One Big Reason ‘Godzilla’ 1998 Deserves a Second Chance

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‘One Big Reason’ is a bi-weekly series where I take a look at some of the blockbuster films we love to hate and find one redeeming quality that makes it worth a watch.

This weeks pick: Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla.  

With Kong: Skull Island hitting theaters, I thought this would be a great choice to do next!

Roland Emmerich is well known for becoming what many call the ‘disaster movie’ director. Emmerich has worked on many films over his career including some of my personal favorites; The Patriot, Stargate, and Independence Day. The director has also had some extremely disappointing films such as The Day After Tomorrow, 10,000 BC, and 2012. However, though his interpretation of Godzilla may not have been what fans were clamoring for, at least we received a fun monster movie with some great characters.

There were quite a few memorable characters from this film including Matthew Broderick’s performance as an NRC Biologist named Dr. Tatopoulos, Kevin Dunn as Colonel Hicks, as well as a cameraman named Victor (Hank Azaria). While those performances brought a fun vibe to this monster movie, it wasn’t until we were introduced to Phillipe Roaché (Jean Reno) and his Frenchman where the film became gradually better.

The Frenchmen Had A Reason For Being There

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After the classified information is leaked on live television by Nick’s former girlfriend Audrey (Maria Pitillo), he is fired from the research operation. Nick is then “kidnapped” by a so-called insurance agent who reveals himself to be a part of a French Secret Service. Believing Nick’s assumptions that there are eggs hidden somewhere under the ground, Phillipe forms a team with his other Frenchmen as they attempt to find those eggs.

Jean Reno brought a great performance playing this secret service Frenchman who offered to help Dr. Tatopoulos when nobody believed him. The Frenchmen have been keeping close tabs on the entire research that’s been going on ever since the nuclear tests had taken place. Their country is partly responsible for creating this monster, so they intend to cover up any of the data they can find.

Philippe Roaché Had The Most Memorable Moments From The Film

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Aside from the great performance of Jean Reno, he also had some hilarious memorable scenes that stuck with audiences when watching this film. One thing Emmerich did very well with this film, was its sense of tone. The humor stayed consistent with the movie. Check out some of the funnier moments including his meeting with the United States Army:

Apparently there’s something about chewing gum that makes anyone appear more American. Not only that, but Philippe portraying an Elvis Presley accent is priceless.

Here’s another scene that’s also great:

Presumed dead, Godzilla reappears after its babies have been wiped out by missiles. This was the shocked reaction of the characters after seeing Godzilla reappear in front of their eyes. When Victor asks Philippe what they should do, he doesn’t hesitate by stating that “Running would be a good idea.” That’s pretty much all they could do at that point.

The Final Minutes Of The Movie Is A Rush of Adrenaline 

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Say what you will about the Madison Square Garden scene being a complete rip-off of Jurassic Park, but it certainly changed things up a notch. The marketing for the film never hinted at more than one monster so most assumed it was just going to be about Godzilla. But we were all so very wrong.

Once again we were all treated to some great scenes involving the Frenchman. Shortly before the eggs begin to hatch, Jean Reno informs his team to “stop counting” after witnessing more than 200 hundred eggs in the Garden. Unfortunately his men didn’t bring enough bombs to blow them all up so they are left to use up what they can. They come across the eggs as they are about to hatch and this happens:

Most of the Frenchmen here are killed during this encounter, but thankfully the major characters including Jean Reno makes it out alive. It’s a pure adrenaline rush from start to finish as the characters barely avoid becoming dinner for some of Godzilla’s babies.

Godzilla’ Had Memorable Characters Which Make It A Must Watch

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This film is chock full of great character performances and is the main reason why viewers should give this a watch. Yes the CGI for Godzilla is poorly done (even in today’s standards). Yes the story isn’t the greatest and yes it gets a little silly at times. But that’s the best part of it. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s just a fun monster movie with great action and spectacle. If you’re going to watch for one reason and one reason only, it should be for the characters especially the Frenchmen.

Do you think the characters in Godzilla make the film worth a second chance? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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