Godzilla

Size does matter.

Science Fiction Action Thriller
139 min     5.6     1998     USA

Overview

French nuclear tests irradiate an iguana into a giant monster that viciously attacks freighter ships in the Pacific Ocean. A team of experts, including Niko Tatopoulos, conclude that the oversized reptile is the culprit. Before long, the giant lizard is loose in Manhattan as the US military races to destroy the monster before it reproduces and it's spawn takes over the world.

Reviews

tmdb27219454 wrote:
***HERE THERE BE SPOILERS*** This version of Godzilla is a difficult one to give a simple overall rating. Honestly, if Hollywood had just made this into a generic monster movie, kind of the way they did with Cloverfield, it would have easily been an above average movie, possibly even breaking into 4 star territory. The acting is above average (including the must-have flavor of the month, Jean Reno), the F/X are excellent for 1998 and the plot actually makes sense. Nevertheless, the failure for this movie is that it was made by people not familiar with the franchise and/or what Godzilla means to his fanbase. Godzilla is to the people of Japan what Batman and Superman are to Americans, what Dr. Who and James Bond are to the British and what Shaft and the Black Panther are to the Black Community. The demotion of Godzilla to that of nothing more than an over-sized animal working wholly upon instinct instead of the more humanistic level of intelligence that we in the fandom have come to know and expect was a slap in the face. Furthermore, the final scene where Godzilla is killed (a blasphemy only seen two other times in his 60 year history (Gojira (1954) and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995), the later being the planned end to the franchise in its entirety) by only three F/18s and a total of 6 missiles when entire armies have done nothing more than irritate the King of Monsters was beyond belief. For those not familiar with Godzilla's accomplishments and reputation, imagine the outrage that would come from the respective communities if James Bond was taken out by a mall cop or Superman was killed by 3 six-year-old brats with baseball bats. Now you understand why Japanese movie-goers were storming the box-offices DEMANDING a full refund for this insult and why Toho quickly resurrected their dearly departed Kaiju less than one year later for probably one of the best movies in the entire franchise, Godzilla 1999 (Godzilla 2000 here in the United States). All in all, as a monster movie, Godzilla gets 3.75 stars. However, for a Godzilla movie, it gets a 1 star rating. I'll cut the difference and meet them somewhere around the middle with a 2.5 star final score.
John Chard wrote:
The hype was as big as the monster to start with! It felt like this take on Godzilla was advertised for 2 years in advance of the actual release, every time (it seemed) I went to the cinema I was awestruck by little teaser trailers, in fact the one of the old guy fishing and hooking Zilla is a personal favourite...SIZE DOES MATTER! Love it I do. Sadly as most of us now know, the film didn't meet fans and critics expectations at all, but was the film done down by the hype and an expectation of a masterpiece for the genre?. Well it didn't help that is for sure, but taking aside that problem, the film only glimpses at what might have been. It has many great points that seem to have been forgotten, so sadly we are all too aware of the film's failings on the makers behalf. The build up in the film is excellent, the makers mount the tension in steady strokes, doing what all classic monster movie makers do, they have you waiting with gripping expectation of the creature by a series of scenarios and inventive dialogue. The sound is incredible, making it an essential viewing for those who cherish home surround cinema, while some of the shots and destruction of New York are well worth the viewers time. But then? Well they throw the good work away by turning the film's focus away from the big lizard to a story line that was only fitting for the cartoon version of Godzooki. Thus rendering the film as a poor man's Jurassic Park, which quite frankly doesn't sit well. Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno and Hank Azaria all deserved better scripting, hell we all did! It's not the evil stinker some would have you believe, it does have its moments of both good and bad, it is, by definition, very much a film split down the middle. 5/10

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