Godzilla 2014 v Godzilla 1998: Who is the best Godzilla?

Godzilla2014

Gigantic mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fearsomest Godzilla of them all? Hollywood doesn’t do shame, so when they pilfer the idea for Japan’s greatest movie monster, why not do it twice? In 1998, we had Godzilla and now in 2014 we’re about to have… wait for it… Godzilla. Catchy title. But can the new Godzilla, released this week and directed by British director Gareth Edwards, knock its older counterpart out.

1. Tagline

Say what you like about the 1998 Godzilla movie – and pretty much everybody who saw it has – but it had a stonkingly good tagline: ‘Size does matter’. Simple and succinct, it’s a real belter. Does anyone know what the tagline for the new Godzilla movie even is? One of them is this: ‘The world ends. Godzilla begins’. Uh, isn’t that a bit of a spoiler? And it’s inaccurate – Godzilla was beginning (in modern Hollywood terms, at least) back in 1998. Ironically though, new Godzilla is three times bigger than the old one.

WINNER: GODZILLA ’98

Godzillasize

The Tweety Bird reboot had got way out of hand. Or foot.

2. Music

The new Godzilla has a score by the wonderful Alexandre Desplat from the last two Harry Potter movies, but come on, old Godzilla has Jamiroquai with Deeper Underground and a terrible CGI video. And it has Puff Daddy shouting at Jimmy Page’s guitar. It’s a no-brainer. Come on, say it with me… ‘AH-HUH… YEAH. AH-HUH… YEAH.’ Anyone else think Puff says ‘Tom Hulce’ instead of ‘time halts’ in this song? No, just me? Ah okay.

WINNER: GODZILLA ’98

3. Dialogue

There’s a few decent lines in the new Godzilla trailers. One is Ken Watanabe’s ‘The arrogance of man is thinking nature is in our control… and not the other way around.’ That’s a good one. But is it as good as these gems from Roland Emmerich’s earlier Godzilla?

– ‘Negative impact? That’s the goddamned Chrysler Building!’

– ‘I’ve always wanted to join the French Foreign Legion.’

– ‘That’s a lot of fish.’

No.

WINNER: GODZILLA ’98

godzillafish

Mmmm… fish!

4. Cast

While watchers of old Godzilla have to make do with the charisma-free zone that is Matthew Broderick, they do receive a double treat in return: The Simpsons alumni Harry Shearer and Hank Azaria – the latter even references his yellow alter-ego, bartender Moe, by moaning ‘Aw jeez’ at one point. Alright, so new ‘Zilla has Bryan Cranston post-Breaking Bad (reckon Walter White could probably defeat Godzilla on his own) and I love David Strathairn in anything, but then old ‘Zilla pulls its trump card: Jean Reno. Jean Reno doing Elvis.

WINNER: GODZILLA ’98

5. Godzilla

Unfortunately, the 1998 Godzilla looked pretty dreadful, like a velociraptor dressed up in a Godzilla costume. It was rubbish. And it had a face you wanted to punch. New Godzilla, on the other hand, just looks like…. well, Godzilla. Some seriously good creature design has gone into this bad boy. Love his mountain range of spikes on his back and his relatively tiny mouth. It just looks real. This isn’t a documentary, is it?

WINNER: GODZILLA ’14

godzillaexplode

Cool Godzillas don’t look at explosions

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