Godzilla acting like a dick gets boring fast.
All it takes is about 10 minutes to understand what you’re in for: a bland, badly-cast, and really, really stupid movie that’s an excuse to showcase a series of cheap action scenes. There is nothing redeeming about this movie, not even a tiny story arc that you can get hooked on. The whole thing smells like that cheap Italian perfume that hairy guy wore in the train this morning; the stench just won’t leave your nose a few hours later.
Don’t be surprised by the lack of Godzilla-isms in this movie. It’s really about a giant lizard with bad planning who likes messing around with humans. If you’re courageous enough to confront this movie after these kind warnings, please do so with a friend so you won’t be battling depression alone.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Puzzling” title=”I have no idea where this is going.”/]
This version of the Godzilla origin story is told through the opening credits, set to pompous music. Then comes Godzilla’s first show of strength featuring Japanese sailors and a random boat, followed by Matthew Broderick humming Singing in the rain – while in the rain. A flawless setup, for sure.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Trashy” title=”Warning: the humor is buried in racism.”/]
Many are shown making fun of Broderick’s family name, Tatopopoulos. Japanese characters only act like they were imported from some cheap anime movie. Some random poor Africans stand there, useless, in a shot featuring the monster’s devastation. The French crave croissants and spit out American coffee. I hope the genius writing this shit isn’t giving any screenwriting tips to up-and-comers in the business.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Facepalm” title=”New York City gets better billing than the women in this film.”/]
While the Matthew Broderick character wanders around doing next to nothing, his ex-flame gets promoted with a storyline. Looks like she will be a dumb blonde assistant who thinks she can be a journalist by being nice to her sexist boss. When she refuses to sleep with him in exchange for a position, she desperately wishes for a man to save her from her misery. Huh. Let’s also note that a grand total of three women appear in this movie.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Fun” title=”Fast-running fisherman.”/]
As a huge fan of Jurassic Park (seriously, I watch it every year), I was pumped for this movie back in 1998. Then came the second trailer, which you can catch right here, featuring an old fisherman catching Godzilla. It was the pure definition of a teaser, as it doesn’t reveal Godzilla but still delivers on the special effects. Had I known it was the only relatable character this movie would offer, I would’ve tightened up my guard a bit.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Shocking” title=”Early invasion.”/]
Only 25 minutes in, and Godzilla already invades New York City. I’m sure director Roland Emmerich’s intentions were to offer us unrelenting action for the rest of the movie, but I’m starting to wonder how he will spend the next 105 minutes. Part of the answer to this question is touched upon quickly as the Army reveals that they “lost” Godzilla. You read right. The monster is playing hide and seek.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Laughable” title=”Couldn’t they cast two different actors?”/]
Harry Shearer plays the sexist boss I was talking about earlier. What I didn’t expect was for him to be the serious reporter guiding us through the devastation scenes. At this point, you just know this movie won’t even stretch its neck for some dramatic tension. No one cares about the humans, Godzilla, the military, or the sad Roger Ebert impression disguised as the mayor. So cynical.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Batshit” title=”Confusion in the ranks.”/]
Get this: the military and the mayor get into an argument over how to deal this this monster crisis. The mayor starts telling the highest-ranking officer what to do. Then, Matthew Broderick starts telling the military when to shoot their guns. Meanwhile, the POTUS is nowhere to be found. We must now pray for the fate of this city.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Quotable” title=”Another display of great writing.”/]
Just to make it bluntly clear that Matthew Broderick has nothing to do in this movie, he is shown staring at Godzilla’s fish trap for a full minute before letting off this gem: “That’s a lot of fish.” That’s not all! A few seconds later, he starts taking pictures of the lizard’s ass, magnified by its sheer size.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Funny” title=”Now for some destruction porn.”/]
Various reports hint that director Roland Emmerich hated Godzilla and only took on this movie to inflate his “Must Destroy” list. Most of the special effects budget is spent exploding the Flatiron and the Chrysler buildings, thanks in part to Godzilla’s fast-dodging skills. I see what’s going on here. Emmerich put all his love in tiny models.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Facepalm” title=”You know, he’s just looking for a quiet place to hatch.”/]
Our favorite monster finally got his story arc! He’s shopping for breeding space! The fact that he chose the biggest city in America to do so highlights his other great quality: he’s pretty dumb.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Anticlimactic” title=”This movie just won’t end.”/]
Godzilla goes for a foot chase with a taxi that leads into him getting caught on the Brooklyn bridge. Once there, plenty of jets start gruesomely shooting missiles at his torso until he surrenders to a horrible death before our bloodshot eyes. By this point, a number of things become very clear: One, the dumb blonde was more worried about her career than the monster invading NYC. Two, Matthew Broderick is smarter than the US Military. And three, it took a French guy (Jean Reno) to defeat Godzilla while Americans sat on their hands.
There is nothing worth revisiting in the original 1998 remake, as it's not short enough to justify a bout of drunk laughter with friends. In fact, depending on the type of friends you hang out with, it could even spark hateful discussions because of how racist and sexist the whole thing is.