Godzilla (1998)

Flung cars.  That's what the new GODZILLA does best.  Flinging and 
slinging and stomping and chomping, as if the autos were so many, 
well, toys.  Most of this titillating mayhem occurs at the end of 
the film, in the movie's sole memorable sequence, when the four 
drips, er, main characters crowd into a cab, with a particularly 
large object appearing closer than they like in the rear-view mir-
ror.  (The yellow car makes like a bluesmobile, darting in and out 
of alleyways, going underground once and airborne at least twice.)  
Little else in the movie is as entertaining, which makes for a bit 
of sit as the aforementioned sequence occurs a good 110 minutes in.  
(Okay, okay, the opening credits are pretty cool.  As are the 
scenes of "something's coming," though the Big G makes landfall a 
bit too soon.  And, late in the game, there's an engaging-- albeit 
overlong-- encounter at Madison Square Garden with a hundred or so 
Raptor-resembling hatchlings.)  

The rest of the rest rests somewhere between dishearteningly dull 
and downright dreadful.  The effects are great, of course, as is 
the physical production design.  Everything else-- script, score, 
pacing, plotting, embarrassing pokes at Siskel and Ebert-- is 
strictly substandard.  And, friends, that's *with* allowances for 
intentional cheese.  (Forget James Cameron-- it's Dean Devlin and 
Roland Emmerich who should never again be allowed near a word pro-
cessor.)  Now, for the obligatory nit-picks, I have three:  can't 
torpedo warheads be remotely disarmed?  Are home pregnancy tests 
*really* that useful?  And, why don't the helicopters just... pull 
up?  With Matthew Broderick, Hank Azaria, Maria Pitillo, and the 
always reliable Jean Reno, whose take on an American accent pro-
vides one of the precious few laugh-your-ass-off moments in the 
movie.  He comes from France.  (Rated "PG-13"/138 min.)

Grade: C-

Copyright 1998 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: Oh No, There Goes Tokyo...

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