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.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Animal and Phillippe are considered by quite a few as one of the few redeeming aspects of the film. Godzilla herself developed into this after she was retconned into a different kaiju (Redubbed "Zilla") 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. As expected, 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 Godzilla's actions as "the worst act of destruction [in New York] since the [1993] World Trade Center bombing!". Ouch.
    • Even leaving aside that one reference much of the New York destruction is almost surreal in this film, as it's quite gruesome but also handled with a kind of light-heartedness that simply wouldn't fly in a post-nine-eleven world. During Caiman's helicopter coverage of the destruction, the idea that he'd take time to address store owners being annoyed at the loss of business and looters robbing Disney stores is simply laughable.
  • Memetic Mutation: The (in)famous nickname GINO (Godzilla In Name Only) has achieved this status on the Internet, even after Toho adopted the movie's version of Godzilla and renamed it to simply "Zilla."
    • "That's a lot of fish"
  • More Popular Spin-off: Godzilla: The Series, specially since the Godzilla in the series acts more like Godzilla than its mother in the movie.
  • Narm
    • During the first fish bait scene, the radar shows the pile of fish as a big generic fish symbol just to point it out.
    • The huge barrage of helicopters chasing down Godzilla during the second fish bait scene. They're all dangerously close to each other and are flying between the buildings as they're doing this.
  • Older Than They Think: This is not the first time Godzilla attacks New York on film; this happened as early as 1968's Destroy All Monsters.
  • The Scrappy
  • 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 Godzilla always looks off (which is why Godzilla 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 Godzilla 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 Godzilla 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 admitted 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.
      • Then again, this "Godzilla" isn't even technically a Godzilla anymore. Because most people, or at least those who follow the actual canon, know that Godzilla doesn't run away, isn't fast (unless underwater), is not slender, has ATOMIC breath, not Power Breath, and can shrug off most if not all types of firepower. And is not asexual.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: For some odd reason, nearly half of the The Simpsons voice castnote  is in this playing dramatic roles.