Oh no, they say he’s got to go. Go, Go Godzilla.
Decades after nuclear testing is done on French Polynesian Islands in the South Pacific a mutated creature evolves. The giant creature is a huge radioactive reptile monster that makes its way to New York City. On the way it destroys a canning ship and three fishing trawlers.
Once it gets to New York it devastates the city and makes a nest in Madison Square Garden. The military has no effect on it. NRC scientist Nick Tatopoulos (Matthew Broderick) and a band of French special ops soldiers led by Philippe Roache (Jean Reno) are the only ones that believe the creature is in New York to nest. Along with a wanna be reporter Audrey Timmonds (Maria Pitillo) and cameraman Victor 'Animal' Palotti (Hank Azaria), they are charged with finding a way to convince the authorities and the military that the threat to New York and the world is more than one large lizard.
I love Godzilla 1998. I even loved the opening credits. I do not care what the critics say. And some of them were merciless. Well I can be too. First of all for those who say Godzilla looks like a lizard. Yea. Godzilla is a lizard. A lizard that was mutated due to atomic testing on the French Polynesian Islands. Godzilla was created by radioactive contamination. After all Godzilla was created by the Japanese as a metaphor for nuclear weapons. Just because he doesn’t look like a guy in a rubber suit doesn't mean he's not Godzilla.
I also liked the rain throughout the movie. It added to the dark foreboding feel of the film. It’s like thunder in an old dark house or fog in a film noir. I’m also confused by the “stock formula monster flick” criticism. It’s a monster rampaging through a city creating mayhem. It’s what they do. What were you expecting? “Death of a Salesman”? As for the script and the acting. I was very happy with both. Hank Azaria is fabulous. Mathew Broderick has been in many hits on both screen and stage. Jean Reno has 100 acting credits under his belt. In more than one language. Maria Pitillo had only been acting for a little over 10 years but she did fine. Her part was of an unspoiled girl in the big city. Just perfect for a novice. And Doug Savant as Sergeant O’Neal is probably my favorite. As for the script. It flowed nicely. There was humor interspersed.
I did not find it boring. There was a giant monster romping around New York City. The “Chrysler Building” was blown up. A tuna factory ship was sunk. Three helicopters were destroyed. A submarine was imploded. Three fishing trawlers were pulled under the ocean. Two hundred six foot tall baby monsters were hatched and running around “Madison Square Garden”. The “Brooklyn Bridge” was torn down. Even the “Flat Iron” building was demolished.
Let’s talk special effects. I will admit that the beginning visuals of Godzilla were a little vague. The clarity of the monster wasn’t as sharp as it should have been. As the movie progressed the monster’s definition grew sharper. It was much clearer and much easier to see later in the movie. Now, keep in mind that the monster is not the only special effect in the movie. You have helicopters exploding, submarines imploding, Ground being torn up. Explosions, machine guns firing, subways trashed, Madison Square Garden in ruins, buildings demolished. Just to name a few.
I think a lot of people didn’t like it because it was not what they expected and instead of adjusting their expectations they wanted to adjust the movie to meet their expectations. You were expecting the usual TOHO movie. Well, this is a TOHO movie. Since TOHO owns Godzilla, any movie using the name must have the permission of TOHO studios. If you are a Godzilla fan, then this is Godzilla.
The movie was dedicated to the memory of Tomoyuki Tanaka. He created Godzilla.