May, 1998: Godzilla

Words can hardly describe how disappointing Roland Emmerich’s attempt at resurrecting a beloved monster IP truly is. It is common knowledge that he was not a fan of the original Godzilla films and leveraged his success from Independence Day to take creative liberties and, boy, is it apparent.


The script is more action than plot oriented, so it’s rather easy to explain: Dr. Niko Tatopoulos (played by Matthew Broderick) is a world-renowned scientist that studies the effects that nuclear fallout has on the environment– in particular, earth worms. While conducting research in Russia, he is contacted by the American government to study a humongous footprint in French Polynesia.

Rather quickly, Godzilla makes his way ashore and ravages Manhattan while taking refuge in the subway system– as if New Yorkers don’t already have enough troubles with trains that run on technology approaching nearly a century old. Tatopouos surmises that the beast originated near the footprint and was a product of nuclear testing conducted by the French government.

Though Tatopoulos attempts to be friendly with the monster, the army quickly opens fire and kicks off an hour long action scene to round out the movie. In the end, Godzilla and nearly all of his babies are torched by a huge detonation in Madison Square Garden– or so we think. Before the credits roll, one final, forgotten egg hatches and we’re left wondering whether or not it slept through the second and third acts like we did.

The short and sweet is that Godzilla is bad– really bad. It’s hard to name something positive that you can take away other than some impressive water effects early in the film. After that, you’re left with a slew of poor performances, some unimpressive CGI (even for the time), and a script that relishes the use of jokes that are simultaneously lame and cringe-inducing.

You’re better off popping in one of the Japanese classics and calling it a night.

Matt: Don't watch
Gabe: Don't watch



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