As "gigantic monster reptile attacks New York" movies go, you've got to admit that Godzilla delivers the goods, although its critical drubbing and box-office disappointment were arguably deserved. It's a shameless, uninspired crowd-pleaser that's content to serve up familiar action with the advantage of really fantastic special effects, and if you expect nothing more you'll be one among millions of satisfied customers. There's really no other way to approach it--you just have to accept the fact that Independence Day creators Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin are unapologetic... plagiarists, incapable of anything more than mindless spectacle that can play in any cinema in the world without dubbing or subtitles. The whole movie plays out like a series of highlights stolen from previous blockbusters of the 1990s; it's little more than a rehash of the Jurassic Park movies. The derivative script is so trivial that it's unworthy of comment, apart from a few choice laughs and the casting of Michael Lerner as New York's mayor, whose name is Ebert and who closely resembles a certain well-known movie critic. Perhaps that's a clever hint that this movie's essentially critic-proof. It's stupid but it's fun, and for most audiences that's a fitting definition of mainstream Hollywood entertainment. --Jeff Shannon [show more]
Hollywood will never sicken of remakes as long as they sell tickets, fact. Hollywood will never sicken of remakes as long as they sell toys and T-shirts, fact. This American redo of Godzilla, the classic Toho movie monster will shift Tickets and move toys, Fact! The principle of taking the classic Japanese super monster, and putting him in America must have been to tempting for the folks in Hollywood ,and its Tristar entertainment who get to distribute the mega bucks movie worldwide, and to what must be a high demographic.
This version of Godzilla has been floating around Beverly Hills for quite a while it would seem. After the success of Jurassic Park Dinosaurs became all the rage and the true king of them all, Godzilla looked ripe for a redo. So Toho auctioned of the rights and Coumbia Tristar snaffled the deal. Originally it was Speed and Twister director Jan De Bont who looked like landing the job, and indeed he took the project into the earliest parts of production, but left pronto for some reason more than likely pushy Studio execs or a harsh time schedule. So the mantel fell to Independence Day director Roland Emmerich and his chief writer Dean Devlin to bring the movie behemoth into the 21st century.
The first comparisons the movie will draw are to Independence Day and Jurassic Park, as it is essentially those two films rolled into one. Emmerich"s follow up to Independence day I am pleased to report is a better and a more thoughtful movie, though realistically that isn"t saying much. I enjoyed it to a higher degree and there were far less annoying characters and jingoistic interludes. That said the more likely comparison is to Jurassic Park and its sequel, where unsurprisingly it cant match up. Really I never expected the film to match the original Jurassic Park, that film possessed a charm and script that only a small fraction of Blockbuster"s manage to obtain. However matching the previous years spectacular, but ultimately rather dumb The Lost World Jurassic Park seemed like a more realistic target, but unfortunately even there Godzilla cant quite make the cut.
The script is doggedly written and overly flabby in several sections. The idea and premise itself occasionally looks smart, but essentially when the characters are spouting juvenile and unrealistic lines that doesn"t count for much. The actors themselves are all fairly charm less with the notable exception of Jean Reno who occasionally musters up some solid laughs. In the leads Matthew Broderick a usually capable actor struggles and Maria Pitallo completely fails to do anything close to acceptable acting, expect a Razzie for her come 1999. There is no chemistry between any of the cast but with Devlin"s dum-dum script that"s not entirely unexpected.
The plus points however are more than a match for the movies detractors. Godzilla looks great and if another Summer movie beats the thrills of the giant Dino tramping up the big apple then I"d be pretty surprised. The effects aren"t groundbreaking but they certainly make for a convincing and rather spectacular creature. The set pieces are executed with superior style and excitement. After Universal Soldier and Independence Day Emmerich has become a 1st class Hollywood slickster and seems to effortlessly concoct brilliant and occasionally humorous scenarios for his monster. Godzilla is also given a lot more depth as a character, which really shocked me. Don"t get me wrong it"s not like you begin to know him or anything, but still for this kind of film to lend a character or any emotion to a bloody special effect is quite something. Devlin"s script for all its wooden and hammy dialogue manages to break itself up by throwing in something jumpy or exciting every couple of minutes so it"s not a total lost cause.
The film runs for 2 hours and does feel a little stretched out. You get the feeling it would have worked better if the last 20 minutes were shaved of, but then admittedly they may well be the films best. It also does take a fair amount of time for Godzilla to raise his toothy head which might not have been so bad had Emmerich actually used the time afforded to him by the script to develop some real character or chemistry between the actors, but ultimately its time wasted. The fact the film is called Godzilla is hardly surprising, because when he isn"t on screen the film becomes a bit of a mess. However what really counts is the fun factor, and here Godzilla really comes up trumps. Audiences won"t care about character and good plotting if there"s plenty of explosions and destruction, and in those departments this movie can"t be faulted.
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. In the steamy jungles of the South Pacific, an enormous creature is created by nuclear fallout. Lost for decades, the power and the fury of the world's largest monster are about to be unleashed. He's the most spectacular creature in cinematic history, with a foot the size of a bus, a body as tall as London's Big Ben and strength and agility the likes of which the world has never seen.
The makers of 'Independence Day' return with a big-budget makeover of the Japanese monster movies. Godzilla is a huge reptilian monster, a terrible genetic mutation caused by the French nuclear tests in the Pacific. Making her way to New York, the amphibian terror threatens the city with complete destruction. Scientist Niko Tatopoulos (Matthew Broderick), a TV reporter (Maria Pitillo) and a team of French special agents (including Jean Réno) are the Big Apple's only hope as an even more horrific scenario unfolds: Godzilla is planning to have babies.