Godzilla (1998) 001
Title: Godzilla
Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Written by: Dean Devlin; Roland Emmerich
Produced by: Dean Devlin; Roland Emmerich; Ute Emmerich; William Fay; Robert N. Fried; Kelly Van Horn; Peter Winther; Cary Woods
Music by: David Arnold; Michael Lloyd
Cinematography: Ueli Steiger
Edited by: Peter Amundson; David Siegel
Distributed by: TriStar Pictures
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Toho Company, Ltd.
Released: May 20th, 1998
Rating: PG-13
Running time: 139 min.
Country: USA
Language: English
Budget: $130,000,000
Gross: $136,314,294 (US)
$221,600,000 (Worldwide)

Godzilla is an American feature film of the science fiction genre that explores elements of the "giant monster" fandom. It is a remake of the more popularly known Godzilla film series as first immortalized by Toho Company beginning in 1954 with Gojira, and continuing on throughout numerous sequels, which spans decades. The American version of the much-beloved franchise was directed by Roland Emmerich with a screenplay written by Emmerich and Dean Devlin. The movie was produced by TriStar Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment and released theatrically in the United States on May 20th, 1998.

Godzilla stars Matthew Broderick, best known for his work on the 1986 comedy Ferris Bueller's Day Off as nerdy biologist Doctor Niko Tatopoulos. Actress Maria Pitillo plays his former love interest, reporter Audrey Timmonds. French actor Jean Reno plays the ultra-smooth investigator Philippe Roaché, and Hank Azaria provides his specialized blend of comedic scoring as cameraman Victor "Animal" Palotti. Other stars in the film include Kevin Dunn as United States Army officer Colonel Hicks, Michael Lerner as the mayor of New York City, Ebert, Harry Shearer as Audrey's weasel boss Charles Caiman, and Arabella Field as Animal's wife, Lucy Palotti.

Synopsis Edit

Origins Edit

Atomic testing

Nuclear weapons testing.

We begin with some grainy footage of nuclear warhead testing in the French Polynesian Islands. The tests radically alter the environment and the nuclear fallout genetically metamorphosis the surrounding wildlife. Most notably, it mutates the cellular structure of an iguana increasing its size to immense proportions and altering its sexual nature.

Although it has yet to me named, I’m going to cut to the chase and start calling him Godzilla right now. Godzilla's first meal comes in the form of a Japanese merchant cannery vessel. Actually the big dumb idjet doesn't even realize that its there and most of the damage is caused by the sweeping actions of his tail.

Niko Tatopoulos 002

"The Worm Guy".

Meanwhile, a thousand miles away, we find Niko "Nick" Totapoulus. Nick is a scientist for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on assignment in the Ukraine to study the Chernobyl Earthworm. Nick's a happy-go-lucky sort of a guy and he merrily croons out Gene Kelly's "Singin' in the Rain" while using electrolysis on some nasty little earthworms. Kyle Terrington of the US State Department lands and tells Nick that he has been re-assigned.

While Nick is flying towards Panama, we find that the cannery vessel has run ashore along Papeete, Tahiti. French Secret Service agent Philippe Roaché interviews the one surviving crew member from the ship. The injured man is crazed and just keeps repeating the same word over and over again. "Gojira".

Godzilla footprint

The "Sample".

Nick finally lands on the Golfo De San Miguel in Panama where he meets his new boss, Elsie Chapman of the National Institute of Paleontology. He also meets her assistant, Mendel Craven, as well as United States Army officer Colonel Hicks. They show him a huge reptilian footprint in the sands of the beach, larger than any footprint ever recorded.

In Manhattan, reporter Audrey Timmonds works as an understudy to WIDF new co-anchor Charles Caiman. Audrey wants to be a true reporter, but her opportunities are stifled under the thumb of Caiman. Charles will only agree to help Audrey further her career if she proves to be more amorous towards him. She in turn, is put off by this and expresses her grief to colleagues Victor "The Animal" Palotti and his wife Lucy.

Audrey Timmonds 001

Audrey Timmonds.

Now we move on to the Great Pedro Bluff in Jamaica. Hicks, Elsie, Craven and Nick fly down there to find the gouged out remains of an ocean liner. People crowd around the sight and are astounded by the obvious claw marks rent through the side of the thing. Elsie theorizes that Godzilla may be related to a Theropada Allosaurus (An extinct breed of dinosaur). Agent Roaché has finally caught up with the team and introduces himself as an insurance investigator. News crews are set up and Audrey sees footage of Nick back in New York. Here we learn that Audrey and Nick used to be college sweeties eight years back.

As Nick and the crew mess about in Jamaica, Godzilla is already 200 miles off the eastern seaboard of the United States. He downs three fishing trawlers full of drunken leathernecks.

Godzilla in the Big Apple Edit

Zilla in the city

Godzilla in New York.

The following day, Godzilla makes his presence known to the people of New York. In the middle of Mayor Ebert's campaign speech, seismic shock waves erupt through the streets as Godzilla begins trouncing on cabbies and slow pedestrians. People are running around screaming in terror as the giant lizard topples buildings with wild sweeps of his tail. Victor "Animal" Palotti is a photographer for WIDF and runs outside a diner to get a snapshot of Godzilla. The beastie plants his foot down over top of him, but Vic is lucky enough to have been standing between his toes.

Martial law is declared and the citizens of New York are forced to evacuate. An army mobile command center is set up across the river in New Jersey and Colonel Hicks returns to lead the operation. The Mayer is one of the first people evacuated from the island. As he lands in New Jersey, he is greeted by Philippe Roaché who plants a microphone on the back of Ebert's collar. Roaché returns to his headquarters, which is inside of an appropriated UPS van. From there, his men and he listen in on the mayor’s conversations. During this time, Godzilla disappears.

Zilla 001

Godzilla emerges.

Colonel Hicks sends Sergeant O'Neil to Manhattan to locate Godzilla. None of the army grunts can find a trace of him. Nick suggests baiting him with large quantities of food. Hicks authorizes an emergency convoy of twelve dump trucks that come in to the restricted area leaving behind massive amounts of fish. After many intense moments, Godzilla erupts from the subway systems devouring the mountain of fish. O'Neil orders the troops to fire upon him but Godzilla rebukes the attack by belching up a large blistering fire ball. After doing so, Godzilla turns tail and flees from the barrage of cannon fire.

The United States Air Force is brought into the mix. Echo Flight flies their F-18s into New York to blast away at Godzilla. They try to use heat-seeking sidewinder missiles against the lizard but to no avail. Since Godzilla's body temperature is lower than that of the surrounding area, the missiles can't keep a lock on the target. As such, he easily avoids them and they rocket into the Chrysler Building. The steeple of the Chrysler building is seared in half and crashes down to the ground.

Having run through the MetLife building, Godzilla baits the F-18s into following him. The fighters stay on Godzilla's path, but the smarmy lizard distracts them by throwing his voice. While Echo 2 and 3 concentrate their fire in one direction, Godzilla leaps from behind, crunching them down in one huge bite. Echo 4 tries to leave the scene, but Godzilla quickly catches up to him. After picking his teeth clean with the remains of Echo 4, Godzilla goes back into hiding.

It's a boy! Edit

Audrey and Nick

Nick makes a discovery.

By this time, Nick has his own theories about Godzilla's body chemistry. Collecting a sample of the monster's blood, he goes into a drug store where he buys forty-six dollars worth of at-home pregnancy tests. Audrey walks in and the two are reunited for the first time in eight years. Audrey has stolen her bosses press pass and lies to Nick about being a successful news reporter. Nick is still a tad smitten with the ole gal and has no reservations against telling her what he knows. Going back to his base camp, he reveals to her that although Godzilla is male, he is also pregnant. Apparently Godzilla reproduces asexually and is about to sprout a litter. Leaving Audrey behind, Nick runs off to inform Colonel Hicks. Audrey, being the no-good little whore that she is, rummages through Nick’s shit until she finds the top-secret 'First Sighting' video. She steals the tape and returns to the news crews. Although WIDF airs Audrey’s tape, it is Charles Caiman who claims the credit for it. He broadcasts the tape over local channels and erroneously refers to the creature as "Godzilla".

Zilla 003

Attack on Godzilla.

The Army believes that it was Nick that went to the press with the videotape and he is fired immediately. He comes upon Audrey and makes her feel bad for stealing the tape and jeopardizing his career. Out of a job, Nick takes a cab for the Newark airport. The cab driver turns out to be Philippe Roaché. Philippe reveals that he is actually an agent for the French Secret Service and explains that his government takes responsibility for the nuclear tests that created Godzilla. He indoctrinates the now jobless Nick into his operation and the two make plans to sneak back into the restricted zone. What Nick doesn't know however is that Vic the Animal has trailed him and pretty soon Audrey and he make their own plans to sneak back into the city.

The army tries to bait Godzilla out of hiding once again, so they dump another mountain of fish into the middle of Central Park. Godzilla, in the meantime has been hiding out in the subway by the 23rd street station. He was right next to the wino with the one leg and the prostitute with the star-shaped handbag. Godzilla catches a whiff of the fish and busts up out of the ground. He doesn't fall for the trick this time however, and instead takes off down the street. The army follows him but he dives into the Hudson River. Colonel Hicks has prepared for such a tactic however. Inside the Hudson are three nuclear powered submarines. The Utah, the Indiana, and the Anchorage. The Anchorage launches some heat-seeking torpedoes at the creature, but Godzilla manages to troll the weapons back towards the sub. Blasting into the sides of the ship, the Anchorage is destroyed by its own weapons. No sooner does he take care of the Anchorage however, then the Indiana nails him with their payload. They score a direct hit and Godzilla is seemingly destroyed.

Little Zillas & the final showdown Edit

Little zillas

Little Zillas on the move.

While all of this is going on, Nick and the French agents have gone to Madison Square Garden. Audrey and Victor are there too, but they paved their own way in. They discover that this is where Godzilla had chosen to nest. Once inside, they find that the entire stadium is filled with giant Godzilla eggs. The eggs hatch and out pop a bunch of veloci-zillas! The French soldiers get eaten up by the newborns, leaving Philippe and Nick as the only ones left. They finally run into Audrey and Vic and the group have to blast their way into the computer control room. Audrey manages to get a television transmission to the news networks and Nick informs the Amy that they must bomb Madison Square Garden or else the city of New York may very well have a very nasty and unwarranted sequel on their hands. The group then manages to machine-gun their way through the front lobby and get outside before the F-18s come in. Madison Square Garden is blown to bits, and dinosaur corpses are flung everywhere. Now it’s about this time, that we discover that Godzilla was never really dead at all. Through a means too incomprehensible to imagine, he had somehow made his way from the Hudson River to the bottom of Madison Square Garden without anyone noticing. He busts up through the remains of the building only to discover that all of his young have been killed. Enraged, he takes off after Nick and the others. They all pile into a stolen taxicab and try to evade Godzilla's grasp. Godzilla eventually manages to catch the car inside of his mouth and tries to swallow the thing whole. Nick uses an exposed live wire to give Godzilla a little shock to the gums. He slackens his hold a bit and Philippe actually drives the car out of Godzilla's mouth

Zilla death

Godzilla is down.

Nick finally gets a real brainy idea. He has Philippe drive the impressively held together cab to the Brooklyn Bridge. Godzilla trots off after them but ultimately gets caught up in the bridge's suspension lines. The more he struggles, the more he seems to get entangled. Barely able to maneuver, Godzilla becomes bait for the F-18s. They strafe him and he finally falls over dead. Nick watches somberly as the fallen creature expires.

The monster is dead and everyone goes home happy. Nick even manages to hook back up with Audrey. Meanwhile, one of the eggs from Madison Square Garden has survived. The egg hatches and a baby Godzilla head emerges.

Cast Edit

Notes & Trivia Edit

Recommendations Edit

See also Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit

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