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YMMV: Godzilla (1998)

  • Americans Hate Tingle: The film was disliked by the staff involved with the original film. Kenpachiro Satsuma claimed the monster does not have the "spirit" of Godzilla. Despite that, the irony is that...
  • Critical Dissonance: Despite being ridiculed by most, in theaters it made nearly three times what it cost to make, being the third highest grossing film in the world that year. The director has commented that out of all the films he directed, it was the one which parents told him their children enjoyed the most.
  • Critical Research Failure: The US Army inquiring what a Frenchman is doing at the scene of the clawed freighter. The problem? It's in Tahiti, a French overseas territory. The US troops are the ones who shouldn't be there. No wonder the French sent their secret service after them.
    • 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); in effect, they're so completely misused as to obviously be there only for dramatic effect.
    • 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.
    • In the opening montage of French scientists preparing for a nuclear test on one of French Polynesia's islands, iguanas can be seen swimming in the ocean. The problem with that is that true marine iguanas are indigenous only in the Galapagos Islands, which is about 4,200 miles to the northeast. Fiji, 2,200 miles to the west, is the only other island in that area to have iguanas, and all three species they have are land iguanas.
    • The film has a number of scientific and biologic inaccuracies, some of which include;
      • Iguanas are herbivorous (eat plants), not piscivorous (eat fish). Possibly handwaved on this particular point by Nick asserting that it's a hybrid or some new species.
      • Heat-seeking missiles would have still locked onto Zilla anyways, seeing as his mass induces endothermy anyways, even if Zilla was normally an ectotherm.
      • Leaving aside the fact that Sidewinders aren't possible to mount on an Apache, and that you'd never be shooting an Air-to-Air missile at something the size of Zilla, the warheads on Siderwinders are tiny, and wouldn't cause Monumental Damage to any building they hit (they contain only a couple of pounds of explosive, and in no way would cause the top of the Chrysler Building to be chopped off).
      • With how long Zilla spends tromping about Manhattan, he'd have turned it into a uninhabitable ghost island if he were suitable radioactive for his immense size.
      • Zilla is impossibly skinny and frail for a 300-foot tall animal, not to mention impossibly fast.
      • No 300-foot tall bipedal animal would be able to hold a horizontal position all of the time.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Animal and Phillippe are considered by quite a few as one of the few redeeming aspects of the film. Zilla herself developed into this after she was retconned into a different kaiju from Godzilla by Toho.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In countries that have never localized the original movies, it's not uncommon for movie fans to regard this rendition of the Godzilla character as a classic, whereas the Man in a Rubber Suit approach (or even the basic design of the monster) is often treated as a joke, and the Japanese films are likewise mocked. Expectedly, the 2014 film got accusations of They Changed It, Now It Sucks from people only familiar with this version, and the newer reboot's polarizing reception had even gained the '98 movie a popularity-boost in these places, its fans reaffirmed in their view that nothing good can come from taking the franchise back to its roots — even if the '14 movie's reception on a global scale tilted more towards positive.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: At one point, Caiman describes Zilla's actions as "the worst act of destruction [in New York] since the [1993] World Trade Center bombing!". Ouch.
  • More Popular Spin-off: Godzilla: The Series, specially since the "son of Zilla" acts like Godzilla.
  • The Scrappy: Audrey. Given that her relationship with Nick already ended because she chose her career over marrying him, the fact that she proceeds to do so again by betraying the top secret information to the press, effectively ruining his career to further her own, means that the audience has no idea why Nick wants her back at the end of the film.
  • So Okay, It's Average: As a film on its own merits, it's this. The only reason it's hated so much is because of its In Name Only aspect.
  • Special Effects Failure: For starters, the lighting on Zilla always looks off (which is why Zilla is always obscured by nighttime and rain), and very little water splashes when she seemingly falls to death on the Hudson River. This is mostly a problem with the film print, which was fixed in digital releases to become Special Effects Of Awesome.
    • The scale is completely off, with Zilla seemingly changing size compared to the surrounding buildings throughout the film. The worst being when she can only fit her arm into a tunnel during the cab chase, when her entire body earlier fit into what looked like a smaller one.
    • There's a compositing error when Zilla is feasting on the piles of fish — when we see it from behind, there's a squad of army men running to its right who pop into view between frames. The CGI guys neglected to rotoscope them into the shot, so the monster, who's supposed to be in the background, overlaps them.
  • Spiritual Licensee: A number of people think that the movie works better as a remake of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms than of Godzilla, as both movies revolve around a giant monster ravaging New York after a nuclear test goes awry. Ironically, Beast served as a bit of inspiration for Godzilla. Many Godzilla fans think that it'd have been much better received as a outright remake of Beast.
  • Squick: According to the audio commentary, the special effects team gave Godzilla female genitals. Freeze frames show it in detail, mercifully not for long.
  • Vindicated by History:
    • It's hardly gone from hated to The Godfather level acclaim, but after fifteen or so years some fans have admitted, begrudgingly, that the film is better than some of the worse Japanese installments.
    • With the premiere of the new Godzilla movie, some critics are admitting that this one does surpass it in certain ways, such as the main (non-Godzilla) character. Matthew Broderick "had charisma and geeky charm"; Aaron Johnson "only had a six pack".
      • Additionally, the Godzilla to screen time ratio is much better in this film.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?: For some odd reason, nearly half of the The Simpsons voice castnote  is in this playing dramatic roles.

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