Review: Godzilla (1998)


Wendell from Dell on Movies is hosting this awesome blogathon called the Against the Crowd Blogathon that I am very happy to be a part of. The rules of this blogathon are basically to write about two movies; one that everyone hates and you love and one that everyone loves and you hate. For my first post I’m writing about the much maligned 1998 Godzilla from director Roland Emmerich which I happen to like very much.

Godzilla 1998-RT Score

Godzilla is a film that just about everyone likes to hate. The film was a critical and commercial flop when it came out in 1998. It’s hate is further evident by the film’s score of 16% on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 5.3 on IMDb. TOHO hate this movie so much that they refer to the monster from this movie as Zilla and had it killed off in a matter of seconds in Final Wars. Is it really that bad though? Is Godzilla 1998 really the abomination that people say it is? Well no. I don’t think it is. In fact I think it’s a pretty good movie.


Like countless other 90’s summer blockbusters this a big, dumb, pulpy blockbuster that requires you to leave your brain at the door and have fun and dammit I had fun. The script from Emmerich and his Independence Day co-writer Dean Devlin is undeniably weak but this movie does not need a great script from someone like Robert Towne because the concentration should always be on the action and the set-pieces. And as much as I hate Roland Emmerich for all the crap he’s made in the past decade, he actually does a great job with the film’s set-pieces. He does an excellent job of crafting tension and the film has it’s fair share of thrilling and well-executed sequences. Godzilla’s design in this film is another thing that has been a point of heavy criticism. Till today Godzilla purists cringe at the sight of it’s look in the film, some call him a giant iguana while others call him a T-Rex rip-off. Well yeah, he does look like a giant iguana but in defense of the producers, they just wanted to reinvent the monster for American audiences and the design was necessary for them to tell the story they wanted to tell.


And don’t you even dare criticize the acting in this movie. If you are coming to see Oscar caliber performances, you are watching the wrong movie. Everything here is designed to appeal to the widest audience possible and quite honestly I found the characters to be fun and relatable people. Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer are obviously in the movie for providing comic relief and they do just that. Matthew Broderick is good in the lead role channeling Jeff Goldblum from both Independence Day and Jurassic Park and even though he fails to channel Jeff Goldblum from either movie he still comes across as a very likable and relatable character. He has geeky charm! Jean Reno is also very good playing the dubious Frenchman who is more than he seems. Reno is always great to watch and his character has this ability to be both the hero and the villain which makes him stand out among the cast.

I have nothing more to say than I really like this movie, I think most of the backlash for this movie comes due to the fact that people were mainly disappointed in it because it didn’t match their expectations. While I can see why it disappointed people I don’t see how it isn’t a fun and enjoyable popcorn blockbuster.



against the crowd blogathon


27 responses to “Review: Godzilla (1998)

  1. So you’re the person that likes this! Lol. I personally hate this movie, but that is what this blogathon is all about. Thanks for doing this. Can’t wait to see what you have chosen for the flipside.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I actually liked this movie too. The action is relentless and I love how the movie never feels like it’s ending. Godzilla keeps popping up. I also thought the story was (and in many ways is) so relevant – environmental pollution altering animals in drastic ways like that. Still an issue that’s very much hot topic today.

    And lastly, I loved the French guys and how the movie makes fun of the juxtaposition of tough spy guys being French. When Broderick says “you’re French?”, I crack up every time.

    Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks dude. I don’t know about the environmental part but I do think it’s a fun film and yes the action is relentless. Godzilla isn’t a supporting character in his own movie like the 2014 one.
      I think the balance between action and lightheartedness is also very good in this movie.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good write up.

    I have always maintained that the biggest problem with this film was that it wasn’t a Godzilla movie. As a monster movie it was fun but trying to pass it off as a Godzilla movie – the biggest crime being the monster looks NOTHING like Godzilla – which put everyone off.

    Thus what we have is Hollywood trying to Americanise a distinctly Japanese concept and story. Had they just created their own rampaging monster movie in the vein of Godzilla, fair enough.

    Moral of this story – leave Japanese stories alone, Hollywood! >.<

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yeah, I think this film is certainly underrated. While I’m not sure if I would give it a score anywhere near that of an 8, a 6 isn’t unreasonable for it. It certainly had some fun moments to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s nice to see a review in defense of this one. I think the backlash on it is a bit overblown but I much prefer the recent remake. That movie was just awesome. Of course, it had its fair share of hatred too. I think people just like to get on their soapboxes pretending they are all about the original Japanese version. Which is fine. I think those old ones are terrible in my opinion. They’re so goddamn dated and lame lol


  6. Hahaha! I love that you chose this movie. Put me in the camp of people that would love to pretend this one never happened, because as I recall, it had a really badass trailer. Then all we get is a pudgy Ferris Bueller chasing a mutated Jub-Jub with Hank f’n Azaria? Boo, I say. Booooo.

    Though, to be quite honest, I bet this one is more fun than the new one. God, I hated that movie.

    But, no bullshit, I’m glad you dig it. All I really cared for was the Greenday song on the soundtrack.

    Liked by 1 person

    • HAHA, love your take on this movie, too bad you didn’t like it but then again most people don’t.
      The Greenday song was good but that Kashmir cover was simply atrocious


  7. I personally don’t care for it, but it’s at least good to know that the film wasn’t a total waste of effort. At least somebody enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’d fall on the side of the crowd that didn’t like it although honestly monster movies have never been my thing. However I enjoyed reading why you did like it, it’s all in perception.

    Liked by 1 person

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