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Godzilla 1985

And we thought Godzilla 1998 was stupid...

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 extremely negative reception from critics, filmgoers and Godzilla fans alike.

Plot

A second Godzilla appears 29 years (30 in the original Japanese version) following 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 fire 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.

Why It Sucks

  1. Missed the spirit of both versions of the original Godzilla movie and its source material. The American producers tried to turn the bleak and serious movie into a Woody Allen-esque comedy, but the idea was fortunately scrapped after Raymond Burr refused to go along with it.
  2. Steve Martin barely plays any real role in the movie, effectively making him a glorified cameo.
  3. Tasteless jokes that make fun of the suffering of the Japanese.
  4. Numerous product placements involving Dr. Pepper, which can be off-putting at times. The cherry on top of the cake: two Godzilla-themed commercials by Dr. Pepper.
  5. Poor dubbing work.
  6. Being released at the height of Cold War paranoia in the 80‘s, 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.
  7. Lazy and blatantly obvious soundtrack recycling from other movies such as Def-Con 4.

Redeeming qualities

  1. Raymond Burr took his role as Steve Martin very seriously, actually vetoing any attempts to make his character more comedic.

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