Godzilla (1985) (ゴジラ 1985/新・ゴジラ 海外版 Gojira 1985/Shin Gojira Kaigai-ban) is the 1985 American version of the 1984 Japanese movie, The Return of Godzilla. It serves as a loose sequel to Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, the 1956 Americanized version of the original 1954 Godzilla movie.
Unlike King of the Monsters!, this version was met with negative reception from critics, but has gained a cult following.
Among the Godzilla fanbase, it has received a positive reception from fans. WatchMojo put it at #8 on their "Top 10 Best Godzilla Movies of All-Time" list.
A second Godzilla appears 29 years (30 in the original Japanese version) after the first Godzilla's attack on Tokyo. When he almost kickstarts a nuclear war between the USA and the USSR, the Japanese convince the two factions to cease hostilities and aid them in defeating Godzilla.
The US military decides to bring in former reporter and Tokyo attack survivor Steve Martin (Raymond Burr) as a consultant, who warns them that Godzilla may be unstoppable as he makes his way into the city of Tokyo.
- Steve Martin barely plays any real role in the movie, effectively making him a glorified cameo.
- Numerous product placements involving Dr. Pepper, which can be off-putting at times. The cherry on top of the cake? Two Godzilla-themed Dr. Pepper commercials.
- Poor dubbing work (though this is somewhat expected with most Godzilla movies).
- Being released at the height of Cold War paranoia in the 1980s, during Ronald Reagan's presidency, and only one year after Red Dawn (not to mention being released at the same year as Rambo: First Blood Part II), the movie is politically and patriotically biased by making the Soviets look incredibly unsympathetic. For instance, in the original Japanese version, they fired their nuclear missile at Godzilla by accident, whereas in this version, they intentionally fired the missile, and it was edited to look like it was an act of aggression against a major US ally.
- Raymond Burr took his role as Steve Martin very seriously, actually vetoing any attempts to make his character more comedic.
- The plot is good.
- The original Japanese version is better.
- It still has the spirit of the original Godzilla movie.
- Haunting and foreboding soundtrack.
- The Godzilla suit (officially called "84Goji") is well-designed, and is probably one of the best Godzilla Designs of all time.
- The set design and special effects, while a bit dated by today's standards, are still better than most movies of the same time.