Godzilla (1998) Review

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Peek a Boo

Godzilla (1998): 7 out of 10: Godzilla, or someone pretending to be Godzilla, attacks New York and only Matthew Broderick and the French Secret Service can save the Big Apple.

This is not the worst Godzilla film ever made, not by a long shot. The lack of endless little boys in short pants put this effort ahead of much of the filmography. Overall, it is an entertaining if often painfully dated film. Like Three Kings after the Second Iraq War, Godzilla today is a different viewing experience with today’s eyes.

Let us ask and answer some questions.

Were special effects really that bad during the nineties?

You know I am unclear on that as well. I always thought the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park looked superb and that was five years earlier than this film in 1993 and The Matrix came out only a year later than this in 1999. I recently viewed Godzilla in 4k streaming on Netflix and yikes that did the special effects no favors. Should have gone with a guy in the suit.

Why did they redesign Godzilla?

The story is that they wanted to make her more realistic. Honestly, the new one is even sillier. I mean to support that kind of weight you will need big thighs. It just looks all kinds of wrong and the movie doesn’t help matters by having Godzilla seemingly change size throughout the film.

The look is not the worse thing mind you. It is Godzilla’s new special… I’m going with ability. She is apparently a master at hide and seek. Yes, the 278 foot five hundred ton Godzilla plays peek-a-boo with the United States Army. The movie really tries to sell this hard. It does not work.

Wasn’t it was nice of those helicopters to fly low enough for Godzilla to eat them?

I know right. I mean their regular flying ceiling is twenty thousand feet but let us fly at 100 feet between buildings, that by the way look nothing like Manhattan, to give the lizard a fighting chance.

Those submarines in the Hudson seemed to have an awful time trying to find Godzilla?

Yeah, I was wondering about that. I mean the Hudson and the east river are about 40 feet deep in most place. I do not understand where they were. Even Long Island Sound at its deepest wouldn’t hide Godzilla. Facts and logic were not this film’s friend.

Overall, I enjoyed my revisit with this Godzilla. The nostalgia was nice, and I liked the fact Broderick’s love interest, the very cute Maria Pitillo, was probably one of the evilest femme fatale in the history of movies and yet he still takes her back at the end.

It has been common recently to revisit Godzilla and declare it not that bad. I agree it is not that bad. Not that good as well mind you but at least some form of Godzilla shows up in this one.

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[…] The special effects hold up better than most films from the era. Kudos to the filmmakers for filming in the sunshine. Too many effects-heavy movies in the nineties shot exclusively at night or in the rain (or both) I am looking your way Matthew Broderick’s Godzilla. […]

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