With the new Godzilla movie coming out this year I felt that I should give the 1998 version a watch first, I had always wanted to see it anyway so the new release simply prompted me to get a move on! Just as I began to watch this film I tweeted saying that I was watching it, well WOW! What a response that tweet got, the negative comments started to flood in, warning me against it. Naturally when I hear so many negative opinions my expectations were going to be lowered and I was almost more determined to find some good within this movie, so this should be taken into account as I review Godzilla.
Okay so we may as well deal with the bad stuff first. I was kind of baffled as to why Matthew Broderick was featured in this movie, I didn’t think he was a great choice for this role as at times he had a hard job convincing me of his character. He was fine, he did alright but I think the main character of an epic like this needed to have a bit more backbone. If a film like this is to be epic, I think there needs to be more of a back story with the characters – there needs to be an interesting and interactive history. This was present to a certain extent but the strength of it was not great. Also to make films like this more effective usually the death of a main character will add something, unfortunately pretty much everyone lives, therefore leaving little impact. I am a big fan of the ‘creature feature’ genre – more recently they have become more comical because of their ridiculousness however if we look to the likes of Jaws and Jurassic Park we see how it’s done (cough*Spielberg*cough). Suspense and tension play a major role in these films, but it was these elements that were lacking from Godzilla resulting in a quite bland and mediocre first half of the film.
However once the characters discover the nest and the younger lizards begin to hatch the film picks up, the addition of lots of smaller lizards was much more fun and engaging than the one main lizard. These were the best scenes in the movie and more time should have been devoted here instead of the first half of the film. The film came to a good ending and then they decided to resurrect Godzilla for another sequence if I am honest the film could have done without this as it had come to a natural stopping point and it really already was long enough. Despite the many negative things about this film and there are many I still really enjoyed it. I don’t think it was anywhere near as bad as those who tweeted my account stated (I still respect their opinions) as I think it was well acted by most of the cast, when the action was good it was good and several sequences were enjoyable. Ultimately Godzilla is not a terrible film, it could have been so much more if it were for a few tweaks however.
It is interesting to see how more recent films have clearly drew influence form Godzilla, and other films like this I am sure. As I watched it all I could think of was GDT’s Pacific Rim, which is a great example of how films like this should be made. All in all I don’t feel like I have wasted my time watching Godzilla but it will probably be a while before I revisit this version – although I have now gained a greater sense of excitement for the 2014 release, it should be great!
BIGGEST FLAW – Lack of any real suspense
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Some good action sequences
Rating – 6/10