Making the Grades
I've heard people claim that cold cereal contains less nutrients than the carton in which it's packaged. The iridescent video box containing Godzilla reminded me of that very theory...
In this update of the cult film, Godzilla rages through New York City, tossing buildings aside like Lego blocks and stomping on everything except principal actors like Matthew Broderick who plays Dr. Niko Tatopoulos. He is some sort of radiation mutation specialist and the only person with a theory for the giant lizard's behavior. Tatopoulos believes that Godzilla is looking for a nice place to settle down and have a family but unfortunately this critter isn't going to make a great candidate for the Bronx Zoo.
Along with a few minor profanities, the most obvious concern for parents is the violence that erupts with a monster on the loose. Yet with all the stomping and crashing of mama Godzilla, it isn't until her babies hatch that the films begins to feel frightening. These little offspring are hungry for anything they can sink their teeth into, including humans.
But overall Godzilla lags way behind in the evolution of dinosaur movies. I'm sure in the theater many of the chases felt like a roller coaster as Godzilla runs through the streets of NYC, but at home on a small screen the effect is lost, leaving you more apt to realize this is a monster of a movie with no story. None of the characters evolve or hold any surprises, and after two-and-a-half hours you just want this monster to die. The film will probably scare little ones, but for movie wise teens and adults, this epic may leave you asleep on the couch. Films like the original Jurassic Park do much better at building audience suspense.
The first Godzilla movie made in the 1950's was best loved for how bad it was. You would think Hollywood would learn that this kind of film should never be remade... but what a great looking box.