Nov 2, 2016
Godzilla (1998) (part 9 of 10)
Then it’s back to Nick and the Frenchies making their way through a subway car that’s littered with fish corpses. They come out of the subway car and point their flashlights up into a big Godzilla-sized hole leading out of the subway tunnel. Philippe asks, “What’s up there?” and as we pull back, we see a big lit sign reading MADISON SQUARE GARDEN. Why Philippe didn’t notice this huge brightly-lit sign that’s ten feet from his face is left unexplained, but then again, it could be a subtle statement on the competence of the French military.
They all climb up into Madison Square Garden, “comically” passing a still quivering fish stuck in a basketball hoop. Sorry, but if a fish was brought from the water all the way to MSG, I sincerely doubt it would still be alive, much less putting up a fight.
Audrey and Animal are close behind, and when they climb out of the tunnel, Animal exclaims, “He trashed the Garden! Oh, man, now I’m pissed!” Considering Animal didn’t pay nine bucks to see this movie, he’s got no right to be pissed about anything. Up above, Nick and the Frenchies shine their flashlights on big giant egg props left over from the Alien movies.
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At first, Nick and Philippe only locate three eggs, so Nick assumes taking care of the nest should be an easy job. Unfortunately, they decide to actually turn to the left, revealing that there are really dozens of eggs there. One Frenchy finds the switch that turns on all the stadium lights, and even though the place is a total wreck, all the lights still work [?], including two spotlights shining up from the floor. This reveals that there are actually hundreds [!!] of eggs in the stadium. Philippe grumbles to Nick, “Start counting.” No explanation will ever be given for why Godzilla laid this many eggs, considering Nick earlier said lizards could only lay “up to a dozen”.
There’s a brief clip of Audrey and Animal also finding the eggs and freaking out. Next, we find Frenchies sticking C-4 plastic explosives to each and every egg [!]. This is one of the movie’s biggest plot holes, as it would seem all the Frenchies really need to do is take lots and lots of pictures of the eggs, and show those pictures to the American Military Brass Guys as proof that there really is a nest in the city. I mean, I know the Frenchies said they were trying to cover up their mistakes, but considering a giant mutant lizard has already destroyed half the city, that’s the sort of thing we generally call “too little, too late”. Unfortunately, the Frenchies choose to take it upon themselves to destroy all the eggs, because otherwise this idiotic subplot would be over before it started.
Unsurprisingly, one Frenchy tells Philippe that there won’t be enough explosives. Meanwhile, Animal begins filming, as we cut back to Nick taking a moment to snap a picture of an egg with his handy-dandy disposable camera. Nick’s disposable camera has got to be about the worst bad luck charm I’ve ever seen. Nothing, and I mean nothing good will ever come of Nick snapping a picture with his disposable camera.
Sure enough, as soon as the flash goes off, Nick hears some squishing sounds coming from inside the egg, and puts his ear against the shell. Philippe comes along as the squishing noises grow louder, and in a surprise plot twist, the egg instantly hatches, and a little Baby Godzilla pokes its head out and wails like an infant.
The two men turn around and find that right on cue, every single egg in the place is shaking and squishing. Animal captures another egg hatching on video, and soon, every egg in the place is hatching, and the Baby Godzillas start chowing down on dead fish.
Audrey sees this and says they’ve got enough footage and that they should leave. Animal takes his eye away from the camera long enough to see a Baby Godzilla come right up behind Audrey, but he’s too “comically” frightened to simply say “Look out” or “Behind you” or “Your odds of being eaten have increased significantly.” Instead, he just says, “That’s good for me, that’s plenty!” Because it’s funny. Anyway, they eventually turn around and see a Baby Godzilla, inspiring more “adorable” squeaking from Audrey, and by that I mean it’s as “adorable” as fingernails scraping against a chalkboard.
We cut to Nick, suddenly realizing that he and the Frenchies all smell like fish. But with a French guy, how would you ever notice? Then, all at once, the Baby Godzillas start lunging at everybody. Thus, we begin the most naked rip-off of another film in motion picture history. One suspects that instead of scene descriptions here, there were twenty blank pages in the screenplay prefaced by one sentence: “Just like the Velociraptor attack in Jurassic Park.” I think they actually owe DGA residuals to Steven Spielberg for this scene.
Nick and Philippe run out of the stadium and into one of the corridors, where they attempt to close the double doors behind them. Philippe uses a convenient hunk of wood to barricade the doors, but the Velociraptors, I mean—No, wait, they are Velociraptors—start to punch through the metal.
Several of the Redshirt Frenchies try to set off the explosive charges, but they’re soon pounced upon and mauled by Raptors. We see Animal and Audrey surrounded by Raptors, but the Hero’s Death Battle Exemption applies and the Raptors don’t instantly pounce on them. They spot an exit and Animal says “On three!” Then a split second later, he yells, “Three!” Hah!
The two bolt past some Raptors into a room with a swimming pool. Animal yells, “Whoa!!” This understandably terrifies Audrey until Animal says, “This is like where the Knicks get showered and everything!” Why is Animal so excited about being where sweaty male athletes go to shower? Is there something we should know about Animal? Anyway, Audrey belts him playfully—what a scamp!—as they try to find a way out. Unfortunately, the door leading out is locked. Meanwhile, the Raptors persist in doing the same shtick they did in Jurassic Park as they attempt to punch their way through the outer door.
We then return to the outskirts of Manhattan and learn that since Godzilla is “dead”, quote-unquote, all of New York’s residents are now demanding to be let back into the city. Um, yeah, that’s realistic. Personally, I’d be like, “There’s a huge lizard destroying skyscrapers? Ohhh-kay, well, it’s all good then. You guys just do what you need to do and let me know when it’s okay to come back, mm-kay? I’ll be waiting for that ‘all-clear’ bell over where it’s safe, like say, Oklahoma.”
Anyway, this forces Mayor Ebert to put pressure on the Colonel to let people back in, but the Colonel says they want to retrieve the big lizard corpse first. Then NewsRadio Chick charges in and frantically says they need to find the nest. And, hey, it’s only about a day after Nick told her to make sure they look for the nest. Thanks for being on the ball, NewsRadio Chick.
The Colonel is reluctant, but soon orders a “search party” to go find the nest. Mayor Ebert, for some boneheaded reason, asserts that the Colonel doesn’t have “the authority to do that!” The Colonel replies, “Try and stop me!” Wow. Apparently this is the stuff they’re teaching in Conflict 101 in MFA screenwriting programs these days.
Back at MSG, Philippe is using a fire hose to tie a stadium door shut. He tosses Nick a cell phone and tells him to call a particular number and say that it’s a “Code Dragonfly”, which will apparently result in a bomber being sent to blow up the entire building. Well, that’s a pretty wussy name for an order to destroy a stadium. Couldn’t they have come up with something a little more manly, like “Code Eagle” or “Code Thundercats”? Of course, Philippe quickly gets done with the fire hose business before Nick even dials the number, so why couldn’t Philippe just call them himself?
Nick gets a busy recording, so he goes to a payphone [?] to make the call instead, but he can’t get through there, either. Two random Frenchies come down the stairs, and Philippe asks what happened to the Redshirts “Jean-Philippe” and “Jean-Pierre”. See, the joke here is that all the French guys besides Philippe have hyphenated names beginning with “Jean”. Anyway, Philippe learns that they were Redshirt-ized, so he tells Nick that he and his men will continue to hold the Raptors there while Nick goes out to get help, and maybe some Chinese takeout too, since he’s out and everything.
Meanwhile, Animal and Audrey are still trapped in the locker room, with Raptors about to burst in, so they decide to climb up into the air vents. Ah, the Mike Donovan Honorary Escape Route, used by TV cameramen the world over. At the same time, a French guy comes upon a stadium door being mercilessly pounded by Raptors and just stands there with his gun at the ready. Is he staring dumbly at the door? You betcha.
Then we cut to the other remaining Redshirt Frenchy coming upon a stadium door that’s already been busted through. Somehow, a bunch of Raptors quietly sneak up behind him and pounce. Bye bye, Frenchie #2! Frenchie #1 hears his screams, then turns to his own door and riddles it with bullets, causing light to “artistically” shine through and light up dry ice fog. Even though he did that and it was “cool” looking and everything, some more Raptors burst through the doors and maul him anyway.
Then we see Nick trying to get out of MonoSodium Glutamate, but every exit he finds is blocked by Raptors. They apparently deduce that Nick is the hero, so they don’t attempt to pounce on him quite as fast, giving him a chance to run past them. He sprints down a corridor until he finds Raptors are coming at him from either side, so he runs to the elevator and presses the “up” button, and the damned thing actually lights up [!!!]. Yes, the elevator still works, even though half the building was destroyed.
Anyway, the Raptors come close to Nick, but Hero’s Death Battle Exemption once again applies and they all patiently wait for the elevator. The Raptors start roaring and snapping at each other for a while, probably in a petty disagreement about which one is Godzilla’s favorite. Only after the elevator shows up do they turn their attention to Nick. He runs inside and the doors start to close, but before they can completely shut, one Raptor performs his own homage to the waterfall sequence from The Lost World and sticks his face in, but he can only get to within a few inches of Nick.
Nick shoves the Raptor back with his foot and breathes a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, the next floor he goes to is also overrun by Raptors. These Raptors are all munching down on big bags of popcorn and Nick quips, “Wrong floor!” Of course, they do nothing but stare at him as the doors close again.
Meanwhile, Philippe is cruising through the corridors of MSG, and he instantly dates this film by walking past a brightly lit ad for Josta Cola. Remember Josta? It was dark red and made out of a radioactive substance that fell to earth in a comet. Audrey and Animal are still in the air ducts, and what do you know, they just happen to be directly above Philippe. Then the elevator opens right next to Philippe and, what do you know, Nick hops right out. Hey, maybe all nine planets are aligned right now, too. Can someone go check on that?
Anyway, the air duct collapses, spilling Audrey and Animal out onto the floor next to Nick and Philippe. Nick goes to help Audrey, but Philippe starts stomping on Animal’s camera. He says, “No cameras!” and points his gun at Animal, who simply says, “Very good!” Armed bullies make such charming protagonists, don’t they?
Philippe says they need a way to let the rest of the world know about the Raptors. Audrey gets an idea, just as some Raptors burst into the corridor right near them. Audrey leads the way as everybody runs off, but Animal decides to stay and stupidly worry about the videotape that’s in his smashed camera. Or perhaps he thinks having a Raptor bite mark on his ass would be more newsworthy than video footage. Either way, instead of getting the camera, he gets within a few inches of being chomped.
He books it, and the whole gang heads upstairs. According to Audrey, they’re going to “the broadcast booth”. See, she knows the location of this booth because “our network covers the Ranger games!” When they get there, there’s a dopey bit where Animal tries to type in the security code, but Philippe just blasts the doorknob with his machinegun.
Audrey yells, “The network is on an intranet! It’s a direct feed into our computer system!” Whatever that means. Animal then asks Nick if the military has been monitoring WIDF news broadcasts. The not-so-clever idea is that they’re going to start broadcasting from the Garden, in hopes that the military will tune into their feed. And somehow, none of the equipment that makes this possible has been destroyed.
We then cut to the random WIDF guy who helped Audrey edit her earlier Godzilla report. He gets a message on his computer that’s “Condition: Urgent” that tells him to pick up the feed coming out of MSG. He says to himself, “There’s no Ranger game on tonight!” Could this guy be a little dumber? For instance, could we get a shot of him reminding himself to inhale and exhale?
He brings up the MSG feed and sees Audrey on camera begging and pleading for him to put her on live. Of course, she could just focus the camera on some of the Raptors in the background instead, but I guess she wanted more camera time. I’m sure she thinks the guy should just listen to her anyway because, well, she’s Audrey and she’s got perky boobs. Animal eventually does pan the camera over to get a shot of the Raptors, which causes the WIDF Guy to immediately make preparations.
Over at the Command Center, we see Charles Caiman on TV “hilariously” reporting that everything is safe now and that New Yorkers are free to come back into the city. Just then, Audrey’s broadcast breaks in, and NewsRadio Chick stops what she’s doing to watch it. Audrey awkwardly begins the report, mentioning Nick’s name (pronouncing it correctly, in case you’re keeping score), and then Nick awkwardly gets in front of the camera for an awkward interview. This is while soaring music on the soundtrack reminds us that this is our main characters acting “heroic”. Awkwardly heroic.
At the Command Center, NewsRadio Chick tells Dr. Sneezy to get “Hicks”, and soon the Colonel runs in, so I guess his name is Hicks. Boy, and it only took me an hour and forty-six minutes to figure that out. They all watch Audrey’s report, completely transfixed.
Then we cut to Lucy and Animal’s house, where everyone watches a tight close-up of Nick as he announces that if the Raptors get loose, “a new species will emerge. One that could replace us as the dominant species of this planet!” As proof, he cites the fact that all members of the species are “born pregnant.” I don’t know when he figured that out, but maybe he brought an E-Z Home Pregnancy Exam with him to Madison Square Garden. Anyway, he declares that the Garden must be destroyed immediately.
Audrey says to him, “So I guess your theory of the creature nesting turned out to be correct after all!” Nick says, “Hah hah! In your face, Hicks!” Actually, he just stares at Audrey, almost like he totally spaced out while she was asking the question. So Audrey just turns to the camera and again pleads for the building to be destroyed.
They’re off the air, so Audrey lets her hair down, prompting the same look from Nick as when Lilith let her hair down in front of Frasier. Meanwhile, Philippe peeks out some blinds and sees the Raptors have the broadcast booth surrounded. We briefly cut to Colonel Hicks giving the order to blow up MSG, and then it’s back to the broadcast booth, where Animal turns to a computer and gets a message across the “intranet” that the military is going to blow up the building in “less than six minutes”. How the editing guy in the WIDF news van can come up with a figure this exact is anybody’s guess.
Philippe shoots out the glass in the window overlooking the stadium and lowers down a cable. Just then, the Raptors start bursting in, so Philippe repels down the cable to the stadium floor. Animal looks out and wants to know where Nick found this guy. Nick says, “He’s from France.” Unfortunately, not quite as funny as “He’s from Barcelona!”
Anyway, we see jets making their way into Manhattan, then back to Our Gang, now all back down at stadium level. Everyone runs off except Nick, who dumbly takes a moment to note that the Raptors ate all the fish. They all run out of sight through a doorway, but then comically come running and screaming back into view as a horde of Raptors chases them.
Nick, ever the crafty one, impedes the Raptors by first tipping over a rack full of basketballs, then knocking over the largest gumball machine ever created. Naturally, this causes all the Raptors to slip and fall, buying them some time to escape. Before escaping, however, Nick takes a moment to dumbly stand there and watch them slip-sliding away.
There’s a quick shot to let us know that the jets exist, and are still heading for MSG. Nick and Company get to the escalators leading to the exit, but find the lobby literally crawling with Raptors. The Raptors simply stand there, staring at our main characters, while being careful not to block the Swatch product placement. Meanwhile, yes, the jets are still headed there. We got it.
Audrey asks Animal how much time they have left, and he says, “less than 30 seconds!” Then the Raptors that were stumbling around on gumballs and basketballs finally catch up to them. Philippe spots a chandelier, so he shoots at it, causing it to crash down and send Raptors scattering. He marches forward and does this twice more, giving them all a clear path to the exit. They slam the doors behind them and Philippe uses his rifle to hold the doors closed. Gee, and they say guns don’t have practical applications. People don’t hold doors closed, guns do!
They get out just as the jets reach MSG and let their missiles fly. This leads to a predictable green-screen shot of our heroes racing away from MSG as it explodes behind them and they all leap forward right at the last second. MSG erupts in a giant fireball, and we see all the Raptors get incinerated. With their mission accomplished, the jets cruise away.
We then cut to all four of our main characters without a scratch on them, lying among the wreckage in the street. Then it’s time for a Tender Moment with Audrey and Nick, as Audrey comments that she “never thought your life was this exciting!” It isn’t. She adds, however, that she’d “like to find out.” Tender moment, tender moment, blah blah blah. He gives her an “aw, ’tweren’t nothin'” look and the two kiss to a gushing instrumental theme.
Then we “comically” cut to Philippe and Animal watching this Public Display of Affection. Animal turns to Philippe and asks, “How ya doin’?” and Philippe comments he could use some coffee. The Tender Moment ends quickly, however, when they all hear a roar and the Big G himself comes crashing up from the wreckage of MSG. Nick looks suitably terrified, whereas Audrey just looks kind of irritated. As I am, too, because I have no idea where Godzilla’s been hiding or how he got out of the river and somehow arrived here.
Godzilla looks upon his dead Raptor young and issues forth a mournful howl. He nudges one Raptor corpse with his nose, which I guess is supposed to induce pathos. Instead, I’m wondering why this motion produces the same “thud” sound effect as when Godzilla walks down the street. To sum up, Godzilla is none too pleased, so Animal asks what they should do. Philippe says, “Running would be a good idea!” And yes, that’s the first good idea anyone’s had in this movie.