Oh ! Oh, you kidding man, we’re in his mouth! We are in his mouth!
A Japanese ship is found stranded, with a huge claw mark on its side. The only survivor can pronounce only one word “Gojira”. On the Isthmus of Panama, scientist Nick Tatopoulos (Matthew Broderick) finds that a gigantic animal has left radioactive footprints on the ground. In the Atlantic, ships are sunk and finally, a gigantic monster emerges on the coast of New York.
Who is responsible for this succession of disasters?! But France of course! The French nuclear tests in the Pacific caused the mutation of an iguana transforming it into a spectacular monster (radioactive of course) which feels no respect neither for ships nor for buildings.
Colonel Hick (Kevin Dunn) goes on the counter-offensive which proves disastrous for the ships of the US Navy as for the buildings of New York. She even does more damage than Godzilla himself. In addition, journalist Audrey Timmonds (Maria Pitillo), former fiancée of Nick Tatopoulos, stole information from him that was used for a report. Immediately, Tatapoulos is fired from his role as advisor.
A disaster is looming. But who can save New York and perhaps the planet? But France of course! Here is Philippe Roaché (Jean Reno), from the DGSE This member of the secret services effectively handles the American accent (thanks to the films of Elvis Presley), while chewing gum, which gives him a more American air.
This remake of the Japanese film Godzilla by Ishirō Honda (1954) won two Razzie Awards for Maria Pitillo as Worst Supporting Actress and for the film as Worst Remake or Sequel.
This film suffered from two problems. This American adaptation of a Japanese media was deemed unfaithful to the original version . Mainly, Godzilla who once looked like a slow dinosaur turned out to be a very fast reptile in the modern version. On the other hand, the film was more successful in countries where the films of the Godzilla franchise had never been shown.
On the other hand, the special effects suffered from a serious technical problem. Digital images appeared lower quality than other images (this issue has been digitally corrected for Blu-ray output).
However, this film has some strengths. Roland Emmerich brought a personal touch using sarcastic humor. The hunt for Godzilla is characterized by a succession of failures. Thus, a submarine sends a torpedo on Godzilla and suffers the consequences of a return to sender.
In the same way the combat helicopters which track Godzilla between the New York buildings do not manage to touch it. This scene will recall another one from a previous film by Roland Emmerich where a flying saucer was tracking an American plane inside a canyon (the latter being piloted by a big slap distributor).
During the fight against Godzilla, a helicopter sends out a missile that blows off the roof of the Chrysler Building. This building must be cursed since in the film Armageddon (also released in 1998) the Chrysler Building suffered the same fate.
No wonder Mayor Ebert (Michael Lerner) becomes somewhat hysterical when he realizes the US military is causing more damage to his town than Godzilla. Hence the reaction of Gene (Lorry Goldman) his assistant who tries to calm him down (by presenting him with candies).
It should be noted that Mayor Ebert and his assistant Gene are a parody of the film critic duo Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. It turns out that the latter had not appreciated films like Stargate: The Stargate (1994) and Independence Day: The Day of Fightback (1996), both directed by… Roland Emmerich.