Retrospective: 5 Reasons Why Roland Emmerich's GODZILLA Turned Disastrous! | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Retrospective: 5 Reasons Why Roland Emmerich's GODZILLA Turned Disastrous!

With an estimated budget of US$160 million, Gareth Edwards' highly-anticipated reboot of GODZILLA is certainly a huge gamble for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. This is especially true after the first big-budget attempt of the beloved Japanese kaiju franchise ended up both as critical and financial disaster back in 1998 (even though it does make money in the international box office). However, all the trailers and previews that have been heavily promoted thus far looks more promising than the 1998 version.

So, in the meantime, while we await for the release of GODZILLA this coming May 15, let's take a look back why the previous GODZILLA in 1998 failed to meet its huge expectation. Here are my five reasons below:

1. "Hey, that's not GODZILLA! That's a mutated version of T-Rex dinosaur from JURASSIC PARK!"

Prior to the release of GODZILLA back in 1998, the marketing department has done a tremendous job keeping the entire look of the monster well-guarded under strict lock and key. Even the teaser trailer only offered the viewers a few glimpses of the monster. It was a clever tactic indeed, but upon its May 20 release that year, the full-scale revelation of the monster was a huge disappointment. Anyway, here's the teaser trailer for the 1998's GODZILLA below:

2. The story sucks... and made little sense!

There are times where we need to suspend our disbelief in such movies that involves fantasy, science fiction or monster genre. But GODZILLA was one of the rare beasts where suspension of disbelief failed to cut it whatsoever. I mean, can you actually believe that the monster which wreaks havoc all over the city, goes into hiding, and manages to pop up again anytime it wants to? And that's not all: the whole pregnancy thing involving the monster was downright crappy. Basically, the entire plot was filled with flimsy characters, unintentionally bad dialogues, and haphazard writing all over the place.

3. Matthew Broderick... is the lead actor.

Okay, first of all, Matthew Broderick is a fine actor who has acted a couple of great roles like 1983's WARGAMES, 1986's FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF, 1996's THE CABLE GUY and of course, 1999's ELECTION. His role as the nerdy scientist, Dr. Niko Tatopoulos in GODZILLA actually suits him very well. But the problem is, it's hard to swallow to see Matthew Broderick being cast as a lead actor who got chased by the monster all over Manhattan. I'm fine if he played a supporting actor instead, but lead actor in a big budget monster movie like GODZILLA? It's like casting Jim Carrey in a Bruce Willis role for ARMAGEDDON!

4. Too many embarrassing comic relief.

Frankly, there's nothing wrong if comic relief was added in an otherwise serious action movie or monster movie like GODZILLA. But too many comic relief can be disastrous, and that's exactly what happened in GODZILLA. Here, director Roland Emmerich must have thought that by transplanting the same blockbuster formula he has worked so well in 1997's INDEPENDENCE DAY to GODZILLA would deliver an instant success. Bad move, Emmerich. Case in point: watch this laughably bad Madison Square scene involving the baby Godzillas below (which was obviously a rip-off from JURASSIC PARK!):

5. The movie is redundant!

For the record, director Roland Emmerich knows well how to stage an epic destruction sequence in a movie. If you watched INDEPENDENCE DAY, you'll know what I'm talking about here. Same goes with GODZILLA. The action in this movie was big and entertaining, but more than often, we were treated the same destruction sequence over and over again throughout the course of 139 minutes running time where we witnessed the monster rampaging just about the entire city of Manhattan, went into hiding, and came back again to do more rampaging... (well, you know the drill).

With the first disastrous Hollywood attempt of GODZILLA came and gone 16 years ago, here's hoping that Gareth Edwards manage to get the reboot right when the movie opens nationwide on May 15. Also, be sure to check back next Monday on May 12 for my exclusive review of GODZILLA!

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