As you can probably tell by my icon, I'm a pretty big fan of the TriStar Godzilla for his own merits as a separate incarnation of Godzilla; Not the one we all know and love, granted, but a cool take in my opinion (hell, I still like the scenes his Toho version got in Final Wars despite them being obvious jabs!)
For starters, this big guy is sneaky and cunning; A bit cowardly, sure, but he would outmaneuver and lead his pursuers through the maze like blocks of the concrete jungle before doubling back and decimating them. That skin color was beautifully made and did bear SOME resemblance to Marine Iguanas, at least in a loose sense of the ruddy and blackish blue tones; makes good camoflauge too!
Second, he's a lot stronger and tougher than he appears; Granted he's no powerhouse, but he does have a lot more muscle than he's given credit for. The bastard dredged up a freighter and gutted its hull like it was tearing through wax-paper and it weighed about as much as cardboard. Before that he dragged down three big ass fishing trolleys going at top speed like they were just over-glorified rubber duckies. Several scenes show him casually smash through buildings bigger than he was. Not to mention he had the endurance and stamina to rip through asphalt and steel on a regular basis while digging. Even those big, shark-like fins are dangerous (in one scene they cut through the hull of one of the USS Anchorages)
In terms of durability, he is kinda lackluster and no-where near Goji standards, but he's not so 'bony and weak' as people claim; High caliber fire and tank rounds are completely harmless, and he didn't show any real damage from being blasted by two huge-ass torpedoes (given where they hit him we knew even he didn't dig his way out of range in time.) And it took twelve Tomahawk missiles (very powerful air-ground ones, mind you) blasting into his throat and chest to bring him down after he gave birth, tanked two torpedoes and everything else the city had to throw at him; even then the bastard took a while to bleed to death in the cold.
Next, we've got his Power Breath which can be summed up as a gale-force hurricane of flammable gas that is POSSIBLY radioactive (I mean, he was born from the fallout of a nuclear blast) that when ignited turns into a draconian jet of skreeonking flames that swallow up armored vehicles and burn them to a crisp.
Finally, his speed; Its a Godzilla that can outrun Apache Helicopters, dodge rockets like a Kaiju version of Neo from The Matrix and leap over buildings like a parkour master. Need I say more on how badass a giant lizard doing that is?
In the end, he's not Gojira/The Original Japanese Godzilla, but he never was meant to be; Toho and Sony had good communication about the design, they knew what they were getting, and I honestly kind of like seeing a more flawed, weaker Godzilla every now and again to balance the new arms race of who can make the biggest, baddest and strongest Godzilla. So as much as I like Toho's Godzilla(s) and Legendary's Monsterverse, I'll always hold a special place in my heart for TriStar's version, right next to many other famouse/infamous American Kaiju~
As for the characters; Yes, they are mostly walking stereotypes that can be very unlikable at times, but I found some scenes of them kind of charming and a few lines got a genuine chuckle out of me. Audrey was a huge female dog at times, but she got a little nicer after she nearly got devoured by TriStar Godzilla's kids at least. Jean Reno's and Hank Azaria's characters were the stars of the show, putting in their best performances whenever they were onscreen, followed by Colonel Hick's character and then Broderick's poor scientist simply being way over his head but trying his best to do his job.
The tone of the movie is overly-serious to the point where its narmy and lovably dumb; It's like the gritty Heisei era had a baby with Showa to make the corny lines and performances that actually make it a surprisingly okay contrast in my eyes. We've got scenes like Godzilla ripping apart a building, swiping Helicopters out of the sky or flat out chomping them to bits after luring them into a trap followed by scenes of exasperation from the parody Mayor Ebert character who seems to be aware and lampshading how the Military is dicking around ("What the HELL is the matter with you people?! YOU'VE CAUSED MORE DAMAGE THAN THAT GOD DAMN THING DID!")
The CGI was a bit spotty at times, with SonyZilla's size and even color varying depending on the lighting, time of day, and angle. Still, none of it was too atrocious in my eyes and it flowed pretty decently; Some scenes still manage to look pretty okay to good today, and Tatopoulos' sleek creature design made great Practical effects when they were used.
The Baby-Zillas I thought were kind of cute and cool despite being HEAVILY influenced by the JP Raptors, and could be explained by (as someone else on this site once said) saying Tristar Godzilla was a masculine hermaphrodite that occurred because of temperature change in the nest as he developed in the egg; Warmer temps. make male lizards or snakes in the wild, while the opposite makes females. Perhaps the fallout made a mini 'nuclear winter' and addled some of the biological chemistry of the embryo during to development to make mostly male parts and a male chromosome (which it was initially) but adding in rudimentary female parts that could have been fertilized before becoming vestigial/nonfunctioning after use (no need expending energy keeping something working that theoretically should only be used once given the sheer clutch size and the independent physiology of the newborns).
Overall, the plot can be considered a Hollywood Block-Buster Kaiju Flick-it's meant to be a big, loud and flashy roller coaster that you enjoy with a bit of low-bro, Saturday Morning Cartoon level of thinking with popcorn in front of, get a laugh at how narmy it is and enjoy the characters. The story is minimal, yes, but it's there despite how jumbled it is with the cliches walking about (and as far as cliched characters go, there are worse ones out there that put even Nick and Audrey to shame) acting hammy and stupid as a giant, radioactive reptile rips apart the city to survive.
It does lack the depth and meaning the original Gojira had, which is pretty shitty of it to crap on, but it does serve as a good American fusion of Showa's (periodic) stupidity and the dark, edgy Heisei world that has a moral to it all the same; Don't skreeonk with nature, and clean up after your messes(?).
All in all, it's no sappy Minilla flick with a Cat-Toad Ogre, no Scrappy Kaiju/Godzuki ruining an otherwise okay Hanna Barbera Cartoon, or a convoluted time travel mess that really didn't need to happen; Just a big pile of fish that consists of some flounders but also some cod in my eyes...
Last edited by Kaiju-Killer 751
on Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:14 am, edited 6 times in total.