3.21.2013

Godzilla

The scariest foot movie ever.
"Something Big Is Happening."

Recently I learned something deeply disturbing, that shook my faith in humanity to its very core. I mean really, why would ANYONE undertake such an odious, monstrous errand? There is currently a new Hollywood Godzilla movie in the works (slated for some time in 2014 apparently). When I found that out, I figured it was only proper that I go about reminding the good people of the present just what that got us last time around (by the way the new one is apparently starring Kick-Ass so prepare yourself for that). So let's take a look into the past, going all the way back to 1998, when the LAST Godzilla movie was made. That movie also made some questionable casting choices, and starred Matthew Broderick (you know, Ferris Bueller? Though best seen in The Producers most definitely) as Niko Tatopoulos, a scientist who is roped into helping the government investigate the wreckage of Japanese fishing boat, which appears to have been torn apart by some very large animal. It isn't long before this creature, which they determine to be an unknown species with SCIENCE, makes its way to New York City for some reason (which I think is odd given that it originated in French Polynesia, did it go all the way around South America? DID IT TAKE THE PANAMA CANAL?!! COME ON GUYS) and begins to terrorize the city. The government, Niko, and some French guys led by the only French person America is aware of Jean Reno (Leon the professional etc.) who are trying to cover up the fact that French nuclear testing was responsible for the mutation of this enormous terror lizard.


Because everyone knows animals seek human population
centers on the other side of the world.
Soon they discover that the giant lizard mutant is not their only problem. You see, Godzilla is a hermaphroditic mommy, and it decided to lay a whole bunch of baby Godzillas in the Madison Square Garden. They must therefore blow up most of New York in an attempt to contain this very threatening lizard creature.

The thing to keep in mind about this movie, is that it is very dumb. I don't mean because it is about a radioactive monster terrorizing New York City. I mean, that's stupid too. Also the completely contrived means by which the monster ends up there (as mentioned above in all caps) That being said, Godzilla is just stupid in a whole host of other ways. The dialogue is... well ham-fisted is a pretty polite way of describing it (shitty would be another way of describing it). Matthew Broderick is written as a scatterbrained, goofy scientist man, his ex-girlfriend is a conniving city gal, Jean Reno is a disdainful Frenchman... it's not good.

Because Jurassic Park wouldn't be the same without
those tricksy raptors...oh wait wrong movie.
The feel bads just keep rolling as the movie goes on too. For instance, for some reason the French guys can't find croissants in Manhattan, and they find that and the awful coffee very offensive to their tremendous Frenchness. The mayor is a fat guy who loves candy too much. The army general is a dope who goes around blowing everything up. It's all just really offensively terrible. We are treated to a prolonged segment where an armored battalion, complete with air support, somehow fails to even score a decent hit on a lizard monster roughly the size of a 3 story building. One of their reasons is that it can't be hit with weapons relying on 'heat-seeking technology'. I'm not an expert in modern ballistics technology, but lizards being 'cold-blooded' doesn't mean what you think it means. Unless you're suggesting that Godzilla is a frost monster, I'm pretty sure a massive organic life-form the size of Voltron generates enough body heat to hit with a missile from 5 feet away. 


Jean Reno disguised himself as a cab driver, so no one
would know he was in this awful movie.
The movie also makes shameless attempts to cash in on the popularity of the Jurassic Park movies (The Lost World was released the year before in May). The movie doesn't even attempt to hide this rip-off tactic, with the big lizard Godzilla being the Tyrannosaurus analogue, and its babies later in the movie being clear imitations of the raptors, being all lurky and sneaky and door openy. Ultimately the point is that the movie, while hilariously stupid, is still really really stupid. The director even admitted that he regretted making it, especially because it was filmed in a hurry (to be ready in time for the Memorial Day weekend release window) and wasn't test-screened before hand. If it had been, someone might have remarked on how extraordinarily dumb it was.

Despite this, Godzilla still managed to gross almost 375 million dollars worldwide, and generated a spin-off cartoon based loosely on the movie, where the one remaining egg at the end of the movie (spoilers!) hatches and thinks that Niko is its mom, and then helps him and his mutant fighting scooby gang take on various large monsters that they otherwise could not hope to defeat. Honestly I'd probably rather watch that than this movie.

That's it for today! I will see you all next week, when god willing some new movies worth watching might come out. 

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