Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Lizard is a Turkey
A Review of Godzilla: The Movie

Poster for the movie Godzilla: The Movie

More than ten years ago I saw Godzilla: The Movie (1998). What an experience that was! All bad!! The idea was to do an Americanized version of the low-budget Japanese camp classic films. The two guys who did this film were the same duo that brought us Independence Day. That should have warned us about what to expect. That and their quite public arrogance about what they were doing. They went on and on about how much better their film would be than any of the Japanese Godzilla movies. Well they blew it their film atrocity was worst than any of the Japanese Godzilla movies, but cost many, many multiples of all the Japanese Godzilla films put together. For not only was it lousy in virtually all respects it was no fun at all!!

This is, for Gods sake!, a Godzilla film so I didn’t go into the film with high expectations. I was expecting a silly, mindless and campy romp. What I got was something well below my lowest expectations and I had low expectations to begin with.

Poster of Godzilla: The movie
To mention just a few of the films many shortcomings, the lizard is the T-Rex from Jurassic Park along with many scenes being carbon copy rip-offs of the same film. For example the chasing of the little Godzillas in the movie is copied from the fight with the Raptors in Jurassic Park. The plot is just plain dumb, like why the hell does Godzilla go to New York. Why does Godzilla not eat all the actors, I would think he would like turkey and ham sandwiches. Why does everyone behave like morons in the movie? Why is the editing so bad? Why does Godzilla not go to Hollywood and destroy the studio that inflicted this upon humanity?

The script and dialogue have to be heard to be believed, but then what can you say about a film whoose catch phrase is "size does matter". The acting is beyond pathetic, if you thought the wooden performances in Japanese Godzilla films is risible and bad just watch the performances in this film. The performances in the Japanese Godzilla film are at least funny, but in this film the performances are positively painful to watch. Also Godzilla's behavior makes absolutely no sense even in the context of the movie. Why the hell does Godzilla want to lay his / her?, eggs. (Whether or not Godzilla was male or female was something this movie could not make its mind up about.) however crazy the Japanese Godzilla pics they at least made sense in terms of the imaginary world created.

The two makers of this flick seem to have forgotten that a film of this type is not supposed to be "good", in fact it can be bad, but it MUST be fun. They forgot that and produced this abomination. Toho studios of Japan which made the Japanese Godzilla films had sold the rights to make this Godzilla movie. They were apparently so pissed off with the result that they swore never to sell off the rights to another Studio to make a Godzilla film ever again.

Ironically the cartoon series Godzilla: The Series,1 is in virtually every way superior to the movie even though it is a sequel to this thunderously bad movie. What is especially notable is that the acting (in this case the cartoon voice acting) is massively superior to the movie and most importantly the plots and scripts are a major improvement. But then it appears that our two makers of the film had little to do with the series.

Godzilla: The Movie, is the sort of movie for which I and anyone else who saw it should have been paid to see. A bad film can be quite enjoyable as the Japanese Godzilla films show; but this is beyond bad it was positively torture to watch.


Scene from Godzilla: The Series
1. For Godzilla: The Series, see Wikipedia Here, and The Ultimate Guide to Godzilla: The Series Here.

Pierre Cloutier

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