When a freighter is viciously attacked in the Pacific Ocean, a team of experts -- including biologist Niko Tatopoulos and scientists Elsie Chapman and Mendel Craven -- concludes that an oversized reptile is the culprit. Before long, the giant lizard is loose in Manhattan, destroying everything within its reach. The team chases the monster to Madison Square Garden, where a brutal battle ensues.
Following a nuclear incident in French Polynesia, a lizard’s nest is irradiated by the fallout of subsequent radiation. Decades later, a Japanese fishing vessel is suddenly attacked by an enormous sea creature in the South Pacific ocean and only one seaman survives. Traumatized, he is questioned by a mysterious Frenchman in a hospital regarding what he saw, to which he replies, “Gojira”. Manhattan, where much of the destruction unfolds.
Dr. Niko “Nick” Tatopoulos (Broderick), an NRC scientist, is in the Chernobyl exclusion zone in Ukraine researching the effects of radiation on wildlife, but is suddenly interrupted by the arrival of an official from the U.S. State Department. He is sent to Tahiti and Jamaica, escorted by the military, to observe the wreckage of the recovered Japanese fishing trawler with massive claw marks on it. The Frenchman is also present, observing the scene, and introduces himself as Philippe Roché (Reno), an insurance agent. Aboard a military aircraft, Dr. Tatopoulos identifies skin samples he discovered in the shipwreck as belonging to an unknown species. He dismisses the military’s theory that the creature is a living dinosaur, instead deducing that it is a mutant created by nuclear testing. The large reptilian creature dubbed as “Godzilla” by the media, travels to New York City leaving a path of destruction in its wake. The city is evacuated as the military attempts to kill it but fails in an initial attempt. Dr. Tatopoulos later collects a blood sample and assumes that Zilla reproduces asexually and is collecting food for its offspring. Aspiring journalist and ex-girlfriend of Dr. Tatopoulos, Audrey Timmonds (Pitillo), uncovers a classified tape in his provisional military tent which concerns the origins of the lizard. Her superior Charles Caiman (Shearer) however, declares the tape as his own media discovery. The tape is broadcast on television embarrassing the military on the sensitive nature of the situation. Dr. Tatopoulos is kidnapped by Roché, who reveals himself to be an agent of the DGSE, the French foreign intelligence agency. He and his colleagues have been keeping close watch on the events and are planning to cover up their country’s role in the nuclear accident that spawned the creature. Suspecting a nest somewhere in the city, they cooperate with Dr. Tatopoulos to trace and destroy it.
Following a chase with Zilla, the creature dives into the Hudson River where it is attacked by Navy submarines. After sustaining head-on collisions with torpedoes, the beast sinks after being rendered incapacitated. Believing it is finally dead, the authorities celebrate. Dr. Tatopoulos and Roché’s special operations team, covertly followed by Timmonds and her cameraman Victor “Animal” Palotti (Azaria), make their way through underground subway tunnels to Madison Square Garden. There, they locate 200 eggs, having finally found the nest. As they attempt to destroy them by planting explosives, the eggs suddenly hatch. Sensing the human intruders as food, they begin attacking them. Dr. Tatopoulos, Palotti, Timmonds and Roché take refuge in the coliseum’s broadcast booth and send a live news report to alert the military of what will happen if the lizards escape. A prompt response involving an airstrike is initiated as the four escape moments before the arena is bombed. Zilla however, survived the torpedo attack earlier underwater and emerges from the venue’s ruins. Discovering all of its offspring dead, it roars in anger and chases Dr. Tatopoulos, Roché, Timmonds and Palotti. Roche finds an abandoned cab and drives all of them through the streets of Manhattan. In pursuit of the quartet, Zilla eventually makes its way to the Brooklyn Bridge. The creature becomes trapped in its steel suspension cables, making it an easy target. After being successfully struck with missiles by military aircraft (the ones which earlier bombed the shopping centre) it collapses, smashing the cab under its jaw and slowly dies. Roche and the rest of the team part ways and meanwhile, amidst the Garden’s ruins, a lone egg has survived the aerial bombardment and begins to hatch.
Godzilla (ゴジラ Gojira) is a 1998 American science fiction monster film directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich. It was a reimagining of the popular Japanese film monster of the same name. The screenplay was written by Emmerich and Dean Devlin. The plot of the film revolves around a giant reptilian monster, mutated by nuclear tests in the French Polynesia, who migrates to New York City to nest its young. The cast features Matthew Broderick, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria, Kevin Dunn and Jean Reno.
Cast & Characters
Matthew Broderick as Dr. Niko “Nick” Tatopoulos, Jean Reno as Philippe Roaché, Maria Pitillo as Audrey Timmonds, Hank Azaria as Victor “Animal” Palotti, Kevin Dunn as Colonel Hicks, Michael Lerner as Mayor Ebert, Lorry Goldman as Gene, Mayor Ebert’s Aide, Harry Shearer as Charles Caiman, Arabella Field as Lucy Palotti, Vicki Lewis as Dr. Elsie Chapman, Doug Savant as Sergeant O’Neal, Malcolm Danare as Dr. Mendel Craven, Ralph Manza as Fisherman Joe, Glenn Morshower as Kyle Terrington, Gary A. Hecker as Creature Vocal Effects, Frank Welker as Creature Vocal Effects
Director: Roland Emmerich
Producer: Dean Devlin
Screenplay: Roland Emmerich
Story: Roland Emmerich
Ted Elliott (1994 version)
Terry Rossio (1994 version)
Starring: Matthew Broderick
Music: David Arnold
Cinematography: Ueli Steiger
Editing: Peter Amundson
Studio: Centropolis Entertainment
Distributor: TriStar Pictures
Sony Pictures Entertainment