The Writer Of 1998’s Godzilla Knows Where They Went Wrong With The Movie – SlashFilm


“Godzilla” opens with a lot of portentous scenes of monster mayhem, indicating that, yes indeed, a monster will inevitably appear. Tactfully, the filmmakers keep the creature offscreen for a long time. This was an approach that Emmerich took with “Independence Day” as well, showing how many people all over the globe are reacting to a slow-moving alien invasion before introducing the film’s key players. Devlin felt that, with a “Godzilla” movie, it might have been wiser to get to the key players a little more quickly. He also noted that the tone was all over the place. He said: 

“Movies normally start out with a lot of setup of who the characters are and what the motivations are, and then throw you into the story. (…) We had this idea of, what if we just throw people into the story and really set up the characters in the second act? Which was a giant mistake. (…) Things that should have been funny or things that should have been emotional felt stupid because it didn’t make sense to you, watching it. (…) So there was this frustration and anger.”

So Devlin and Emmerich needed to more precisely choose whether their film was a comedy or not, and then, on that basis, get to the human characters’ drama that much more quickly. The Inverse article pointed out that the Pitillo character isn’t even introduced until about 20 minutes in. They could have more efficiently built their ensemble. To offer an editorial, I think the tone was the bigger issue. Devlin and Emmerich could have chosen to be less “funny,” or at least less “whimsical,” and made a better picture. 

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