Volume 92, Issue 2

Friday, May 22, 1998

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What's the BIG deal?

Gazette Staff

A big reptile trashes the entirety of New York City. Big deal, all it does is make it look like Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, the creators of Independence Day and Lost World, are simply setting out to make yet another Jurassic Park film.

This modern day remake of the Japanese classic, Godzilla, should have been a great film. The original Godzilla films were hilarious because of their extremely unbelievable special effects. The plastic puppet monsters and sets made of toy cars and buildings evoked laughter on sight.

The nineties version is the complete opposite of this type of film – the computer animated effects are not funny, nor exciting. They are simply just there for the viewer to digest and they add little to the film.

This film has been entirely Americanized. Like the two previous films made by its writers, Godzilla comes across as another propaganda tool demonstrating the domination of the United States over a foreign invader. Instead of aliens and dinosaurs, this time it's a Polynesian reptile mutated by nuclear bomb testing.

The cast of Godzilla has great potential. Matthew Broderick plays Nick Tatopoulos (the "worm guy") and is always a big-screen favorite. The supporting cast, although not star-studded, include Hank Azaria, Maria Pitillo and Jean Reno. Still, these actors cannot do enough to carry the film. The problem is the complete lack of character development and motivation, not the acting. For example, what is the necessity for a reoccurring irate mayor named Ebert, played by Michael Lerner.

Godzilla's plot is also very simplistic, as most of the film revolves around the goal of killing the monster and its possible offspring before New York City is destroyed. Still, most of the major plot developments are predictable, as anyone who has seen Lost World will soon realize.

The only redeeming quality of Godzilla is the soundtrack, which sticks to the feel of the original films while including such modern musicians as Rage Against the Machine, Ben Folds Five, Fuel and Green Day. The intense music is dramatically and strategically used throughout this cinematic event and does not detract from the film in the way most movie soundtracks often do.

Most disappointing about Godzilla, despite poor writing, acting and choice of special effects, is the end of the film. It would be in bad taste to give the ending away but it's safe to say that the words "predictable" and "sequel" come to mind. Evidently size does matter in the amount of crap this film contains.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazette.entertainment@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998