Let's start off by taking a look at the film's final theatrical trailer just to get you in the mood. This was the end of a long expensive promotional campaign which featured banners coving the entire sides of buildings and city buses driving around New York saying "His foot is bigger than this bus." Brilliant.
Pretty sweet right? They seemed to do everything right. I had no internet back then so it was left to the TV teasers and trips to the theatre to see spots like this that kept me in the loop. By the time I heard the roar at the end I nearly shit myself. The day before the movie opened the new Godzilla was revealed via newspaper articles across the world. A little odd looking to say the least. Why does he look like a lizard (and looking back, a little like Reese Witherspoon)? They know he's a prehistoric monster, right, awoken from a deep sleep to kick any and all ass that gets in his way, right? How can they f*ck this up? I ignored the giant iguana on the front page and headed to the theatre. What happened next was surreal.
Nice hat. There's one moment in this film that sums up Dr. Niko Tatopoulos' (Matthew Broderick) annoyance factor. He's just outsmarted the entire US Military (I'll get to them later) by thinking up an ingenious plan to lure Godzilla out by piling up fish in the middle of Manhattan. When the monster shows up Niko orders the guys with the guns not to shoot him when he's most vulnerable so he can take some pictures. Eventually all hell breaks loose. Two Hummers get destroyed, killing a dozen or so soldiers, one helicopter gets thrown into a building and two more get eaten. I'm thinking Niko's plan ended up with a head count of thirty. After the smoke clears Niko hangs around just long enough to crack a joke and collect some blood. Ten seconds later he runs into his old girlfriend and seems upset because she left him.
This entire situation is essentially the French's fault. To make things right they send over the ten stupidest guys from their Secret Service. Between lame jokes about coffee, Americans chewing gum, and Elvis Presley impersonations, they get killed. Their secret hideaway is uncovered by a guy standing on a ladder looking through a window for God's sake, these aren't the sharpest soldiers in the world. And yet, they manage to bug all US Military operations, purchase a billion dollars in explosives, sneak into a city on total lock down, kidnap the lead scientist, find the eggs, and end up with all footage of the devastation without even letting the world know they exist. Who's stupider, them or the audience?
When it was finally over and I sat there teary eyed in my seat while my girlfriend called to me from the aisle, there was one last punch to the nuts. Watching Godzilla movies as a kid meant sitting in my PJs early Saturday morning as Led Zeppelin kicked off 'Creature Features' with a spooky rendition of 'Dazed and Confused'. That's why this Puff Daddy piece of shit felt personal when it blasted off the credits. I didn't hang around much longer in fear of seeing He-Man sodomize one of the Thundercats thus completing my circle of damaged cherished memories.
Only comparable to the canyon jump in ARMAGEDDON, this moment solidified my hatred for this film. Godzilla had already ate two helicopters and shot fire from his mouth at this point. Is it the reliable durability of New York taxis that will be the end of him? Will all four leads of the movie be devoured at the same time? Will Hank Azaria cut any more fantastically funny one liners? Almost. No. Yes. Kill me.
How do you end such a masterpiece? You ignore everything you've taught the audience and rip-off the other movie about a big monster in New York. Godzilla spent the majority of his visit to Manhattan burrowing underground through concrete and steel. He literally walked through buildings so swiftly, the outer frame didn't crumble. How does he get stuck on this bridge? One overhang, some suspension cables, and twelve missiles can kill Godzilla? Really? Have the makers of this film done the unthinkable and avoided every Godzilla film ever made? If that's not enough to throw you in a coma, we get Niko doing his best Jessica Lange impersonation as he gets choked up staring into the eyes of the beast as we hear it's heartbeat fade away. Are you f*cking kidding me? There's references to other films and then there's completely stealing the final shot from KING KONG. Which do you think this falls under?
The KING KONG rip-off was brutal. This one is just sad. After blatantly trying to separate themselves from the JURASSIC PARK franchise by having an early teaser that showed Godzilla stomping on the bones of a T-Rex, the none-too-subtle similarities between baby Godzillas and Velociraptors was embarrassing. As if a giant radioactive lizard terrorizing New York wasn't enough story for them to handle, the makers decided to remake JP2 in Madison Square Garden. I kept expecting to see Jeff Goldblum and his acrobatic foster kid show up and save the day.
Are you kidding me? Is there anyone in the world that thought this was funny? I'm sure Roger Ebert was tickled pink as he tore into the film and gave it a solid one-and-a-half stars. I'd love to be sitting in the meeting when they came up with this idea. "We'll have characters that look like Siskel & Ebert and they'll give thumbs up and down to everything. It'll be awesome!" You'd think there would be someone involved with some common sense. Someone to stand up and slap people across the face when ideas like this made it into the script. Just a sad attempt to warm up to the two most powerful film reviewers on the planet that backfired terribly.
Bask in the glorious high-tech gadgetry used by the US Military. During the first trap they just had a picture of a fish. Ninety five percent of the destruction in this film was caused by soldiers. They missed from the air, they missed from the ground, they missed underwater. My favourite were the guys flying the helicopters though. Why couldn't they fly higher? Monster chasing you = go up. Monster hiding behind a building = go up. If Niko wasn't around to tell these guys what to do every five minutes they would have absolutely no role in this film whatsoever.
I have to admit, being ten years old, the CGI in this film still looks pretty decent. So why was I wishing for a rubber suit half an hour in? And why does Godzilla have such a prominent chin? Paste a beard on that bitch and toss him a top hat and we're looking at a giant Abe Lincoln. It's not just his looks either. This thing is a pussy. He spends half the movie hiding underground and running from the scary helicopters. What if Mothra would have shown up? One shot of silk and 'Zilla would have dumped a load the size of Yankee Stadium. This is Godzilla for f*ck's sake! He doesn't eat fish, he eats trains. Then he washes it down with a couple shots of nuclear energy, burns down a hospital with a burp, butts with all three heads of Ghidorah, and calls it a night after pissing in our water reserve.
Oooooo, Ferris thinks she's a reporter but she's not. Oh no, Kent Brockman stole her story. How could she betray Niko's trust and steal those tapes? Will she ever get her big break? This type of shit takes up over thirty-five minutes of the movie. I counted. That's thirty-five minutes we don't get to deal with a gigantic radioactive lizard storming through the streets of New York. In one incredible moment during a rapto..... sorry, baby Godzilla infestation at MSG, she has a chance to go on live television and warn the world of what is happening, ultimately saving the human race in the process, and they actually show her fixing her hair. Still working on that career as she literally tells the Army to destroy the building, killing her in the process. And then, this is my favourite part, she quits at the end of the movie. Every last second of her sub-plot officially becoming as useless as it seemed.
RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS
MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB
Remain respectful at all times. No writer abuse. For all corrections, suggestions, criticisms, email us instead.