Godzilla (1998)

Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria
A enormous, radioactively mutated lizard runs rampant on the island of Manhattan.
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 20 May 1998 Released:
  • 26 Dec 2000 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich Writer:
  • Roland Emmerich Director:
  • N/A Website:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

I've had enough10/10

Alright, I've had enough. Godzilla was a GREAT movie, and I'm just sick and tired of all the critics and others who view the movie as a complete disaster due to its lack of a story and other problems.

Personally, I don't care. The movie, from day one was meant to be just a big effects laden action movie. It's just for fun. I understood the story. The movie should just be viewed as a fun, blow everything up in your way movie. Don't be so hard. Sit back and enjoy.
Drastically underrated9/10
After bizarre attacks on a Japanese freighter, first the French then the U.S. learn of the existence of an apparent modern "dinosaur". When it's suspected that radiation from nuclear weapons testing in French Polynesia may have instead produced the monster, biological radiation specialist Dr. Nick Tatopoulos (Matthew Broderick) is called to the scene. While investigating the monster's path of destruction, a new sighting arrives--just off the coast of New York City!

It's no secret that Godzilla has been much maligned. Even Fangoria editor Tony Timpone stated in an editorial that he thought it sucked, and he's usually willing to give movies the benefit of the doubt. The reasons why director Roland Emmerich's version of Godzilla is hated are as varied as people stating opinions. But I tend to think that there is also a strong bandwagon effect with this film that will be tempered by time. There are already signs of a number of people giving it a second look and lessening the severity of their criticism.

The chief complaint seems to come from a very vocal but relatively small crowd of fanboy purists--they dislike that Godzilla is different here. In the Japanese films, made by the Toho production company, Godzilla is a guy in a rubber suit who stomps on models of buildings and such. He tends to lumber, as irrelevant military attacks on him provide pretty fireworks. Most Godzilla films feature him fighting some other monster, "professional wrestling" style, and Godzilla arbitrarily falls down and gets back up as he is attacked and attacks with various "death rays" from his mouth, eyes, etc. Now that might sound like I don't like the typical Godzilla film, but that's not true. I like them quite a bit, but a big part of the reason why is that most of them are very cheesy. I'm a fan of bizarre cheese/camp, and you get tons of that in Godzilla films.

But I'm not a purist. To me, there's no good reason why Emmerich's Godzilla needs to be similar to the Toho incarnations, which in fact are often quite different from and inconsistent with each other, too. At this point, I see Godzilla more as a recurring character type--think of the various instantiations of Dracula or Frankenstein throughout the 20th Century. The Toho films can't really be seen as chapters in a single, long story. But whether their arguments are wrong or not, the fanboy purists are at least noisy and prolific, and too many people are followers.

If Emmerich would have given us a guy in a rubber suit, acting just like the Toho Godzillas (not "Godzilla"), with the typical gobbledy-gook of a Toho script, this film would have bombed even worse (if we can call a 100 million dollar film that made a profit a "bomb") and the fanboys would have still found something to complain about. Even though I love the Toho Godzilla films, too, we can't deny that they do not tend to be bestsellers on video in the U.S., despite the fact that they're readily available for purchase.

So what Emmerich gives us instead is an epic, expensive-looking film that spans a number of genres, features more coherent dialogue and subplots than a typical Toho Godzilla film, and showcases a redesigned, mostly cgi cast of monsters, where Godzilla looks and behaves much more like a "real" giant, mutant lizard. For those of us who are not purists, who do not care if our opinions match the majority, and who evaluate films on all or their technical and artistic levels, it's difficult to deny that Godzilla has many merits.

For example, the cinematography in this film is gorgeous. The sound design is superb and the soundtrack (score and songs) works well with the film. All of the action sequences, and they comprise a large percentage of the film, are expertly staged--Emmerich doesn't resort to darkness, blur-cams and overly quick cuts like many other directors. It's always easy to follow the narrative during action scenes, it's always easy to see what's going on, and it's always coherent. That goes for the non-action scenes, too--the entire film is ingeniously designed in terms of the progression from one sequence to another. Also, the cgi is amazing--it's often difficult to tell where it stops and mechanicals/models begin.

But the story is great, too. Broderick's Tatopoulos is an attractive anti-hero, a nerdish scientist who solve dilemmas with his professional knowledge. The other hero is Jean Reno as Philippe Roache, a humorously enigmatic French "insurance agent". The obligatory romantic subplot, involving Tatopoulos and Audrey Timmonds (Maria Pitillo) surprisingly avoids cliches, and Timmonds provides a launching pad for an all-too-honest satire of the media.

Satire is high up on Emmerich's agenda. Godzilla not only satirizes the media, but the military, New York/New Yorkers, film critics, and even monster movies. While the film is simultaneously giving us a lot of genres--sci-fi, horror, adventure, war film, drama, etc. the most unexpected motif is the almost cartoonish, spoof-like humor. Godzilla is more frequently laugh-out-loud funny that anyone expected it to be. It's not just one-liners and overt jokes, although those are certainly present, but the amped up intentional absurdity of situations such as the final taxi cab "chase".

Even if you think that Godzilla has some internal problems as an artwork (and I agree that there is a slight clunkiness in parts of the narrative flow--it caused me to subtract a point), there's no way it deserves the trashing it's received so far. This is at least a well-made film on a technical level, and if you have any taste for slightly campy sci-fi/monster flicks, you should find much to enjoy here.
One of the first "scary" movies I saw; a cherished childhood memory, actually8/10
I really do, genuinely enjoy Godzilla. I have watched it on numerous occasions for a long time now and I always think it is an incredibly fun and entertaining movie. The first time I watched it though was when I was around four years young. It was one of the first, as I called it then, scary movies I watched.

I actually will never find the strength to call this film horrible, even though my opinions on it have of course lowered a lot over time, because I watched it when I was so little, and I thought it was the best movie ever. This film is still really enjoyable, because it's value doesn't decrease as much as the person who watches it entertainment does, but it still sickens me to know it has such a low rating and many look down on it, while really it should receive more appreciation.

I might have lowered my opinions on this film, but it is still a pleasing film that does not deserve the rating it has. I didn't see much of anything wrong with it, even now, and I just thought it was suspenseful and exciting, somewhat more suspenseful than a lot of other movies that have been made, with a lot of fun performances and excellent CGI. Godzilla, yet classified as a horror\suspense, was actually a touching film and was sad in some parts, as well. I will never understand how someone could hate a film that's just meant to be all around fun and enjoyment.

Thumbs up for Godzilla.
Size DOES Matter10/10

It's been almost five years since this film came out back in 1998. I can remember the very first TV Spot on television around New Years. As a HUGE Godzilla fan I was excited to say the least. And I must tell you, when I saw it when it finally came out I wasn't dissapointed, and to this day I still feel the same way.

It's a darn shame that this film gets blasted like it does. It shows me that the majority of the people (and Godzilla fans) that take the time to write reviews for films probably don't know what they are talking about when they talk of America's "Godzilla".

There are a couple of main issues critics and Godzilla fans have with the film. The story and the monster itself, 'Godzilla'.

If you look back at all of the original Japanese Godzilla flicks, you aren't going to find a great (not to mention BELIEVABLE) story or plot. I realize this, even being a fan of all things Godzilla. Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich's 'Godzilla' atleast, in my opinion, had the audience believing what was going on up on the screen. And if the story was slightly dull to some of you, you should let it pass. Remember what 'Godzilla' is about, afterall.

And what was wrong with the monster itself, Godzilla? Nothing. If you get two action figures, one being a model of the original Godzilla from the Japanese series and a model of the new American Godzilla you will find differences but both are remarkably alike in alot of ways. They both have the spikes, gigantic size, and famous roar. The major differences being the skin color, face, and longer legs. I loath it when people bring up how they shouldn't have changed Godzilla's looks. I mean, I love the old Godzilla look, it may be silly to some, but to me it's still cool. But it would NOT have worked for this film at ALL. If they had made the American version with a creature that had big 'googily' eyes and flying around on his tail kicking monsters, it would have ended up being a laugh-fest at the theaters.

What the American 'Godzilla' brings us is a believable monster that has the spirit and characteristics of the original, that satisfies the audience. It was just more realistic. Shouldn't we have expected that? Devlin and Emmerich came up with a monster that was realistic. Something the creators of the original attempted at doing but were limited to rubber suits. Something the Japanese audience accepts, but the American audience will not. It's sad that most Godzilla fans and critics do not understand this.

I personally believe that the majority of the general audience ENJOYED this film. It's just the critical blasting from G Fans and Critics that got alot of attention, unfortunately, and therefore this gets labeled as a 'bad' film. It's sad really that people can't enjoy this film.

This is one of my favorite DVD's to plug in. It's Big, Loud, and Fun. And although we've had lots of great films with tons of Special Effects, there's nothing quite like it.

So take a look at it, be open and I'm sure you will enjoy the fantastic pop-corn entertainment known as "GODZILLA".



I thought it was great...10/10

As opposed to most people, I thought this movie was excellent. You can't watch the movie and expect Shakespeare...it's Godzilla. You have to appreciate the work that went into making this creature look so lifelike. This movie had spectacular special effects and a pretty decent story line. I thought this movie was great. I didn't find the acting to be all that bad. I would recommend watching this movie before you come to any conclusions.