Saturday, October 17, 2009
Godzilla; Science-fiction/ Disaster movie, USA, 1998; D: Roland Emmerich, S: Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria, Kevin Dunn, Harry Shearer, Michael Lerner
Godzilla is an enormous lizard like monster that was created through radiation due to French nuclear tests in French Polynesia. When it arrives to New York, it wrecks havoc so the military and scientist Dr. Niko, Audrey and others try to stop it and save people, also discovering the monster laid eggs. In cooperation with French agents, including Philippe, they manage to kill Godzilla.
After his biggest commercial success, "Independence Day", director Roland Emmerich filmed "Godzilla", a big budget remake of the trashy film series from Japan, which don't quite distinguish from each other by their quality. "Godzilla" is filled with cliches, but it is actually a solid achievement with competent structure and eloquent details. The first part of the story functions the best since the interesting idea of a giant lizard lost in New York has some very supportive awe that flows nicely (cars jump up in the air due to tremors of the Earth; buildings collapse; helicopters are chasing after Godzilla through the streets). Especially amusing is Emmerich's mockery of critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel since the story has two comic relief characters, goofy mayor Ebert (Michael Lerner, who copied the critic's gestures) and his assistant Gene: in one scene, Gene forbids Ebert to eat sweets and even gives him "thumbs down" before leaving him (of course, the real Ebert thus gave "Godzilla" only 1.5 stars). Actress Maria Pitillo here and there also steals the show with her charm as Audrey. But the story forcibly tries to show Godzilla as an evil creature, even though its definitely not - its just a scared animal lost in the urban area - and thus her murder at the end seems like Pyrrhic victory and an unbalanced excess.