Toho's nuclear nightmare comes to America, like a very big chicken coming home to roost. This self-appointed box office behemoth from the makers of Independence Day is a plodding non-event. After a promising start, the movie falls apart almost as soon as Godzilla arrives in Manhattan - we'll buy a mutant lizard the size of a church, but it's a stretch to accept that the authorities keep losing track of the creature (then again, it does appear to change size according to the demands of the art director). Emmerich's sub-Spielbergian awe is constantly undercut by his own squeamishness - it's just not scary - and by the irritatingly drippy leads. You can't help praying for Broderick to get the chop, while Pitillo seems to think she's auditioning for a sitcom; only Reno comes out with head held high. Populist cataclysm requires a lighter touch than this.
Cast and crew
Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio
Matthew Broderick Jean Reno Hank Azaria Maria Pitillo Michael Lerner Harry Shearer