Shobijin wrote:There was no reason to "try something different".
This is the Godzilla franchise, basically the poster child for "let's try something different" IN EVERY MOVIE. There's literally no other franchise out there with the level of variety this one has. So, no, there's ALWAYS a reason to "try something different" because that's what this series has always thrived on.
The difference with G'98 is that what it tried to do different completely flopped and did not work. There's a few redeeming elements, but doesn't stop it from being just a bad movie.
Honestly I've always felt the Tri-Star Godzilla failed not because it tried to be different, but because we were promised something not different. In that I mean, WE, as in not just the hard Godzilla fans but general movie fans as well, were led to believe that this was going to be a big budget version of the Godzilla we were familiar with. Yes, he was going to look a bit different, but he was going to be this big badass dinosaur who breathed fire and stomped on buildings. He was going to huge, imposing and unstoppable.
The promotion for the film (which was arguably the best promotion for any movie in ages) featured a ton of campaign materials about how he was HUGE, how powerful he was, and how it was going to be intense.
Godzilla was going to be taken seriously and for the most part, the movie going public was hungry for this and paying attention.
But then the movie hit and Godzilla didn't seem that huge, he didn't breath fire and he didn't smash anything on purpose. He was weak, running scared for most of the film and easily defeated. We were promised a Godzilla movie, but we got a movie that spent a lot of time making it's main "character" seem weak, the humans were largely played for laughs (again something most people weren't expecting) and then you add in the extra layer of Godzilla looking different and such... And people just disconnected. Not to mention the movie wasn't particularly good on it's own merits, the SFX were middle of the road and lacked the umph that made this feel special and huge chunks of the movie were blatantly derivative of Jurassic Park.
So there was LOTS wrong. But I still think the audiences would have forgiven that it was a bad film, if it had delivered on a cool Godzilla doing Godzilla things. When THAT didn't happen, the whole house of cards fell apart. And I think even if it had somehow managed to be this amazing movie from a script, acting and SFX department but still had a meek and ineffectual Godzilla it still wouldn't have resonated with people.
The marketing promised a badass and people in the US perceived Godzilla as a badass and the thought of a Hollywood made Godzilla film meant he was going to be SUPER badass. But what they delivered wasn't a badass, just bad and ass.