A giant, reptilian monster surfaces, leaving destruction in its wake as it strides into New York City. To stop it, an earthworm scientist, his reporter ex-girlfriend, and other unlikely heroes team up to save their city.
In the wake of extensive nuclear testing in the South Pacific Ocean, the low-profile scientist, Niko Tatopoulos, is summoned by the U.S. Army to shed light on the mysterious attack on a fishing ship, and the ominous sightings of a gargantuan sea-dragon. Before long, a mutated scaly nightmare in the shape of Godzilla--a massive and all-powerful radioactive sauroid--threatens to level the rain-soaked New York City, against the backdrop of a crippling bureaucracy and the military's futile attempts to stop the invincible beast from the ocean. Now, it's up to Niko; the cryptic insurance agent, Philippe; the determined reporter, Audrey, and her brave cameraman, Victor, to put an end to Godzilla's reign of terror before it's too late. Is there a reason why Godzilla has chosen Manhattan for its den?Written by
Mayor Ebert and his assistant Gene are a parody of the TV film critic duo Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. This was in response to their negative reviews of Emmerich and Devlin's earlier films Stargate (1994) and Independence Day (1996). The film also co-opted their trademark Thumbs up/Thumbs down method of rating films by depicting Mayor Ebert's campaign as "Thumbs Up for New York!" and Gene giving Ebert a thumbs down at the end of the film when he finally decides he has had enough of his abuse and quits. When the real Siskel and Ebert reviewed the film on their show, they gave it two thumbs down and Siskel said the filmmakers spoofing them was "petty" and said "If you're going to go through the trouble of putting us in a monster movie, why don't you at least take advantage of having the monster either eat or squash us". The duo would later name the film as one of their worst films of 1998. And in Ebert's print review in The Chicago Sun Times, he wrote "They let us off lightly; I fully expected to be squished like a bug by Godzilla." Although he called Michael Lerner's performance as Mayor Ebert "gamely played". See more »
During the final chase sequence, the extent of the damage on the taxi changes consistently between shots, particularly on the sides. See more »
Like many people, I wasn't fond of this when it was first released. Revisiting it now nearly twenty years later I can say my opinion has changed quite a bit. It's still not a great Godzilla movie, at least not how I quantify that, but it is an enjoyable "big monster movie" on its own merits. The special effects are great, the action is pretty well staged, and the music is surprisingly nice. The only real problems for me are that the cast is a little too goofy at times (I think they were going for some kind of Jurassic Park humorous/serious blend) and the movie does run a little long. Overall, though, I think it's an entertaining movie that deserves a second look.
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