Godzilla (1998) Movie Review

The sad thing about the cast of the new Gozilla is this: you can't put a name for the part of Godzilla. In lieu of such, I state that Godzilla stars Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria, Kevin Dunn, and a really big lizard.

Any movie that has a cast like that should give you an immediate clue as to the cinematic quality.

Godzilla's 1998 version, which will forever be remembered as the first Godzilla that does not feature a Japanese extra looking as if he is mouthing sixteen words when all you hear is "Look: Godzilla!", is a film that takes the same spot of notoriety that all of the other films of the Godzilla pantheon do: incredibly dumb, a waste of time as large as the monster portrayed, and inexplicably (yet moderately) enjoyable. In this one, Godzilla stomps New York, and we all love that.

All right, so the lack of obviously dubbed dialogue hurts this film almost as much as the terrible performances by its human cast and the emotional and quasi-romantic subplots, but the film still remains something that has a very limited appeal of enjoyment. Enough that, should you watch this film either late at night or while making out, you'll forgive its shortcomings.

Should you happen to watch this film while completely awake, however, you will be repulsed by it. Fully awake, you'll discover that Godzilla has all the appeal of a root canal. In fact, if you were fully awake during its preview during coming attractions, you would probably be just as repulsed by the absolutely Freudian tagline "Size Does Matter" as by the rest of the movie, and would probably have decided to skip it.

Such is what happens when you try to make a franchise with what has been essentially a cult following and turn it into an incredibly mainstream phenomenon. When we look upon the American Godzilla in cinema history, it represents the ultimate failure of America to steal the East's inherent skill at slop and propensity towards pulp.

Since Godzilla has always had a cult following, and since the cult following has always talked about how Godzilla can be viewed as an allegory of post-World-War-II Japanese history, you can view the American Godzilla in the following frame of mind: Godzilla represents the final step of post-war Japan. In Godzilla, Japan has exported the terrible product that was the byproduct of hackneyed imagination and America's nuclear waste. The Japanese have gotten beyond the point where Godzilla is their protector. They have made Godzilla their Tiger games: A cheap, exportable product that will attempt to turn a profit in the U.S.

Bad sushi.


Godzilla (1998) Rating

" Grim "

Rating: PG-13, 1998


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