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Here is the American remake of the Japanese epic of the biblical chaos monster. Even the name 'GODzilla' has a religious tone to it.
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Godzilla was here!
David Bruce
Review by David Bruce
Web master
After French nuclear testing produces a monstrously mutated and gigantic beast to arise from the Pacific Ocean depths, 'Godzilla' (as it is dubbed by the world) makes it way to the western shore of North America and then begins to leave a trail of destruction across the United States. However, once it reaches New York City the asexual creature does something even more horrifying: it lays dozens upon dozens of eggs. Only one man, the oceanographer who warned the French government about the mutations being caused by their nuclear testing, has the know-how to come up with a means to stop the monster and its hatchlings. If he fails...over one hundred hungry infant version of Godzilla will be born in the middle of New York City and then spill out into the Atlantic Ocean - and then soon after civilization will fall.
Matthew Broderick (Nick Tatopoulos);
Maria Pitillo (Audrey Timmonds);
Hank Azaria (Animal);
Jean Reno (Philippe Roche);
Michael Lerner (Mayor Ebert);
Arabella Field (Lucy);
Harry Shearer (Charles Caiman);
Doug Savant.

Roland Emmerich (Director);
Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich (Screenwriters);
Dean Devlin (Producer);
Ute Emmerich, Roland Emmerich, William Fay (Executive Producers);
Rob Fried, Cary Woods (Co-Executive Producers);
Patrick Tatopoulous Design, Inc. (Creature Design);
Centropolis FX (Digital Special Effects);
Fiona Bull (Digital Effect Supervisor);
David Arnold (Musical Score);
based upon the Godzilla character created by the Toho Film Company.

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or There is a Beast in Babylon

I took my kids to see "Godzilla". We had a lot of fun. Critically it hasn't done well. But the kids loved the movie. It should be a hit with the public. The critics say that it is the ever familiar formula monster movie that borrows from "Jurassic Park," "Lost World," and "Alien," but without heart or purpose. Actually the other movies borrow from the original "Godzilla."  Further, they are wrong about no purpose. Godzilla does have purpose. It is a story about evil taking over the city (our world). The original Godzilla came out in 1954 in the midst of the cold war/nuclear threats. Godzilla was the personification of the Japanese nuclear holocaust. Critics tend to think that because the nuclear threat is no longer what it was that Godzilla is not as revelant today. We don't need the nuclear threat to give Godzilla validity. The idea behind Godzilla's existence works today because evil is still with us. This is why the movies "Alien," "Lost World," and "Relic" work. The monster symbolizes the evil that is larger than us. We create the evil and we are powerless to stop it and that IS Godzilla.

In terms of its connection to Bible images "Godzilla" is loaded. I do not believe that any of these are intentional, however. Godzilla follows tried and true formulas made up of archetypes. For example, it has lots in common with King Kong and "The Devil's Advocate." Both Kong and Godzilla come from islands and arrive in New York, where they wreck havoc and die in the end falling on to the streets of New York after being shot down by the military. Milton is Satan in "The Devil's Advocate." Both Godzilla and Milton have a love of skyscrapers, fire and water. They make their homes in New York where they want to have babies.  Both have driving needs to take over the world.  I could also make a quick comparison with "The Relic." They both pursue and devour humans.  They associate with dark and wet underground tunnels (as also Lex Luthor in "Superman").  No human made door stops them. Again, fire is their end.

Because Godzilla follows these archetypes it has strong connections to the Beast of the Bible. Both Godzilla and the Beast are associated with the sea and rising out of it. They bring death and destruction to humanity and are ultimately destroyed with fire. In the Bible, however, it isn't the Beast that gets most of us - it is the small sins that cause our fall.  It isn't Godzilla that brings horror at the end of the movie but his very tiny offspring: hundreds of baby Godzillas.

Running the streets of New York!


I have to disagree with my Dad on this one. I despised this film for a few reasons. The first is the incredible amount of hype this film had for what amounted to be a horrible rip-off of Lost World, Aliens, Jurassic Park, and the filmmaker's previous film ID4. Lost World was disappointing to me as well, but I enjoyed that film's last third with a T-Rex running loose through Spielberg's San Diego Suburbia. The were some classic moments in that sequence with the dinosaur in the little boy's backyard chomping on the family dog and the obvious nod to the original Godzilla movies with the T-Rex stomping down the street while frightened Japanese ran for their lives.

There were no moments such as these in the new Godzilla. It contained characters we didn't care about, dialogue that made you cringe every time someone opened their mouth, a plot that made absolutely no sense (why did Godzilla travel thousands of oceanic miles to have babies in Manhattan?), it wasted the talents of Matthew Broderick, Hank Azaria, and Jean Reno, and the entire movie took place in the rain. There wasn't one scene in New York where there wasn't water falling from the sky or the ceiling. This is helpful, of course, to the special effects people and makes the computer animation more believable. However, it also makes for a very dark film and some very uninteresting visuals. 

I am glad this movie didn't do anywhere near what the studio had hoped in box office receipts. It shows that moviegoers want some plot and some story to go with their special effects. Go watch the original Godzilla movies; they are far more entertaining.  Interesting sidenote to this film: When the filmmakers behind this film, Dean Devlin and Ronald Emmerlich (the duo behind the horrible Stargate and the way overrated ID4), presented their model of the new fit, muscular, Aliens-T-Rex hybrid Godzilla to Toho (the Japanese studio that owns the Godzilla copyright), they were told to go back to the drawing board. The film-making duo stuck to their guns however and told Toho it was either this Godzilla or no Godzilla. They left the new Godzilla with the Toho studio executives overnight. There was a great deal of money involved in this project and Toho did give the green light to the project the next day. If Toho had turned them down, the duo had another project they would have undertaken. Believe it or not, it was a film about a giant asteroid colliding with earth. That would have given us three meteor movies this summer. Are there no original ideas left in Hollywood?
- Cristian Bruce (at Chico State)


Subject: Godzilla_98
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002
From: Dawn

I love this movie! the actors were good, the special effects were awesome and the new godzilla was the best looking godzilla ever! As for godzilla being evil, what a joke! He was just a normal animal living it's life, it did not intend to wreak havoc or harm mankind. I am a christian and I for one am a very big fan godzilla, old and new alike. you comparing godzilla with a dragon from the Bible is a BIG FAT UGLY JOKE!!!

Subject: Godzilla_98
Date: Sat, 3 Nov 2001
From: Guy Mariner Tucker

Well, Mr. Bruce,
try as you might to find "chaos monster" parallels in this dismal film, you did have to admit they're unintentional. As for your son's comments about Toho, he may not know the half of it: Toho is historically a greedy, unprincipled and corrupt organization, which cares far more about money than product; examples of this are far too numerous to name. They charged Tri-Star upwards of $10 million a year simply to lease the character, and never seemed to understand that the American movie process is usually (if not usefully) slower. I'm sure they greenlighted the final American version because they smelled even more money in the air, and were tired of waiting for it, and indeed, although the picture will almost universally be remembered as a failure, it WAS an international hit. But reactions in Japan were so negative that Toho rescinded its earlier promise not to make any more of their own Godzilla pictures, and at least in this regard, we are fortunate, as even the dullest scenes in GODZILLA MILLENNIUM are preferable to any given second in GODZILLA 1998. GODZILLA VS. MEGAGUIRAS is supposed to be even better, and advance buzz on GOJIRA DAIKAIJU SOKOGEKI, which premiered at the Tokyo Film Festival in October 2001, is phenomenal.

Toho's usurous licensing fees also led to the premature demise of the successful American comic books based on the character (the first issued by Marvel in the 70s, the second bunch from Dark Horse in the 1980s and 1990s). For that matter, their bizarre business practices also contributed to the scuttling of potentially mutually lucrative partnerships with major Hollywood studios such as Columbia, Warner Bros. and Universal; by the mid-60s, only American-International, UPA and even less principled, fly-by-night organizations like Brenco and Bob Conn Enterprises were willing to entertain their nonsense at all. I've dealt with Toho myself, at many different levels, and know whereof I speak. Even their own career company men are fond of deriding their practices, although some will point out that some other Japanese studios are even worse, but I'm not sure whether that's not just reflexive pride in the home they decided to choose.

A much better, though not terrific, script had been written before Devlin and Emmerich got their paws on the project, by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio of ALADDIN fame. That one nearly went ahead under director Jan DeBont, but the plug was pulled by Tri-Star at the very last second, because Tri-Star determined it would have cost too much. Ironically, all the money spent preparing that film, and on Toho's licensing fees, was simply lost; and the final Devlin/Emmerich version was at least as expensive as DeBont's would have been. (Elliott and Rossio wanted to have Godzilla fight his old enemy Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster, but had to change it to a more generic monster character of their own devising, because Toho wanted even more money to authorize the use of Ghidrah. Same reason the other Toho characters never appeared in the US comics or cartoon series.)
best, Guy Mariner Tucker

Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001
From: Matthew H. Johnson

I have been watching the old Godzilla movies since I was 3 and when I went to go see the new York Godzilla I thought it was the stupidest movie ever, and it should have been called There is a Giant lizard in New York, and Godzilla being, biblical is the biggest load of croc I ever herd, and I do not think of Godzilla as the devil, in fact I kind of like Godzilla. When I went to go see the newest Godzilla movie (Godzilla 2000) I was so glad that the original Godzilla is back, so in short the New York Godzilla stinks.
Matthew H. Johnson

Subject: sorry excuse for a Godzilla
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000
From: Xan

The US would have done well nto to make this movie..I liked it but I think that it should have been called something else. The US really screwed up the original Godzilla is the best and always will.

July 8, 1999.

This was the worst Godzilla movie of all time, it had the sorriest excuse for a Godzilla. Now, if they were to call it something else I would have liked it more. I'm actualy glad they shot up the new Godzilla.–James

March 31, 1999.

I'm Devin Muraski i'm 14 and I thought this movie is the Best MOVIE I HAVE EVER seen.

Feb 27, 1999.

Godzilla is not purely evil. He did not intentionally set forth to wreak havoc upon New York or any of his "rest stops" from his origination to his destination. He was created through the ignorance of man. There was no premeditated plan to harm man. Mankind to him was no more than normal ants are to us as we go about our business. He was merely going about his business. The only time his malice was intended was when man posed a direct threat to him. (Those ants turned out to be Fire Ants) So it was that man created this "evil" through ignorance, and then provoked it and then had to irradicate it or the world "as we know it" would end. What I'd like to know is where that thing grew up that nobody had seen it until then. The Godzilla design was good. I thought he looked appropriate for a mutated iguana. Ha. Ha .--Johanna

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