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Godzirra VHS VHS Widescreen DVD

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This was supposed to be a group movie, but most people bailed.  We ended up with just six, but that was okay.

This movie was done by the same people who did Stargate and Independence Day.   Those were two really bad sci-fi movies whose only reason for being was pretty special effects.  And let's face it, no Tokyo, no Godzirra (sorry, I feel I have to pronounce it like that. :-) But a high-dollar B monster movie fits their style much better because verisimilitude is so lax to begin with.

The main fear I had going into this movie was that they'd try to throw too much fake science at it in an effort to explain where Godzirra came from. If they could stay away from the science and just go, "Oooh, there's a monster!" then they'd do fine.   Luckily, they did just that.  They pretty much just said, "Radiation caused a mutation."  Not more than a half dozen sentences just after the opening action and they left it at that.  They did get in a couple of quick anti-nuke tree-hugger jabs at the French for setting off those tests in the Pacific a few years ago, but they didn't dwell on it.

Scoo pointed out that the pacing of the movie was nearly identical to ID4, just replace the aliens with the lizard.  There was a big action scene very near the beginning, then a big lull for some relationship scenes, and then the big ending.  In both cases, the human interest scenes seemed to drag on just a little too long.   Probably because the people stories are so incredibly simple that we needed less hand-holding through them.  I was thinking, "Brainiac has a past relationship.  Careers took them apart.  Still in love with each other.  Fine.  I get that.  Now kill them or something and get on with the action."

I recognize that my expectations have become incredibly high for special effects.  Before Jurassic Park these creature effects would have been jaw-dropping.  Now, they're merely pretty good.  The lighting of the creatures didn't quite match the rest of the scene a few times (that's really hard to get right.)  And there were several instances where it looked to me like they forgot the motion blur.  Especially in many of the close-ups.  Without the blur the skin looked badly aliased.  One visual effect they really blew was the tracers coming from the helicopters.  They really looked like a cheap hack.

Of course, they got the military completely wrong, again.  These producers really like swarms of aircraft, in this case helicopters.  There's one scene where a couple dozen sorta-Apaches are bobbing and weaving through the building hot in pursuit, not running into each other nor shooting each other.  Other military gaffes. The subs scenes were silly, two sidewinder missiles tore through the Chrysler building, and the Apaches had a pair of mini-guns in place of their chain gun.  And the F-18s at the end said LGB (laser-guided bomb) on the radio, their display showed AGM-84 Harpoon (an anti-ship missile) and then they called Maverick away (an anti-tank missile that's not laser-guided.)  And I'm getting tired of the omniscient overhead display of military battles (though the fish symbol was cute.)

There are several other little nits about this movie.  Like the heavy product placement.  And how the later scenes played exactly like the velociraptor scenes in Jurassic Park.  But as I said in the beginning, the verisimilitude goal they had to reach was really low.

Godzirra was better than I feared.  On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, this movie rates Rental.

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Last modified: June 14, 2004
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