Instead of just re-editing existing films, American studios got the rights to produce an actual American Godzilla feature. And so, being an American feature, they thought they should rebuild Godzilla from the ground up. So we get a totally new look for Godzilla. But in the end, we get something that kind of looks like Godzilla, but not really.
The film tells us that Godzilla is the result of nuclear irradiated iguana eggs. Which, takes away the epic nature of the monster. And while the original Godzilla feasted on atomic power? Our American monster desires fish. Lots and lots of fish.
The film focuses on Mathew Broderick’s Nico a scientist called in to try and determine what Godzilla is for the American military. There are a ridiculously large amount of ongoing plots competing with each other (failed romance, french spies, government ignorance, giant eggs!).
Everything in the film is big, as this is the dawn of the “event film” as we now know them. I get not going with a “man in a suit” approach, but the redesign feels unnecessarily extreme. They so reduce Godzilla to a typical animal, much is lost. There is no atomic fire breathing, because this Godzilla is just a mutated lizard. By keeping it so “down to earth”, it keeps the film from having to much fun with this crazy notion of a giant lizard wandering New York. When all is said and done, this is an uninspired remake that finds a way to make Godzilla a bit boring.