Main      Site Guide    
At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Godzilla (1998)



Reviews and Comments

Godzilla is one of the most ambitious summer special effects blockbusters in recent years. Attempting to one-up Jurassic Park and Independence Day, Godzilla crams so many special effects in that it neglects its characters and forgets to tell a story. The special effects are admittedly impressive, although they aren't so much superior to those seen in other recent blockbusters as they are in greater quantity. But there's not much else to recommend this.

The movie was produced and directed by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, who did Stargate and Independence Day. I'm not fond of their lowest-common-denominator approach to filmmaking, but Independence Day had a certain appeal in spite of itself. Godzilla reworks the same formula unsuccessfully.

What is there to recommend this? The characters are the usual plug-and-play stereotypes. A pointless subplot involving a French official left me scratching and shaking my head. The action scenes should have been heart-poundingly suspenseful; instead, they were loud, numbing, and detached. The movie never made any investment in its characters, so we don't either. At the very least Godzilla itself should have had some sort of personality, but no such luck. The special effects are the only reason to watch this movie; they're impressive and elaborate and had me fascinated with how much work must have gone into the production. But if the movie had worked at all, I wouldn't have been thinking so much about how it was made.

Related Films