Movie Magazine International


USA - 1998

Movie Review By Heather Clisby

After much hoopla and anticipation, "Godzilla" has returned in time for summer to prove that nobody can recycle quite like Hollywood.

Directed by Roland Emmerich, "Godzilla" is an old friend back with a serious makeover. Gone is the cute and chubby monster we recall from the cheesy Japanese flicks of the 50s. Today's lizard is more alien-like but still able to arouse our sympathy and affection. All the computer wizardry does not erase the fact that the G-Man is one big, clumsy, messy hero who just trying to follow the natural order of things. He is us.

Too deep for you? Don't worry, there's plenty of fluff here.

Human cast-wise, there's Matthew Broderick as Dr. Nick Tetopolus, a scientist who studies the effects of nuclear testing on the natural world; Jean Reno as a French Secret Service agent; Harry Shearer as an egotistical news anchorman and Hank Azaria as Animal, a ballsy cameraman with the cliched heart of gold.

"Godzilla" has but one huge flaw, the seemingly last-minute inclusion of the dumbest, sappiest, insipid love story since the doomed ship flick. It not only brought the excitement to a screeching halt but actually managed to insult the audience. Literally, when Nick kisses his love interest, the beautiful, whiny Audrey (played by Maria Pitillo) the entire audience booed loudly, myself included. She even does the helpless-girl-falls-when-trying-to-escape clichÈ. It was painful to watch. Along with a frenzied mayor worried about Godzilla's effect on the upcoming elections, Emmerlich should've been more clever with sub-plots. Hasn't anybody learned from "Twister?"

Meanwhile, Godzilla has come to New York City for some personal reasons; he needs a place to hide and just chill for a while. Where else can a 400 ft.-tall lizard that eats fish hide but on an island with giant buildings? What a blast it is to see the famous metropolis get trashed! Just the damage he does turning cornersÖthe tail alone leaves giant scars on the face of famous buildings. The weight of his footsteps makes cars jump a mile away. The city must be evacuated but being New Yorkers, there is much complaining. Shearer's character sniffs, "As if New Jersey or Long Island were any refuge."

Though folks surely die here, death is mostly implied. The best thing about Godzilla is, he can make cars explode in mid-air with his breath. This is as complicated as it should be, thus "Godzilla" is pure eye candy, don't bother bringing your brain, you'll only hurt yourself..

© 1998 - Heather Clisby - Air Date: 5/20/98

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