|TriStar Monster Movie|
|Produced by||TriStar Pictures|
|Music by||David Arnold|
|Directed by||Roland Emmerich|
|Alternate Titles||Godzilla 1998|
|“||Size Does Matter||„|
Godzilla is an American science fiction film directed by Roland Emmerich and starred Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria, Michael Lerner and Kevin Dunn and was announced as a remake of the original Godzilla film. The film was released in the United States on May 19, 1998, and in Japan on July 11, 1998.
Despite having bad fan reactions, including a disappreciation of the origin story or the physical differences between the Japanese Godzilla, the film became a box-office success.
PlotFollowing a nuclear test in French Polynesia, a marine iguana nest is exposed to the fallout. Years later, a Japanese fishing vessel is suddenly attacked by an enormous sea creature in the South Pacific ocean; only one seaman, an old cook, survives. Traumatized, he is questioned by a mysterious Frenchman in a hospital regarding what he saw, to which he replies, "Gojira".
Dr. Niko Tatopoulos, an NRC scientist, is in the Chernobyl exclusion zone in Ukraine researching the effects of radiation on wildlife, but is suddenly interrupted by the arrival of an official from the U.S. State Department. He is sent to Panama and Jamaica, escorted by the military, to observe a trail of wreckage across land leading to the recovered Japanese fishing trawler with massive claw marks on it. In Jamaica, the Frenchman is also present, observing the scene, and introduces himself as Philippe Roaché, a so-called "insurance agent".
Aboard a military aircraft, Dr. Tatopoulos identifies skin samples he discovered in the shipwreck as belonging to an unknown species. He dismisses the military's theory that the creature is a living dinosaur, instead deducing that he is a mutant created by nuclear testing. The large reptilian creature travels to New York City leaving a path of destruction in its wake. The city is evacuated as the military attempts to kill the creature but fails in an initial attempt. Tatopoulos later collects a blood sample and learns that the creature reproduces asexually and is collecting food not just for itself, but also for its offspring.
Eventually, Dr. Tatopoulos meets up with his ex-girlfriend, Audrey Timmonds, a young news reporter who wants to find a story. While she visits him, she uncovers a classified tape in his provisional military tent which concerns the origins of the monster, and turns it over to the media. She hopes to have her report put on TV in hopes to become famous, but her superior and boss, Charles Caiman declares the tape as his own discovery. The tape is broadcast on television by the media, dubbing the creature "Godzilla". Dr. Tatopoulos is thrown off the team for his inadvertent carelessness and says goodbye to Audrey.
Tatopoulos is later kidnapped by Roaché, who reveals himself to be an agent of the DGSE, the French foreign intelligence agency. He and his colleagues have been keeping close watch on the events and are planning to cover up their country's role in the creation of Zilla. Suspecting a nest somewhere in the city, they cooperate with Dr. Tatopoulos to trace and destroy it.
Following a chase with Zilla, the creature dives into the Hudson River to evade the military, where it is attacked by Navy submarines. After sustaining head-on collisions with torpedoes, the beast sinks after being rendered incapacitated. Believing he is finally dead, the authorities celebrate.
Meanwhile, Dr. Tatopoulos and Roaché's team, covertly followed by Timmonds and her cameraman Victor "Animal" Palotti, make their way through underground subway tunnels to Madison Square Garden. There, they locate numerous eggs. As they attempt to destroy them, the eggs suddenly hatch. Sensing the human intruders as food, they begin attacking. Dr. Tatopoulos, Palotti, Timmonds and Roaché take refuge in the stadium's broadcast booth and send a live news report to alert the military. A prompt response involving an airstrike is initiated as the four escape moments before the arena is bombed.
The adult Zilla, however, emerges from the venue's ruins. Discovering all of his young dead, he chases the group through the streets of Manhattan. In pursuit, Zilla eventually makes his way to the Brooklyn Bridge. The creature becomes trapped in the steel suspension cables, making him an easy target. After being attacked by military aircraft, he falls to the ground and slowly dies.
Meanwhile, amidst the Garden's ruins, a lone egg begins to hatch.
- Godzilla 1998
- Zilla (working title)
- TriStar's Godzilla
- American Godzilla
- Godzilla: Size Does Matter
- G.I.N.O. (Godzilla In Name Only)
The film's soundtrack featured songs by such artists as Puff Daddy and Jimmy Page ("Come with Me", which was the same as Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir", but without Robert Plant's vocals, and overdubbed with Puff Daddy), Jamiroquai ("Deeper Underground"), Rage Against the Machine ("No Shelter"), Foo Fighters ("A320"), Ben Folds Five ("Air"), and Green Day ("Brain Stew (Remix)" ). The David Bowie song "Heroes", covered by the Wallflowers, can be clearly heard in the background during a restaurant scene early in the movie. David Arnold's orchestral score provided the music for the rest of the movie, and roughly four minutes of it is included on the album.
Sequels and Spin-Offs
- Main Article: Godzilla: The Series
The film spawned an animated series which continued the storyline of the movie. In this series, Nick Tatapolous accidentally discovers the egg that survived the destruction of the nest. The creature hatches and imprints on him as its parent. Subsequently, Nick and a group of friends form an elite research team, investigating strange occurrences and defending human kind from numerous other monsters.
A novelisation was released for the film, written as a retrospective by Nick Tatapolous. Nick always refers to the monster as Gojira in the text.
A sequel to the film was planned, and would have involved Godzilla battling a mutant insect creature which was known in the screenplay as "Queen Bitch". However these plans for a sequel were ultimately scrapped and Roland Emmerich made The Patriot instead.
The marketing campaign for Godzilla was multi-pronged in its execution:
Crushed cars were dotted around London as a part of a guerilla advertising campaign. In the month or so before its release, ads on street corners made references to Godzilla's size in comparison to whatever medium of advertising the advertisement was on.
Examples: "His foot is bigger than this bus", "His eye is bigger than this billboard", etc. Bits and pieces of different body parts of Godzilla were shown on TV commercials and posters, but never the entire body; this was to add a bit of mystery as to the design of the creature, ideally prompting people to see the film because that was the only way to see the whole creature. The same style of advertising is used for Steven Spielberg's adaption of War of the Worlds, where the alien attackers were rarely seen in advertisements and also for the movie Transformers where the Transformers are not fully seen. Unfortunately, the toyline was released before the film, and spoiled everything. Taco Bell had tie-ins such as cups and toys that promoted the film. The Taco Bell chihuahua was also at the height of its popularity in Taco Bell's television commercials. During the summer of 1998, several commercials pairing Godzilla with the Taco Bell mascot were produced and aired, including several with the chihuahua trying to catch Godzilla in a tiny box, whistling and calling, "Here, lizard, lizard, lizard." When Godzilla appears, the chihuahua says, "Uh-oh. I think I need a bigger box."
Box OfficeAlthough film received mostly negative reviews from critics (26% positive on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 58 reviews), Godzilla grossed $136,314,294 domestically and $379,014,294 worldwide, bringing back its $125 million budget.
Errors that are scientifically and physically inaccurate:
- It would have been impossible for the Brooklyn Bridge to sustain Zilla's weight. It would have collapsed the moment he set foot on it.
- It would have been impossible for Zilla to have 200 eggs at the same time, because, taking into consideration their size in comparison to humans and Zilla's size, Zilla would need to have an enormous bulge showing an egg sac with all of those eggs, or at the very least have a huge decrease in hunger because of the hundreds of meters the eggs are occupying inside Zilla have to make Zilla lose appetite.
- On that note, iguanas do not lay anywhere near 200 eggs at one time. They lay, on average, about 50.
- The species that Zilla originated from, marine iguana, is only found in the Galápagos Islands, they do not exist in French Polynesia, the place where Zilla was mutated.
- More inaccuracies about Zilla being a marine iguana include that marine iguanas do not eat fish, they are not bipedal, and that they use their tails for defensive purposes (while Zilla used his mouth). While on the topic of Zilla's mouth, Zilla can completely destroy a helicopter with ease by biting it swiftly but cannot make any significant damage to a taxi that has been in his mouth for several seconds.
- When the Apaches are attacking Zilla in the city they say they are going to fire AIM-9 Sidewinders at it, but in real life sidwinders are Air-to-air missile that wouldn't have any effect on it and when they use their guns on Zilla they are shown to be next to the cockpit which is the wrong place on the design. The gun is mounted under the nose of the aircraft.
- In Zilla's first attack on New York, shortly after Zilla gets on a building to roar after destroying the Chrysler Building, Zilla disappears without trace and without anyone seeing or hearing him go away. This is physically impossible, considering Zilla's size and weight, plus the loud sounds he produces by walking.
- Marine Iguanas are mainly found by beaches and spend most of their time in the water. However, Zilla rarely goes in the water.
Though Zilla has no references in any cartoons (aside from the spin-off cartoon show), He has been referenced in the following Toho movies.
Godzilla 2000 - In the US Release, several of Zilla's roars were used in conjunction with Godzilla's new roars.
Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack - Early in the film, people are discussing the history of Godzilla, and someone mentions that in 1998, Godzilla attacked New York. The Americans thought it was Godzilla, but the Japanese rightfully claim that it was an all together different monster.
Godzilla: Final Wars - Zilla makes a full appearance in Final Wars, attacking Sydney, Australia. The Actual Godzilla shows up and fights Zilla. Godzilla attacks him with his atomic breath, but Zilla dodges by jumping in the air. Godzilla counters by striking Zilla with his tail, sending Zilla into the Sydney Opera House and giving Godzilla a chance to use his atomic breath, which kills Zilla. The fight was the shortest in Godzilla history and one of the most famous since many fans enjoyed seeing Godzilla fight Zilla at that time.
- In the film the characters of the mayor (Lerner) and his advisor are clearly caricatures of Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel. Reportedly, the less-than-flattering portrayal was because both had given negative reviews of Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich's earlier film, Stargate. When the actual Siskel and Ebert reviewed Emmerich's Godzilla on their show, it received two thumbs down and Siskel commented on being spoofed in the film, saying it was "petty." Barney from Barney & Friends can be seen in a T.V set.
- The Japanese freighter attacked and destroyed by Zilla in the opening of the film is named Kobayashi Maru, in homage to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
- The music that plays on an elevator in a scene with Matthew Broderick is "Danke Schoen", which Broderick lip-synchs in a memorable scene from Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
- The first sequence of the AH64-Apache gunships chasing after Zilla through the streets references both Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back with the line, "Echo 4 to Echo Base", and Star Wars with "He's right on my tail! I can't shake him!" Both lines were spoken by Luke Skywalker.
- Matthew Broderick's character's last name is "Tatopoulos" and it may be a reference to Godzilla's designer and supervisor is Patrick Tatopoulos.
- The film is dedicated to Tomoyuki Tanaka, who produced all of the original Godzilla movies and died only a month before this film began actual production.
- Dean Devlin maintains that the tagline for this movie, "Size Does Matter", was meant simply to differentiate the movie from Jurassic Park, hence the original "museum" trailer, but that the advertisers for the studio took it too far with their overzealous campaign (e.g. "His foot is as long as this bus"). The ads became the biggest focus of the backlash against the movie, especially considering that size was what ultimately ended up killing the monster.
- Three voice actors from the comedy series The Simpsons appear in the film: Harry Shearer, Nancy Cartwright and Hank Azaria.
- The film was spoofed in the stop-motion show Robot Chicken from Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. In the segment, producers Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich are given a chance to make a sequel, or rather a "remake of a remake"; they use the money to have the baby Zillas perform an ice skating number in a rink. Later, they congratulate themselves on making "another giant piece of crap."
- When the F-18s attack Madison Square Garden they use AGM-84 Harpoon which is used to attack ships not ground targets. **Correction** The AGM-84E Harpoon/SLAM [Stand-Off Land Attack Missile] Block 1E strikes high value land targets and can be carried by the F/A 18. SLAM became operational with the U.S. Navy in 1990.
- An earlier script for an American Godzilla film was written by Terry Rossio and Ted Eliott and was going to be directed by Jan De Bont. A teaser trailer for this was made in Japan in 1994, but due to budget differences the script was dropped and Roland Emmerich was brought in. In the end, the original 1994 script's estimated budget which caused it to be dropped was a couple of million dollars under this film's budget.
- The critical failure of this movie completely ruined Toho's plans. Originally, the plan was to have the Japanese Godzilla die in Godzilla vs Destoroyah, allow the American films to run for a few years, then resume production of Godzilla films in 2005. After massive fan backlash though, even Haruo Nakijima walked out of the film's Japanese premiere, Toho retaliated by bringing the true Godzilla out of retirement early and releasing Godzilla 2000 in American theaters in 2000, it came out in Japan in 1999.
- the agony booth : GODZILLA Recap
- The 1998 Taco Bell commercial used to promote the film.
- A recent Doritos commercial featuring the creature
- Godzilla vs. The Gryphon (the original Godzilla script)
- Godzilla 2