics made it out to be, but I can't entirely disagree with them either. If you can turn your brain off for the evening, Godzilla will provide you with plenty of action and neat visuals... but not much else. 4/10.
Recommended Movies
Godzilla Godzilla, King Of The Monsters! Shin Godzilla Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster Mothra vs. Godzilla
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla Invasion Of Astro-Monster King Kong vs. Godzilla Godzilla vs. Megalon All Monsters Attack
Terror Of Mechagodzilla Godzilla: King Of The Monsters Godzilla vs. Hedorah Godzilla vs. Gigan Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster
QuietMan #1: QuietMan - added 03/24/2007, 10:55 AM
love this movie a total guilty pleasure
Crispy #2: Crispy - added 06/17/2007, 11:07 PM
Hey man, this movie was distributed by Tristar, not Sony.
Chad #3: Chad - added 06/18/2007, 10:02 AM
Sony owns Tristar, and the reissue was released under the Sony label.
Crispy #4: Crispy - added 06/18/2007, 05:00 PM
*nods* Gotcha. I apologize for my insolence.
Bliss From A Dead Embrace #5: Bliss From A Dead Embrace - added 06/27/2008, 07:59 PM
Godzilla was always bad acting and 2 hours of a guy in a suit smashing a moden city. So now they made it bad acting with a CGI monster smashing a city for 2 hours. Whats the big deal? For what its meant to be, I liked it. 7.5/10
Rik #6: Rik - added 07/03/2008, 12:11 PM
I'm still bummed that this Godzilla is not the size it's supposed to be (according to the poster with its foot, not the Japanese version).

Another thing that bugs me is that this Godzilla has flammable breath as apposed to atomic 'breath'. I guess they're just trying to make it realistic. Well, nothing more realistic than a 40 storey tall lizard running around.

All in all, I found it pretty entertaining.
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