Godzilla (1998) Size Does Matter

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While the film Godzilla is nothing like the films that kids from the 60’s and 70’s grew up on it was at least entertaining to watch. The film would have been better if they had used a different name for the monster but they were trying to capitalize on the success of the previous 22 films that came before it. The director Roland Emmerich of Independence Day didn’t like the original films and only directed the 1998 film if he was allowed to do what ever he wanted. Too bad they could not have called it Iggizilla since that was what this monster really was. If it has been named that way if would have been better received as it really was a well done monster film.

Taking into account the wrong name for this film it was well made with dazzling special effects and acting. Some might take offense to that but that is there opinion and this is my take on the film. The monster and its back story were well thought out and well constructed, though I feel the helicopter fly over on the island were not to the right scale, unless the lizard was still growing. From an egg on the French Polynesian Islands to searching for the perfect place to lay its eggs we have scientists and military trying to figure out exactly what it was. They never really knew until it stepped ashore on New York. From then on, what a ride.

Dr. Niko Tatopoulos (Matthew Broderick) is a scientist for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, studying the effects of radiation on earthworms near Chernobyl. It is his theories on how radiation mutated the worms to grow larger that led to his reassignment to Colonel Hicks (Kevin Dunn) team as they try to figure out what they are dealing with. He along with Dr. Elsie Chapman (Vicki Lewis) and Dr. Mendel Craven (Malcolm Danare) are trying to understand the science behind the monster and how it could even be in existence. The military winds up taking their cues from this team in how to track and deal with the beast that is now destroying New York.

There is another party that wants the beast taken care of as well. That team is lead by a French Patriot and member of French Secret Service, Philippe Roaché (Jean Reno) who is posing as an insurance adjuster. He wants to make sure that his countries past mistakes do not come back to haunt him and his country. He wants to make sure that there is no way that France will be blamed for what is happening even if he has to pay everyone to look the other way. In the end it is his faith in Nik that helps to defeat the lizard and bring peace back to the Big Apple. That is soon as they deal with one last problem.

In the hear of the city is Madison Square Garden and there is one hell of an audience there. The big lizard has been busy laying his eggs. There are hundreds of eggs there and the military isn’t even looking for them. It is only with the help of Audrey Timmonds (Maria Pitillo), Nik’s ex-fiancé and Victor Palotti (Hank Azaria) nick named Animal that he is able to get the message out as to where the nest is and that it needs to be destroyed.

As a monster film this motion picture stands on its own and stands very well, if you change the name of the monster. As part of the Godzilla films it in no way measures up as this is not the Godzilla that we all grew up on. If you totally ignore the name they give it and just sit back and see the film you will be drawn in and given one hell of a thrill ride. Just remember this is not Godzilla and keep telling yourself that it is Iggizilla instead. If you do that you are going to love this film.

I give this film a Musing review of ★★★★☆☆