Here’s a misleading metric: This new film of “Godzilla” is miles above Roland Emmerich’s turgid mess of a film from 1998, which starred an embarrassed-looking Matthew Broderick and a bemused Jean Reno.
There are lots of movies that make Gareth Edwards’ new “Godzilla” look like a masterpiece. That, however, is not the same as saying that this movie is actually worth seeing or, more crucially, worth making in the first place.
And when I say the first place, I’m looking back at the 1956 original, as snicker-worthy an endeavor as ever graced a movie screen. The original “Godzilla” may have been the film that acquainted the mass audience of American moviegoers with the idea of badly dubbed foreign films, at least until Steve Reeves’ “Hercules” came along.
It was huge at the time – just as this “Godzilla” is going to (insert verb denoting destruction) the box office this weekend.
Again, not much of a metric, particularly in a year when both “Ride Along” and “Mr. Sherman and Peabody” have won the box-office weekend. Popularity and quality should never be confused with each other.
But the subject at hand is “Godzilla,” which promises scenes of the aforementioned destruction, with monsters running amok in Japan, the Philippines, Las Vegas and San Francisco. It all looks fairly convincing – but why should anyone give a rat’s ass?
Indeed, it’s hard to imagine anyone who’s serious about film taking this movie seriously. So there you are.
Edwards is a British-born director whose last film, “Monsters,” managed to create a creepy, unsettling vibe by NOT showing its monsters, except glancingly. It was an interesting idea, shot for pennies, one that managed to be ingenious and tedious at the same time.
Which is about the best that can be said for “Godzilla,” a bloated extravaganza of special effects which, occasionally, turns the camera around to look at the humans.
This review continues on my website.