Godzilla (1998) – This Movie Does Matter

We remember Roland Emmerich, right? He was a God of apocalypse movies. I really remember how the world was shocked by “2012” as a matter of controversy and other ridiculous things. But, before that, we know how cool “Stargate” and “Independence Day” were. I mean, it’s directed by the same guy who also directed “Godzilla” which has nothing to do with the Japanese original movie. So what’s wrong? Is it because we are now adults that we are able to distinguish which one is good and bad? Are we just thinking too hard and too deep? Is this a good movie? Is this our guilty pleasure?

The most interesting part also is how Emmerich spoofed the lovable and most respected critics: Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. Yeah, does that make the films will be judged by good critics? The answer is no because in fact, Ebert really, really hates “Stargate” and “Independence Day”. It’s just a good part of this movie when I watch it again. Emmerich and the producer, Dean Devlin, continued their collaboration after the success of “Independence Day”. You never know how amazing aliens destroy the White House. You never see that again especially when you’re innocent. In “Godzilla, Emmerich and Devlin continue the trend of disaster films by sending Godzilla to devastate in Manhattan, New York.

Roland Emmerich tries to make his own Godzilla movie. In the director’s interpretation, this film tells the story of a reptile mutation into a giant due to nuclear tests. France, Polynesia, is the mastermind of this accidental nuclear test. In the South Pacific region, Godzilla sails the ocean to New York to lay eggs. Because of that, Godzilla managed to make a riot in New York and destroy the city as well. Everybody runs around, trying to avoid missiles until they destroy buildings. I don’t know why they always miss the monster that’s almost as big as a skyscraper.

There is a mistake and a sin when you want to call it this movie as “Godzilla” and Roland Emmerich seems to take many copies from Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park”. Before this film, “Jurassic Park” had found a perfect form of a CGI. “Godzilla”, on the other hand, has an exhibition of powerful special effects. This film is convincing from the design of Godzilla, more similar to dinosaurs, and city mass destruction caused by humans, not Godzilla.

Emmerich’s creativity goes beyond a limit even fans and critics consider this film wrong. Godzilla in the claim of Rolan Emmerich is totally different from the figure of Kaiju we have known for years since the original. Godzilla in this movie looks smaller than the original Godzilla. The movements are more flexible but the design seems to resemble a dinosaur, unlike Godzilla in general. New York seems to be a playground for the monster. In addition, Emmerich created Godzilla as a model. He wanted to show it this way if Tyrannosaurus-alike walked in the middle of the city. Therefore, why do we still call this film a Godzilla movie?

Even though this is a Kaiju movie, we don’t really see other stories from the point of view of human characters. Unlike the usual Kaiju films, “Godzilla” has no unique character at all. It’s like this movie has a lot of fish rather than character, performance, and common sense. The protagonist, Matthew Broderick as Dr. Nick Taopoulos, first found traces of Godzilla. He is nothing. He isn’t enough to invite our sympathy and empathy. Clumsy is one of the words it can describe how solid and flat the character is.

Everything in this movie didn’t really affect us, whether it’s the romance sub-plot or whatever, this isn’t “Independence Day”. This film is actually not too disappointing in terms of marketing. This also doesn’t make TriStar Pictures continue their own story. I mean, we never expect sequels so why? Today, we have lots of Kaiju films besides Godzilla, there are so many Hollywood films in the Kaiju genre. Wait, is Kaiju a movie genre? I don’t know but that’s debatable. For this movie, “Godzilla” is actually not as bad as what critics or audiences always said but it’s getting worse if you watch it.

2 out of 5 stars.