Review: Godzilla (1998)

Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff
Director:Roland Emmerich
Writers:Ted Elliot, Terry Rossio, Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich
Director of Photography:Ueli Steiger
Editors:Peter Amundson and David J. Siegel
Music:David Arnold
Production Designer:Oliver Scholl
Producer:Dean Devlin
TriStar; PG-13; 139 minutes
Cast:Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria, Kevin Dunn, Michael Lerner, Harry Shearer, Arabella Field, Vicki Lewis and Doug Savant
Based on the character Godzilla, created by the Toho Company Ltd.

Size matters ? or so they keep telling us. So why does this giant lizard, whose stomping ground is the island of Manhattan, barely register on the fear barometer when it lumbers across the big screen? Emmerich's special effects just don't measure up. In all the requisite shots of Godzilla crushing cars underfoot and walloping buildings with his gargantuan tail, this awesome monster is more comical than scary. Which would be fine, if the writers had taken advantage of the comic potential. But poor Broderick isn't thrown a single funny bone to chew on. He's disappointingly bland as Niko Tatopoulos, the scientist trying to outsmart the beast, and Lerner is equally dull as the arrogant New York City mayor. Niko's sidekicks, including Pitillo as a young reporter and Azaria as ?Animal? the Italian-American TV news cameraman, deliver one-liners that go over as gracefully as well?a ten-ton lizard.

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