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Godzilla is a 1998 American film remake of the Japanese film of the same name. It was co-written and directed by Roland Emmerich, director of Independence Day and Stargate, and starred Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria and Kevin Dunn. The film spawned an animated sequel called Godzilla: The Series. The film was released on May 20, 1998, by Tri-Star Pictures.

The film follows the attacks of the titular creature on Manhattan, following his apparent creation via radioactive fallout from atomic bomb testing decades before. The film follows the attacks, beginning with the off-shore attack of a Japanese fishing vessel and culminating in a confrontation of Godzilla and the American military in the Big Apple.

For the original Japanese fillm, see Gojira. For the 1984 direct sequel, see The Return of Godzilla.

Tropes associated with this work

  • Franchise Killer: The only other American Godzilla venture prior to 2014 was the relatively-decent animated show.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: If you look closely (though God knows why), you can see Godzilla actually has a vagina [1]
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: Used in the early teaser trailer, where Godzilla brings his might foot down on a museum's T. Rex skeleton in the middle of a kids' tour. Meant as a (typically nineties) wholly unnecessary potshot at Jurassic Park, but really just comes off as kinda Python-esque.
    • Happens on the film when a cab is crushed.
  • Gonna Need More Trope: "We need bigger guns"
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In a clip of a news broadcast covering Zilla's rampage through New York, the broadcaster says " what city officials are calling the worst act of destruction since the World Trade Tower bombing", referencing the bombing of the WTC in 1993. The film was released only three years before 9/11. Ouch.
  • In Name Only: The monster was nicknamed "GINO" ("Godzilla In Name Only") by Godzilla fans. Toho itself calls him Zilla (see Take That, below).
  • Jerkass: Charlie Caiman, who propositions Audrey despite being married, and strings her along with hopes of becoming a reporter while making her do all his work.
  • Mama Bear: Zilla is both a Mama Bear and a Papa Wolf.
  • Mister Seahorse: Given Zilla is hermaphrodite...
  • Monster Is a Mommy
  • New York Subway
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Dr. Niko Tatopoulos, who was named for Patrick Tatopoulos, who worked special effects on the film and has the same problem.
  • A Nuclear Error: The opening stock footage of a Nuclear Test isn't French footage but American test footage out of the Bikini Atoll.
  • The Remake
  • Running Gag: All Philippe wanted was a decent cup of coffee.
  • Scenery Gorn: Taken to some frankly awesome levels - Godzilla jumps through the Met Life building off-screen at one point, leaving a structurally-impossible 'Zilla-shaped hole in the middle.
  • Scully Box: Alluded to but not used. When Charlie Caiman is about to go live with his co-anchor, a woman who has a good six inches on him, he complains about needing something to match her height. He has to settle for hovering above his chair uncomfortably.
  • Sensor Suspense: Where the submarine is tracking Godzilla approaching them at a high speed.
  • Sequel Hook: Didn't get a sequel, but continued in the animated series.
  • Shared universe: One scene in Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: giant monsters all out attack makes reference to Manhattan being attacked by a monster that the Americans mistook for Godzilla. Implying the two movies take place in the same universe.
  • The Stinger: The end has the hatching of the last egg, leading into the animated series.
  • Straw Critic: Mayor Ebert, a Take That at Roger Ebert.("Now that I've inspired a character in a Godzilla movie, all I really still desire is for several Ingmar Bergman characters to sit in a circle and read my reviews to one another in hushed tones.")
  • Suspiciously Stealthy Predator: Somehow 'Zilla's pursuers manage to lose track of a critter the size of an aircraft carrier on the streets of Manhattan.
  • Take That
    • Take That, Critics!: In retaliation for giving Stargate and Independence Day negative reviews, director Roland Emmerich had No Celebrities Were Harmed versions of Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel as the Mayor of New York and his aide (respectively). The bizarre thing is, nothing remotely bad happens to either of them (aside from having their city destroyed) and their only real character fault was incompetence (given this is their first monster attack, it's understandable). Both were considerably perplexed by this, with Siskel wondering that if Emmerich was going to go through the trouble of finding lookalikes, why not at least have Zilla squash them? (also, the extra in the car that is squished early in the film was intended to be a representation of J.D. Lees, editor of G-Fan Magazine)
    • On the other side of the spectrum, Toho first said "a monster similar to Godzilla ravaged New York at the end of the last century" in GMK, and then put Zilla in Final Wars, where he went down to the Big G himself in ten seconds. Toho did not like what happened with Godzilla in America. Hence the Toho official nickname "Zilla": Toho didn't believe the American Godzilla had any right to have "God" in its name.
  • Truly Single Parent: In this movie, Godzilla is born pregnant.
  • What Could Have Been: The original script for the movie had Godzilla being far more like his Japanese self and he was supposed to fight a shape-shifting monster called the Gryphon. Due to the financial success of Independence Day, however, TriStar decided that they wanted their own disaster movie to compete, and so hired Roland Emmerich to direct.
  • The Worm Guy: The Trope Namer.
  • Worm Sign: When Godzilla arrives from the ocean, the pier splits most satisfyingly.


  1. heat-seekers don't work well on lizards
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