[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/godzilla-1998-movie-poster-5_4768.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"We need bigger guns!" [[CoversAlwaysLie (just not quite as big as this poster implies.)]]]]

->''"[[CoversAlwaysLie Size Does Matter]]"''

''Godzilla'' (''[[NamesTheSame Gojira]]'') is a [[TheNineties 1998]] American [[TheRemake remake]] film of [[Film/{{Gojira}} the Japanese film of the same name]] and the first feature-length ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' film to be made by an American team. It was co-written and directed by Creator/RolandEmmerich, director of ''Film/IndependenceDay'' and ''Film/{{Stargate}}'', and starred Creator/MatthewBroderick, Creator/JeanReno, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria and Kevin Dunn. The film spawned an animated sequel called ''WesternAnimation/GodzillaTheSeries'', and the film's version of Godzilla was later renamed "Zilla" by Toho and [[CurbStompBattle pitted against]] the Japanese Godzilla in ''Film/GodzillaFinalWars''. The film was released on May 20, 1998, by Creator/TriStarPictures.

The film follows the attacks of the titular creature on Manhattan, following his apparent creation via [[ILoveNuclearPower 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. As all this is happening, an American scientist, his IntrepidReporter love interest and their friends team up with French secret agents to examine the creature's behavior more closely and find a way to keep it from bringing even greater disaster upon mankind.

For the original Japanese film, see ''Film/{{Gojira}}'' (along with the American re-edit, ''Film/GodzillaKingOfTheMonsters'', and the Italian re-edit, ''Film/{{Cozzilla}}''). For the 1984 direct sequel, see ''Film/TheReturnOfGodzilla''. For the second American-made OneWordTitle ''Godzilla'' film, see ''Film/{{Godzilla 2014}}''.

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!!Tropes associated with this work:

* AcrophobicBird: The helicopter pilots seem to always stay at mouth-level of the monster they're attacking, despite the fact that Apaches can fly as high as 20,000 feet above sea level, meaning there was no reason for them to be flying that low to begin with.
* AnimatedAdaptation: The [[WesternAnimation/GodzillaTheSeries resulting animated series]], considered by many the best thing to come of the movie.
* ArtisticLicenseBiology:
** There is no way a human pregnancy test would work on a lizard, much less a giant radioactive lizard.
** ''Theropoda Allosaurus'' is just unbelievable. The evidence gathered has clearly indicated an animal many magnitudes larger than any ''Allosaurus'', which maxed out at around 30 feet in length. What's more, specifying "Allosaurus" among other similarly-sized therapods is ridiculous, because there's no certain way to distinguish between different therapods within the same size range based on footprint alone. The idea that any real paleontologist would say or suggest such a thing is complete nonsense.
** The film has a number of biological inaccuracies, some of which include;
*** Iguanas, from which Godzilla mutated, are ''herbivorous'' (eat plants), not ''piscivorous'' (eat fish).
*** No 300-foot tall bipedal animal would be able to hold a horizontal position all of the time.
* ArtisticLicenseGeography: New York doesn't really look like that. Most glaringly, one of the people in the cab says the Brooklyn Bridge is the closest suspension bridge to the Park Avenue Tunnel. The tunnel runs from 33rd Street to 40th Street, and literally every other suspension bridge over the East River is closer.
* ArtisticLicenseMilitary: Leaving aside the fact that Sidewinders aren't possible to mount on an Apache, the warheads on Sidewinders are ''tiny'' compared to, say, tank shells. They contain only a couple of pounds of explosive, and wouldn't cause MonumentalDamage to any building they hit; they would in no way would cause the top of the Chrysler Building to be chopped off, and probably wouldn't hurt Godzilla either.
* ArtisticLicenseNuclearPhysics: With how long Godzilla spends tromping about Manhattan, he'd have turned it into a uninhabitable ''ghost island'' if he were at all radioactive like his Japanese namesake. And with the leftover fallout from the nuclear bomb tests, he should be.
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: Leaving aside the usual issues with giant monsters and the SquareCubeLaw, even if Godzilla was cold blooded, its internal heat should be more than enough for heat seeking missiles to track it.
* {{Badass}}: Phillipe Roache.
* BadassDriver: As the cab chase at the end proves.
* BadToTheLastDrop: The lead French investigator finds the New York coffee (the flavor? French Roast) his assistant gives him to be awful. [[MustHaveCaffeine He still drinks it.]]
* BadVibrations: Whenever Godzilla approaches for the first half of the film.
* BigApplesauce: If Godzilla usually [[TheTokyoFireball went after Tokyo]], the western equivalent ''had'' to attack New York City. (Also marking the second - and not [[TheDayAfterTomorrow the last]] - time Roland Emmerich wrecked havoc in the Big Apple.)
* BlindedByTheLight: The cab's high-beams are used to make Godzilla flinch away from the tunnel mouth.
* BreathWeapon: Played with. While the "realistic" Godzilla can't actually exhale radiation, it can roar with such force that it sends parked cars flying from the shock wave. In one case, this causes their [[EveryCarIsAPinto gas tanks to explode]] in a dragonish blast of flame.
* CaptainObvious: "That's a lot of fish!"
* CarFu: When Creator/JeanReno gets behind the wheel of a taxi, shit gets ''mad real''.
* CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys: Averted. The [=DGSE=] operatives that work with the protagonists are very competent, [[CuttingTheKnot knot-cutting]], [[CombatPragmatist pragmatic]] and professional soldiers.
* ChekhovsGun: Nick notices that Godzilla seems to have a bit of an aversion to bright lights after using his camera when Godzilla finally shows up for the fish, the flash causing the big guy (or rather big girl, in this movie) to flinch. [[spoiler:Nick has Philippe use the taxi's high beams to make Godzilla flinch in order to get out of Park Avenue Tunnel in the climax.]]
* ChekhovsSkill: Rather than dig to get to the radiated worms in Chernobyl, Nick used some sort of electrical system that draws them to surface. The same technique is used to draw Godzilla out with fish as bait.
* ColorWash: The flashbacks that open the film are yellow.
* DeadpanSnarker: Elsie. She can be very sarcastic!
* DemotedToExtra: The film is mostly about Nick and Audrey's relationship, the life of a French guy, and ''Animal'' Palotti's job, with occasionally a giant lizard thrown in.
* DrivingStick: [[{{Irony}} American Nick telling French Philippe]] that the Army Hummer isn't in gear when trying to sneak into the subway system. Especially since the Hummer has an automatic transmission.
* DumbassHasAPoint: As incompetent as the mayor was, he's perfectly justified when he calls out the US Army for all the damage they caused.
-->'''Mayer:''' 'You caused more damage than that goddamn thing did!'
* ElevatorEscape: In the Madison Square Garden chase scene. [[SerialNumbersFiledOff It's taken wholesale from]] ''Film/JurassicPark''.
* EpicFail: The US Army ''blowing up the Chrysler building'' with two missiles meant for Godzilla is an excellent example. Justified[[note]]heat-seekers don't work well on lizards[[/note]] ''and'' Lampshaded.
-->'''Pilot:''' Ahhhh... negative impact. [[{{Understatement}} That is negative impact.]]\\
'''Mayor:''' 'Negative impact?' That's the goddamn Chrysler building we're talking about here!
* ExplosiveBreeder: Godzilla is capable of laying hundreds of eggs [[AsexualReproduction without the need for a mate]].
* {{Expy}}: Harry Shearer's news reporter character, Charlie Caiman, has shades of a live-action [[TheSimpsons Kent Brockman]].
* FakeAmerican: In-Universe. Philippe briefly does an American accent which he admits is an impersonation of ElvisPresley.
* FemaleMonsterSurprise: Nick is shocked when a pregnancy test reveals that the giant lizard ransacking NYC is about to have babies. Subverted in that everyone keeps referring to Godzilla as a "very unusual he" due to it being asexual.
* FreeWheel: Used a ''lot''.
* FriendOrFoe: Godzilla causes two other US Navy subs to sink a third sub.
* GiantEqualsInvincible: Averted, as Godzilla is killed by the Air Force once it's been lured out into the open where it can't hide.
* GiantFootOfStomping: Used in the early teaser trailer, where Godzilla steps on a museum's T. Rex skeleton in the middle of a kids' tour. Meant as a (typically nineties) [[TakeThat wholly unnecessary potshot]] at ''Franchise/JurassicPark'', but really just comes off as kinda [[Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus Python-esque]].
** Happens in the film when a cab is crushed.
** Subverted with Animal, who is ''almost'' crushed but survives because he's standing between where two of Godzilla's toes come down.
* GiganticAdultsTinyBabies: Godzilla's offspring are small enough to chase humans inside buildings, hence ''much'' smaller than their parent.
* GonnaNeedMoreX: "We need bigger guns."
* GoryDiscretionShot: Used when Godzilla's babies were eating people alive.
* GulliverTieDown: Luring Godzilla onto the Brooklyn Bridge gets the creature tangled in the suspension cables.
* HandshakeRefusal:
** Niko Tatopoulous refuses to shake Mendel Craven's hand after he just sneezed into it.
** And it happens again in the [[ContinuityNod first episode]] of ''WesternAnimation/GodzillaTheSeries''.
* HeartbeatSoundtrack: Used to establish that Godzilla really is dead at the end.
* HelicopterFlyswatter: With military helicopters.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: The US Military is profoundly bad at hitting a 200 foot tall, 300 foot long monster.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: Subverted by Roache, who says he could use a ''coffee'' instead of alcohol.
* InNameOnly: Godzilla in this movie bears little resemblance to his predecessor, and it is mostly a DisasterMovie, with a bit of action, rather than the {{camp}} that is most associated with the series.
* ItCanThink: When Godzilla is tailed by three helicopters, he successfully managed to fool them into thinking he is hiding in a skyscraper, cue him bursting from the building behind them and initiating CurbStompBattle. The final helicopter is destroyed when Godzilla crouches low to prevent being seen by it before devouring said helicopter whole.
** When the protagonists are fleeing from Godzilla, he moves ahead of them and takes out the bridge.
* {{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.
* LampshadeHanging: One of the movie's few truly hilarious moments involves a gag pointing out that the beast should be named "Gojira", but Americans got it wrong.
* MamaBear: Godzilla is both a MamaBear and a PapaWolf.
* MeaningfulName: A "caiman" is a crocodile-like reptile. See {{Jerkass}} above. Roache (pronounced "Rowsh") is a sneaky guy who pops up where he's not wanted and engages in shady activities, befitting one military guy's calling him "Roach".
* MerchandiseDriven: All the tie-in merchandise was designed and ready for assembly before a scriptwriter was hired.
* [[PoliceAreUseless Militaries Are Useless]]: The only time the military accomplishes anything is [[spoiler: with the 3 F-18s that both destroy Madison Square Gardens and kill Godzilla]]. Every other time, they [[EpicFail fail miserably]] and either damage other buildings or hit other military units.
* MissedHimByThatMuch: The Jerkass news anchor twice misses seeing Godzilla walk past the station windows because he's too busy complaining on the phone that he doesn't have a good story to cover. One of the army guys overlooks Godzilla in the tunnels because he failed to recognize that the "rocks" in front of him were an eyelid; it opens right behind him and moves after he's turned away.
* MisterSeahorse: [[spoiler:Godilla turns out to be a hermaphrodite.]] [[note]]Which in [[RealityIsUnrealistic real life]] is known as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthogenesis parthogenesis]]. Alternately, it could be a case of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asexual_reproduction asexual reproduction]], since the only genitals visible on the CG Godzilla model are female.[[/note]]
* MonsterIsAMommy: [[spoiler:About halfway through the film, Nick finds out Godzilla had changed gender and laid eggs. If any one of them get out, they'll start a new disaster. It turns out one DID survive, setting up the plot of WesternAnimation/GodzillaTheSeries]].
* MonumentalDamage: Naturally it's often [=NYC=]'s most-recognizable landmarks that get trashed, either by Godzilla (the [=MetLife=] building, the Brooklyn Bridge) or by the forces pursuing him and his offspring (the Chrysler Building, Madison Square Garden).
* NewYorkSubway: Godzilla burrows into here to make it its new home. [[spoiler:Turns out, it did this to get to Madison Square Garden to make it her nesting grounds.]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: The Mayor was right, the army really did cause more damage than Godzilla did.
** Also Audrey for getting Nick fired.
* NoPronunciationGuide: Dr. Niko Tatopoulos, [[{{Tuckerization}} who was named for]] Patrick Tatopoulos, who worked special effects on the film and [[TruthInTelevision has the same problem]].
* {{Novelization}}: By Stephen Molstad, who collaborated with Dean Devlin and Creator/RolandEmmerich on their novelizations for ''Film/{{Stargate}}'' and ''Film/IndependenceDay'', as well as writing the ''[=ID4=]'' prequel novel ''Silent Zone''. An audiobook of the novel, read by Doug Savant, who plays Sgt. O'Neal in the film, was also made.
* ANuclearError: The opening stock footage of a nuclear test isn't French footage but American test footage out of the Bikini Atoll.
* ObscuredSpecialEffects: Most of Godzilla's scenes take place at night and/or in the rain to cover up the ConspicuousCG.
* OhCrap: Nick initially thinks that Godzilla laid a small number of eggs. Someone then switches on Madison Square Garden's lights, and shit gets real quick...
--> '''Phillipe''': [[ExplosiveBreeder (as the rows upon rows of eggs are revealed)]] [[DeadpanSnarker Start counting.]]
** After Godzilla looks up from the pile of dead baby Godzillas to Nick, Phillipe, Audrey, and Animal and [[PapaWolf realizes that they are responsible]] [[MamaBear for the deaths of its children.]]
-->'''Nick''': (in obvious [[BringMyBrownPants pants-crapping terror]]) He looks angry...
* OminousCrack: The pavement develops a long, spreading crack that runs right under Tatopolous's feet, just before Godzilla busts up out of the sewer tunnels in a shower of rubble.
* RampJump: The taxi runs over one of Godzilla's toes, which serves as a ramp and sends it flying.
* RaptorAttack: Godzilla's offspring turns the last half of the film into a fusion between Film/JurassicPark and Film/{{Aliens}}, with Nick and Philippe's team fighting the baby Godzillas, which act ''very'' closely to Film/JurassicPark's velociraptors.
* TheRemake: Of the Godzilla film series, natch.
* RuleOfCool: The Apache helicopters featured here have inaccurately portrayed and bizarrely out of place weapons, while neglecting to use several real Apache armaments that would actually be quite hand in such a scenario. Not to mention how they are flown (and the speeds therewith); they're obviously just there for dramatic effect, as it's clear little research was done on them and their standard arms.
* RunningGag: All Philippe wanted was a decent cup of coffee.
** And on Animal's side, Lucy's gonna kill him.
* SensorSuspense: Where the submarine is tracking Godzilla approaching them at a high speed.
* SequelHook: Didn't get a sequel, but continued in the animated series.
* TheStinger: The end has the [[spoiler:hatching of the last egg, leading into the [[WesternAnimation/GodzillaTheSeries animated series]]]].
* SuperPersistentPredator: The hatchlings pursue humans even when there are still fish lying around waiting to be eaten. Averted with Godzilla itself, as the one behavioral limitation placed on Tristar's version by the trademark-holders was that they couldn't show the Big Guy actually ''eating'' anyone: when it does start chasing the cab, it's because it's furious at the destruction of its offspring, not hungry.
* SuspiciouslyStealthyPredator: Somehow Godzilla's pursuers manage to lose track of a critter the size of an aircraft carrier on the streets of Manhattan. They soon enough discover that it has been using the City's subway systems to burrow around Manhattan Island.
* TakeThat:
** One of the movie's best moments, however, is to its ''own title''; a minor plot point is that the Japanese fishermen who first see the beast call it "Gojira". Footage of this eventually gets out to a certain smarmy reporter, who proceeds to flense it into "Godzilla". Other characters actually call him (or the TV broadcast of him, at least) [[LampshadeHanging out on this]].
** The movie had a quick shot at Jurassic Park, with a major shot of Godzilla's foot going through the ceiling of a museum and stomping a T-Rex statue flat, conveying how much bigger Godzilla is than the prehistoric monster. This is perplexing, considering that the baby-Godzillas are blatant ripoffs of that film's raptors.
** The film was itself (especially their version of the titular monster) has been the subject of several {{Take That}}s in later Kaiju films.
* TakeThatCritics: In retaliation for giving ''Film/{{Stargate}}'' and ''Film/IndependenceDay'' negative reviews, director Creator/RolandEmmerich had NoCelebritiesWereHarmed versions of Creator/RogerEbert and Creator/GeneSiskel 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 Godzilla either eat or 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''.)
-->'''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic:''' That's really bad when [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment you get criticized by the critic you're criticizing because you didn't criticize them enough!]] ...Try saying ''that'' three times fast!
* TrulySingleParent: In this movie, Godzilla can fertilize itself, like some species of reptiles can.
* TruthInTelevision: Although it wasn't really known at the time, some lizards actually ''are'' capable of asexual reproduction via a process called parthenogenesis.
* {{Tsundere}}: A non-Japanese Type A example with Lucy (ironically enough), who henpecks her husband to no end. Near the end of the monster's defeat, she sees Animal in the news and says in a rather loving way, "[[RunningGag I'm going to kill him]]!"
* VertigoEffect: Used but subtly during Godzilla's entrance in New York for at least one shot.
* VoodooShark: The reason behind the horizontal, raptor-like design for the monster was in order to make it more "realistic." We'll ignore the improbability of such a lanky, precarious and front-heavy design being better suited for giant size than the heavy, pillar-legged, mountain-shaped original. They decided to continue making it more realistic by making it a mutated iguana instead of a dinosaur, thereby completely negating the entire point behind the raptor-shape in the first place. And the SquareCubeLaw is being completely ignored either way.
* TheWormGuy: The TropeNamer.
* {{Wormsign}}: When Godzilla arrives from the ocean, the pier splits most satisfyingly.