Saturday 26 November 2011


Who thought making Godzilla pregnant was a good idea?  

The Big G is meant to be a lean, mean, city stomping machine, not a lactating parent with post-natal depression.  

Exploding Helicopter had long delayed reviewing this film because of its infamous reputation, but we thought it was time to find out if it was deserved. Well, dear reader, we can confirm all the charges levelled at this blockbuster are justified.  

Matthew Broaderick is cinema’s least convincing scientist. His romance with Maria Pitillo is hampered by her dreadful performance and at a butt-numbing 2hrs 20mins, the film’s in dire need of a trim.

The plot is packed with the implausible and the impractical. One minute Godzilla is towering above skyscrapers, the next he’s disappearing into underground tunnels that are clearly too small for him. And don’t even ask how a giant, massively destructive reptile repeatedly eludes the world’s best equipped army.

So, what can we sensibly add to the analysis of this film? Why a detailed appreciation of the exploding helicopter action in the film, that’s what.

The fiery rotor action starts with Godzilla chewing up New York. The military have been brought in to save the day and their helicopters are soon on Godzilla trails. Unfortunately, their heat seeking missiles don’t lock on to the scaly monster because reptiles are cold-blooded. Did everyone forget the high school biology? Like, duh!

Despite being a skyscraper sized mutant lizard, Godzilla somehow manages to elude the pursuing choppers. It appears they’ve lost the Big G, but he suddenly comes crashing through a building behind the hovering helicopters. Godzilla lashes out an arm and sends one chopper crashing into the side of a building, before chomping his teeth down onto another one like it is tasty airborne snack.

The remaining chopper tries to flee. The helicopter looks certain to be caught, but suddenly Godzilla disappears. The pilot radios in that he’s managed to shake off the beast. Phew!

Only somehow Godzilla has snuck underneath the helicopter and he suddenly rears upwards to chew up the third and final chopper.

Artistic merit

Excellent. This is an action set piece in a big budget blockbuster so director Roland Emmerich makes sure he wrings as much juice out the sequence as possible. Having Godzilla smash through the building behind the choppers was a genuinely good sleight of hand. And who doesn’t want to see a helicopter get eaten?

Number of exploding helicopters


Exploding helicopter innovation

Nothing particularly novel here. Godzilla has destroyed helicopters on multiple occasions over the years.  


The helicopter chase scene is more than a little reminiscent of the trench run scene in Star Wars. The scene’s staging, the graphics of the helicopters targeting system, even the dialogue are all uncannily similar. If you’re going to steal, steal from the best.


A regular grumble of exploding helicopter sequences is pilots making decisions which defy logic, but are mightily convenient for the plot. For example, when being chased by Godzilla why doesn’t the helicopter pilot simply increase his altitude and take itself out of harm’s way? Equally, how can Godzilla keep pace with an Apache attack helicopter which has a top speed of 182mph?

Interesting fact

Jean Reno doesn’t understand English. Apparently. This nugget was mentioned in the audio commentary to the Rollerball remake. Yes, masochist that I am I didn’t think I’d punished myself enough by watching that dreck, I thought I’d watch the whole thing again with cast members wittering away over it. 

Review by: Jafo


  1. I love that you reviewed this strictly for the exploding helicopters in it. I've never seen it either, but I hope to someday, just to say I did.

  2. What can I saw we're dedicated to our craft. We suffer, so you don't have to.