Wendell from Dell on Movies is hosting this awesome blogathon called the Against the Crowd Blogathon that I am very happy to be a part of. The rules of this blogathon are basically to write about two movies; one that everyone hates and you love and one that everyone loves and you hate. For my first post I’m writing about the much maligned 1998 Godzilla from director Roland Emmerich which I happen to like very much.
Godzilla is a film that just about everyone likes to hate. The film was a critical and commercial flop when it came out in 1998. It’s hate is further evident by the film’s score of 16% on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 5.3 on IMDb. TOHO hate this movie so much that they refer to the monster from this movie as Zilla and had it killed off in a matter of seconds in Final Wars. Is it really that bad though? Is Godzilla 1998 really the abomination that people say it is? Well no. I don’t think it is. In fact I think it’s a pretty good movie.
Like countless other 90’s summer blockbusters this a big, dumb, pulpy blockbuster that requires you to leave your brain at the door and have fun and dammit I had fun. The script from Emmerich and his Independence Day co-writer Dean Devlin is undeniably weak but this movie does not need a great script from someone like Robert Towne because the concentration should always be on the action and the set-pieces. And as much as I hate Roland Emmerich for all the crap he’s made in the past decade, he actually does a great job with the film’s set-pieces. He does an excellent job of crafting tension and the film has it’s fair share of thrilling and well-executed sequences. Godzilla’s design in this film is another thing that has been a point of heavy criticism. Till today Godzilla purists cringe at the sight of it’s look in the film, some call him a giant iguana while others call him a T-Rex rip-off. Well yeah, he does look like a giant iguana but in defense of the producers, they just wanted to reinvent the monster for American audiences and the design was necessary for them to tell the story they wanted to tell.
And don’t you even dare criticize the acting in this movie. If you are coming to see Oscar caliber performances, you are watching the wrong movie. Everything here is designed to appeal to the widest audience possible and quite honestly I found the characters to be fun and relatable people. Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer are obviously in the movie for providing comic relief and they do just that. Matthew Broderick is good in the lead role channeling Jeff Goldblum from both Independence Day and Jurassic Park and even though he fails to channel Jeff Goldblum from either movie he still comes across as a very likable and relatable character. He has geeky charm! Jean Reno is also very good playing the dubious Frenchman who is more than he seems. Reno is always great to watch and his character has this ability to be both the hero and the villain which makes him stand out among the cast.
I have nothing more to say than I really like this movie, I think most of the backlash for this movie comes due to the fact that people were mainly disappointed in it because it didn’t match their expectations. While I can see why it disappointed people I don’t see how it isn’t a fun and enjoyable popcorn blockbuster.