Godzilla (1998)

Mike Matei / October 25th, 2008


  • April 8, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    I was also able to watch this film ten years after renting on VHS and feel like it doesn’t hold up to well. The scenes with Zilla still look pretty cool, but the overall effect of the movie isn’t so satisfying as then.

    It’s funny because I usually enjoy some of the director’s work on world destruction like Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012!

    I would like to mention that the film’s soundtrack is still awesome including Heroes by The Wallflowers and Come With Me by P. Diddy and Jimmy Page!

  • jedavi01

    April 10, 2010 at 2:14 am

    Don’t forget Brain Stew by Green Day….. 🙂

  • April 11, 2010 at 3:53 am

    the name should be t-rex

  • A.Regular-Person

    April 14, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    I thought it was alright, like the actor Jean Reno, but all of the other actors, i didn’t know and didn’t care. i thought the godzilla was okay, but i also agree that it should look like the original godzilla. maybe a mix of the two or something. But i also thought that, if you look closely at godzilla’s mouth, it looks like he’s breathing the fire. But that’s up to you. i’ve said in the cloverfeild comment that i’m interested in giant movie monsters, i’m interested in this one, but not as much as i would with the japanese godzilla.

    Also, Godzilla is getting another remake. It’s being redone by Legendary Pictures, and i hope they succeed in making a good movie. The 1998 godzilla story line sucked marbles. i truely hope they don’t sink this ship.

  • April 15, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I saw this as a second feature at a drive-in theater. I fell asleep.

    I never knew – until watching this review – how the creature was destroyed at the end.

  • ddogg1

    May 2, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    hey james could you do a review on the animated series and 30 days of night

  • Crowbar

    May 23, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I saw this movie only recently and, to be perfectly honest, I don’t think it’s that bad, though I can imagine that it was an insult to all the Godzilla-Fans. I also liked the design of the Monster. I can’t help it, but in my opinion, most of the monsters in the real Godzilla-movies look just silly.

  • Branomir

    May 29, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    I saw this movie when I was 12 and I quite enjoyed it. I’ve always loved monsters and monster movies and, due to my young age, I had never actually seen a real godzilla movie, so I didn’t realise how they’d screwed up. It isn’t godzilla, it’s zilla, but as such I like zilla in its own right.

    On a personal pet peeve: What is with you americans and your “if I wanted to read I’d get a book”. It gets me so annoyed, grow up and quit being so lazy. You do realise that everyone that doesn’t live in an english speaking country has to watch all of hollywood’s movies with subtitles or dubs right? It really isn’t that bad. I’ve got a degree in English and guess what, I still turn on the subtitles because it is convenient to check on what they’re supposed to be saying. Dubs completely screw up the dialogue!

    I’m sorry James, I love your site, I love almost every single review you’ve ever done but anyone who prefers dubs to subs is either lazy, stupid or both. If you want to appreciate an actor, you don’t have him dubbed!

    • March 2, 2013 at 3:09 pm

      user Branomir… i hate subtitles for films and anime.. i don’t speak japanese as much as i love the culture,(or any oter langue other then English) . Dubbed are the only way to go 99% of the time. and im not stupid or lazy, i just speak english and not foreign languages.. why should I watch something with language i can’t understand when i can watched it dubbed by a good english speaking voice actor or actress? English language is the only way to go almost all the time. you and your degree in stupidity can go suck it. i’ll have WATCHING films and anime while your busy READING and missing whats happening.. moron.

    • February 17, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      Calm down man, not everyone is the same as u. I prefer dubs to subtitles because it’s easier to focus on the movie that way.

  • Chetel

    June 13, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Haha, lazy americans 😀
    In countries where english is not their main language, they subtitle movies, so I have grown up with reading in movies, but as my english has progressed I can still see movies without subtitles :b
    But I really hate dubbing :O
    I dont know why the French and Germans are so glad for dubbing

  • Aosuke

    June 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    I was sorely disappointed when I saw this in the theaters. I remember being SO EXCITED for this movie. I would read about this in the papers and wonder how Godzilla would look, and how (or if) Hollywood would explain his invincibility to guns/bullets//lazers.

    And then…sadness. The monster looks cool and all, but if you think if the producers were spending all that money on effects and advertising, the least they could do is fix some of the more glaring technical errors. The monster’s size changes multiple times (check the various footprint scenes) and half the movie is given over the quest to eliminate the baby godzillas, which in itself isn’t a bad idea, except at one point when the main characters are being chased down a hallway by the baby Gs, the monsters actually walk IN-STEP with one another. Like some techie had just cut-and-paste-ed one CG animatic four times over.

    I guess I expected them to try harder and stick to the source material of a franchise that I loved so much. But, I hear they’re remaking Thundercats, so the rape of my childhood continues.

  • WatchmenFTW

    June 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I didn’t think this film was that bad, it wasn’t brilliant.
    Independence Day on the other hand, I loved it.

  • Crowbar

    July 2, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    The movie ran here on german televion tonight so I took the chance and gave it a second watch. I literally write this comment right after seeing it, so I’ll give you my own opinion.

    First of all, Godzilla himself. And to be honest, I really like his look in this movie, because he looks more like a real lizard than a guy in a rubber suit. The CG-Effects were good, maybe a little outdated by today’s standards, but they still look cool in my opinion,. Yes, he could have been bigger, but I think he’s big enough to look adequately menacing.
    I also didn’t mind that he doesn’t breathe fire, but what really pissed me off was the fact that he spends most of the time running away and hiding from the military. What the fuck? I wanted to see him kick some ass, why is he acting like a fucking coward?

    As for the script… yeah… the dialogue is really bad. I don’t know if it’s just the german dubbing, but mostly, it’s really damn stupid, though there are some pretty funny scenes. The subplot with his offspring, I agree, is more than unnecessary. And that he is taken down by a few missiles is just ridiculous.
    I also didn’t care about the characters and by the end, I sympathized more with the monster than with the humans. The scene where Godzilla died was actually pretty sad.
    I think the movie would have been great if they just followed the story of the original: Godzilla shows up, destroys the city, beats the shit out of the military and, in the end, is killed by the Oxygen-destroyer.

    Overall, the movie is okay. It isn’t good, but is isn’t as awful as people make it out to be, though it’s one of those movies you watch once and never watch again.

    Well, I think I could give it a rating… Let’s say 2 1/2 out of 5. But that’s very generous.

  • Goldenpelt

    July 23, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    That’s a lot of fish.

  • gamera138

    July 24, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    have never seen it, will not see it. so maybe i can’t judge it, but that ain’t Godzilla. i like the whole “GINO” thing (Godzilla in Name Only) as applies to this movie. total garbage.

    • February 17, 2015 at 6:11 pm

      Don’t call it total garbage if u haven’t seen it. It’s really a pretty good movie, it’s definitely not Godzilla, but for what it is, I really enjoyed it.

  • mcmikec84

    July 27, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Ugh….I remember Puff Daddy’s shitty song. Trip down shitty memory lane. Anyway, movie was cool, but yeah, it was basically a sequel to Independence Day, call it “ID4 Pt.II”.
    I wasn’t disappointed with it, I’m not really into Godzilla or monster movies, good thing I wasn’t, or else I would be bitching like James there….

  • gebandit

    August 9, 2010 at 1:51 am

    wow……i was kinda disappointed when i saw this, only because i was like 5 when i saw this movie, and it was my all-time favorite (still is) but now i love all of godzilla’s movies and i understand completely what he is talking about…..HOLLYWOOD SUCKS AT REMAKING FOREIGN FILMS, or even not foreign…the same thing was done with the dragonball z series, when evolution came out, i wanted to shoot someone……but i understand now why he is saying because i have the same experience with countless other movies or shows

  • August 10, 2010 at 5:50 am

    I have the same problems with Transformers and GI Joe. If they can’t do it right, they should fuck off or call it some thing else.

  • gebandit

    August 12, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    what was so bad about transformers?

  • Darky

    August 23, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    I thought, as a monster, Zilla was interesting. Unlike a lot of the monsters, he was built for speed and not strength, which could’ve made for some interesting scraps. But as Godzilla? No.

  • supermark64

    September 27, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    this movie sucks

    • February 17, 2015 at 6:13 pm

      Sounds like an opinion to me. U know we don’t allow those on the Internet.

  • Gman123

    October 4, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Roland Emmerich should be put in jail for badly remaking a movie about the greatest monster of all time.

  • kawamura2

    October 27, 2010 at 2:01 am

    For all the Europeans, and people from other countries who are trying to say all Americans are lazy and stupid, and we all prefer dubbed movies to subtitled ones, fuck off. We’re not all like that. I for one love subtitled movies. I don’t mind reading the text at all. Lumping all Americans into the stupid category is as bad as an American calling all French people rude douche bags, or all Germans Nazis, etc. If you don’t want to be stereotyped, then quit fucking stereotyping all of us. Sure, there are a lot of Americans who fit the stereotype, but there are a lot of us who don’t.

  • crazycash

    January 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    Independence Day is a lot like that . The movies stick out like a soar thumb.
    Not as big as the video games though!

  • April 19, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    I’ve been giving some thought to making my own American Godzilla film. Mine would be animated and the plot I came up with, so far, is that Mothra is leading Godzilla across the pacific ocean and into California, intending to find a more remote area in southern Canada for Godzilla to live. Along the way, they meet an environmental scientist lady, who wants to learn more about Godzilla and Mothra. The main villain of the movie is this military a-hole that wants to hunt down Godzilla. He spends most of the movie constructing his ultimate weapon…

    (dramatic pause)


    What do you all think?

  • May 3, 2011 at 3:35 am

    I enjoyed the 98 film allot, and I loved the Come with Me song as well. And Spider-Man doesn’t shoot webs fomr his wrists in the comics, he makes the web shooters, the films are actually less realistic there.

    I wouldn’t have wanted him fighting other monster sin the first one, he didn’t in Japan. You have to set up Godzilla himself first.

  • fcabanski

    May 16, 2011 at 3:47 am

    I did not like Godrassic Park.

  • cgholds

    May 17, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Honestly as a 9 year old kid, i LOVED this movie, why? Because i LOVED jurassic park. After seeing some history on Godzilla, I can tell that this movie was horrible, albeit I’ll still watch it because I’m not really a huge fan of Godzilla films.

  • Cinemassacrefan2

    June 3, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    James, I’m a big fan of yours, but your opinion in this one, I do not like it. Yes, they ruined Godzilla, but the monster Zilla, I can’t believe you actually did not like it. IT’S AWESOME! At least for me, It looks like a dinosaur, but it’s awesome. It’s well done, and they did take their time with it. Nothing compared to the shitty effects, falling rubber suits, stalk footage, etc. In some of the Japanese movies. It is so bad, I first actually thought it was a joke!

  • Dell

    June 13, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    i think this is the best godzilla.

  • TheChiefsDude

    July 17, 2011 at 2:51 am

    I liked this Movie. It was a Big hit for me as a Kid.

  • Jeffistopheles

    August 19, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    I was LIVID when I left the theater when I first saw this.

    Human characters aside, as that is a whole other rant, I had a few major gripes.

    Um, Godzilla RAN FROM THE ARMY!!! Nope! Lost me there.

    Godzilla eats a pile of fish. Uh, what the hell has it been eating the rest of the time?! Even if the fish were for the babies, it still means Godzilla needs to eat. I always thought Gozilla fed off radioactive energy! Before anyone says whales, then wouldn’t there be a severe shortage of… Oh, nevermind. In Predator “If it bleeds, we can kill it.” In Godzilla: If it eats, it shits. Probably pisses too. As the owner of two dogs, two cats and a 1 year old, this is a detail that I KNOW cannot be missed by anyone in the surrounding area. Shoot, on a bad day I leave the bathroom where I am supposed to go, and I still hear about it from people downstairs. I know it seem juvenile to point out, but I reiterate, if it eats, it shits. And in NYC people would have been talking about that. Ask a New Yorker about picking up dog poo.

    The velociraptors looked like they clocked out at at LEAST a ton a piece. *runs off and rewatches scene* Ok, I got the next part right. Yep, I can kinda buy them slipping and falling on basketballs and soccer balls. But gumballs?! The sports balls were pushing it as it was.

    James had it right. If they would have called this anything other than Godzilla it wouldn’t have been too bad of a film. The name Godzilla comes with too much baggage.

    Sans the name, I would have watched a sequil.

  • Akatskimilan

    August 23, 2011 at 8:48 am

    It’s weird that he has the breath weapon in the animated series based on this. Actually, that series wasn’t so bad. Breath weapon, fighting other monsters, it was everything that was missing. Here’s hope that the 2014 movie is an improvement.

  • penpan

    August 26, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I HATED THIS FILM!! I saw it in theatres, foolishly hopeful. I was bored and snickering by the end of it! I kept chanting for godzilla to step on Matthew Broderick and it never happened. Or at least the girlfriend. What a waste!

    Only America could have fucked up Godzilla that bad. Only us! I swear there’s an unholy force behind Hollywood that destroys a good idea!

    And when the eggs hatched into velociraptors….yeah, I was about done.

    I had a moment of satisfaction seeing the pairup of “zilla” vs japanese godzilla, clipped on the internet. I was happy then!

  • SilverDragon

    October 2, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I’ve heard some rumors about American Godzilla 2. Apparently, it would have been something like the animated series: Zilla Jr would have been raised by humans and became a defender of New York (Speaking of the animated serie, Zilla Jr had Godzilla’s trademark atomic breath in them, so why did his father didn’t). He would have fought another monster, but unfortunately, one of the key scenes was Zilla Jr toppling the World Trade Center on his opponent, and the movie was supposed to come out near of the of 2001. Dued to 9/11, they decided not to show this scene, but they didn’t have any budget left to shoot a replacement scene.

  • XPsycho BearX

    October 13, 2011 at 8:20 am

    I kind of agree and disagree with this. i agree that it was stupid not having atomic breath and him being rather small but i think the general look is better. in japanese made godzilla films he was eventually shown to be mutated from a godzillasauras and only mutated via the radiation, not a whole genetic reconstruction, just a mutation, so in theory he should have more dinosaur like traits and 1998 american film pulled off a form of godzilla that would be more close to reality.

  • October 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Fuck. There are so many fucking spam comments…. Fucking assholes…

    Anyways, this movie wasn’t a bad movie. I mean, as a Godzilla fan myself, I was initially disappointed with the movie, but after seeing later movies and seeing how Toho treated this monster by calling it “Zilla” I have since chalked it up to americans being dumb. I mean, yeah they thought it was Godzilla because they never had to deal with him before and were sorely mistaken. Yes, this movie owed a lot to Jurassic Park, but honestly, a lot of modern movies owe Jurassic Park, especially in the vis-effects department. I didn’t like the hype surrounding the movie when it was coming out. The Taco Bell contest, that song by Puff Daddy and Jimmy Page being overplayed to the point that I hate it now, and I can’t listen to Led Zepplin’s Kashmir anymore without thinking of this shitty song. But, despite all the bullshit, if you put the film in the proper perspective, and look at it the way Toho did, it’s a decent monster movie. It’s not a work of cinematic art, but its a decent flick.

  • katonan

    November 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I feel the same way about Dragon Ball Evolution. For what it is, it’s actually a good movie, the problem is the title. It’s not a Dragon Ball movie, just like this isn’t a Godzilla movie. Maybe they should have called it Dragon Orb, or something like that xD

  • SniffHeinkel

    January 11, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    What band is that playing at the end where they show the X-box and Playstation games?

  • SniffHeinkel

    January 11, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Opps. Wrong video lol

    I mean the AVGN episode >.>

  • Valgorn

    February 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    The thing i liked about this when i saw it was the design of him, though, i would’ve liked him to be larger now that Im looking at him again. But this was my first ever time seeing something like a Godzilla film which i know most of you here would say is a shame, from what I have seen while looking through these films i like the ones where Godzilla is a good guy but that way of thinking is ingrained for life for me. which is probably why I like the animated series which as others have talked about is more like Godzilla lest like the film. But maybe the new one coming out will bring me over to the original but will have to see. Though i still root for good guys that look like villains over the norm. Anyway that my thoughts on it.

  • Starcraft39

    March 17, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    He’s complaining about subbing and dubbing, but my version of Godzilla vs the Sea Monster has neither, it’s in fucking Japanese, and I watched the whole thing just going by context.

  • HorazStCruz

    March 20, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Zilla looks like a MTG Kavu. What the fuck.
    Either way, i liked Jamiroquai’s Deeper Underground and P.Daddy/Jimmy Page Come with Me.

  • ZeroNyx

    July 5, 2012 at 1:07 am

    I’ve got to admit, this movie on it’s own isn’t terrible, take out the Godzilla references and you’ve got a half decent monster movie. But the moment they compare the creature in this movie to the king of all monsters, well then it just becomes a slap in the face to Toho, the fans, and everything that has come before. Call the movie Zilla, or Iguana, or anything else and it would be pretty good, but not Godzilla.

  • Stefanoragnopazzo

    July 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Yeah, and what do you think about the new praised spider-man movie.

    That’s material for a bullshit man episode.

  • nammm3

    October 13, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Awesome 6+ minute video. I was worried the video that this was going to be rushed into a small 2-3 min time frame when I first saw it uploaded on youtube.

    When I was younger and saw this, I forced myself to like it, only because it was the most recent take on Godzilla. IT SUCKED! Him being killed by missiles and that one teaser trailer of the old guy fishing, i’m still baffled that the old guy stood a chance to have a little tug battle with THE ”GODZILLA”!!!

  • Idmndcookies

    January 15, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Not Godzilla, just a piece of shit movie. Roland Emmerich should apologize to the world right now.

  • Rockpath66

    February 25, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    The first time I saw this movie was when I brought it in to show my preschool class and we ended up watching it, but by the time it was over, all of my classmates and I were asleep.

  • March 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    I love the original Japanese Godzilla films but I think the american Godzilla film was and still is pretty good ( i still prefer the Japanese movies, but it’s not that bad of a film). i saw it in theaters when it first came out, and i rented it from netflix not long ago.. it’s still a good film.. go go Godzilla!

  • May 29, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I always thought Godzilla (‘Zilla) did breath fire in this movie. The scene where he roars and all the cars explode, you can see waves of heat distortion moments before the fireball explosions. I always took this to mean that his radioactive breath was invisible – like real radiation. It keeps in line with their attempt to make Godzilla more realistic.

  • August 25, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    If I never watched this Godzilla (Zilla) movie I would have never known about Godzilla also this is a grate monster movie I love it

  • October 15, 2013 at 6:42 am

    I think this is an under rated film. Yes its not the traditional Godzilla, but honestly it a 90 foot lizard was stomping through town, its going to be called Godzilla, period. And I really like the take of Zilla in this movie. It is just a large iguana and that’s all. Its not supposed to be a military and city smashing monster. Its just supposed to be a big animal. Acting on animal instincts to survive and eat. Its just a different way of telling the story of, “We shouldn’t mess with forces we don’t understand.” IE nucular bombs. In the Japanese version it made a supermonster, in this it made huge lizard. If either happened in real life, it would be devastating.

    • October 15, 2013 at 6:48 am

      Now that being said, the only actor I liked in this movie is Jean Reno. The rest of the cast was terrible, and I hated every moment they were on screen. I had no problem with the baby Zilla subplot.

      I was really sad when they killed it at the end. After all, it was just an animal and didn’t know it was doing wrong.

      You just have to go into this movie with a different mindset, that’s all. There are plenty of other Godzilla super weapon movies out there. Which I love too.

  • October 19, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    I absolutely loved this movie, the Japanese Godzilla movies were never my thing, because I just can’t watch movies with horrible special effects.

  • Nikola Kostic

    January 5, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Hey,next Halloween,in summer,the new Godzilla movie is coming out,Godzilla 2014,pls review it!

  • Kent Gissing

    August 27, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Seriously? o.O People in the states really hated on Independence Day? I remember it was the biggest blockbuster in 1996 and one of the coolest films of my upbringing. That’s strange.
    And Godzilla 1998.. well… yeah, I agree, it was sort of a let down.. biggest disappointment in my opinion was the lack of a rival monster.. and the fact that simple missiles took him down.. The cartoon that followed is kind of fun to watch, though ^^ Its not really anything special, just a simple attempt at making more money off kids, and to be honest, its not even especially good.. but it has a few cool episodes.

  • March 7, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    i liked this movie it was made by my favorite director

  • May 12, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    I liked the design of the US Godzilla but… he wasn’t Godzilla. He should have been called something else and been a different thing. But I suppose that would have fisted marquee value.

  • pzknll

    October 7, 2015 at 1:02 am

    I think it’s interesting how you think about subs and dubs. I’m Dutch, so pretty much every film I see is foreign. I’m so used to seeing subtitles that reading them takes no effort. I don’t even notice they’re there. I really hate dubs, luckily only children’s movies are dubbed in my own language and everything else is subtitled.

  • December 29, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Okay, the movie could be described as okay. I’m glad you turned your review to it, even if you had nothing good to say about it, they tried to make a “godzilla” movie guess it didn’t pan out. It’s all about Jean Reno. I wanted to see the real Godzilla’s victory dance there in the end…

  • May 20, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    This came out the year I was born. I’m so ashamed.

  • Jacob Boeve

    May 28, 2016 at 7:56 am

    I’m used to subtitles, most American films come out with subs as well where I live. Besides, dubs are too cringeworthy and annoying to me.

  • Jacob Boeve

    May 28, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Didn’t Siskel and Ebert say it was stupid to not have the characters that were supposed to be them killed?

  • October 23, 2016 at 5:41 am

    I’ve allways lkiked to imagine this movie is a modern day remake of Beast of 20’000 fathoms. Makes so much more sense.

  • Riku Karnaattu

    November 1, 2016 at 11:51 am

    It’s super weird to hear someone describe subtitles like that. Where I’m from, everything foreign that’s not made for kids that can’t read, is subtitled, and dubbed things are seen as something for children. If a non-kids film was dubbed in my language, I doubt anyone would see it, except for laughs.. For someone like me who’s read subtitles as long as I’ve been able to read, watching a subtitled film is no more taxing than watching something in my native language. I just can’t relate one bit when someone says it’s bothersome to read subtitles. I guess that’s cultural differences fer ya, but it just feels super duper weird.

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