French Polynesia: The late 1960s. A collection of atolls sits peacefully in
the Pacific Ocean. A voice counts down in French. It reaches zero. And suddenly
the sea boils with an atomic blast that spreads out for miles, raining
radioactive dust for miles further.
The Present: A Japanese fishing boat moves through a rainstorm. Below decks,
the crew is working feverishly to pack the thousands of tons of fish in the
ship's hold on ice for the journey back to Japan. On the bridge, the officer
in charge sits with his feet on the radar screen watching sumo wrestling.
His sports watching is interrupted when radar detects a huge, submerged
object barreling towards the ship. The radar operator calls the captain to
the bridge. The captain sounds a general alarm. The alarm comes too late.
Below, huge claws rake through the hull, spilling gallons of water into the
cannery decks. Above, a huge tail swings into view and obliterates the
Chernobyl. A van drives past decaying trees rainy weather. This is the site
of the worst nuclear disaster in history. Most of the native population is
long gone. The only man who comes here anymore is Dr. Niko Tatopoulos, a
biologist working for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Dr. Nick believes
that, in the earthworms of Chernobyl, he will find conclusive evidence that
nuclear contamination causes radical genetic mutations.
As he digs through the worm-filled dirt, a U.S. State Department helicopter
descends through the rain. Marines begin unloading Tatopoulos' van as he
frantically tries to dissuade them. A suit-wearing State Department official
tells him that he's being reassigned.
Tahiti, a man walks through hospital. He's a Frenchman wearing a salt and
pepper beard. He talks to a doctor in French as they walk to a shady corner
of the hospital. The doctor leads the Frenchman to a Japanese man who lays
in a hospital bed in deep shock. The Frenchman waves a lighter in front of
the Japanese man's face, catching his attention.
"What did you see, old man?" the Frenchman says.
The Japanese man stares into the flame and says, "Gojira".
Dr. Tatopoulos finds himself in Panama. A normally small and quiet fishing
village has been overrun by the United States military. Tatopoulos meets
Colonel Hicks and attempts to explain the military man that accidents and
spills are not in Tatopoulos" field. "I'm a biologist," Tatopoulos explains.
"I take radioactive samples and I study them."
Colonel Hicks points to the ground. "There's your sample. Study it."
Tatopoulos is momentarily stupefied... until he realizes that he and the
Colonel are standing in a footprint, a large, three-toed footprint the size
of a car that has left a hole in the earth nearly five feet deep.
Amazed to the point of stammering, Colonel Hicks quiets him down by
introducing him to Dr. Elsie Chapman of the National Institute of
Paleontology. Though she does not believe Tatopoulos is right for the job at
hand, she quickly warms to him. Something came out of the Pacific and
stomped its way across the Panamanian countryside, before disappearing into
the Atlantic Ocean. Tatopoulos, Chapman, and a third Doctor named Mendel
Craven, have been called together of an analysis.
Craven shows everyone a tape released from the French government. It shows
air footage of a Japanese cannery ship sunk off Polynesia. Only one man
survived. The tape shows him as well, a man in deep shock who stares into
the camera and whispers the word "Gojira".
Meanwhile, rain is falling in New York City. Audrey Timmons scrambles out of
the rain and up to her offices in WDIF news. She carries groceries with her.
They belong to Mr. Charles Caiman, WIDF's star reporter. For the past four
years, Audrey has worked as Caiman's assistant and her career is stagnating
and today is the day she plans to say something about it. Over the protests
of her friend, Lucy, Audrey confronts Caiman about where her career is going.
He tells her that her career will go very will if she has dinner with him
tonight. Audrey, reminding Caiman that he is married, turns him down.
In Jamaica, Tatopoulos and the rest of the analysis team begins examining
another Cannery ship, beached with gigantic slash marks across its sides.
Hick's comes across a small trope of French speaking men who are also
examining the ship. One man with a salt and pepper beard tells Hicks they
are agents from La Roache Casualty and Property Insurance. Hick's tells them
to leave. Meanwhile, Tatopoulos collects a skin sample from the ruined ship.
That night, rain comes to the Atlantic Ocean. Three fishing trawlers glide
along complacently when, suddenly, all three of their gigantic nets are
seemingly snagged on something underwater. The boats fight to unsling
themselves and only succeed in getting pulled completely underwater.
The next day, in a military aircraft over the Atlantic, Hicks and the
analysis team hear of the incident. Dr. Chapman proposes her theory on the
cause of these strange incidents: An enormous reptile that we believed died
out in the cetaceous period. Dr. Craven asks the impertinent question: "Where
has it been for the last 65 million years"
Tatopoulos has a different theory: This is a mutation caused by the fallout
from nuclear tests in the South Pacific.
Back in New York, Audrey dines with her friend Lucy and Lucy's husband,
Victor, nicknamed "Animal". She lauds her disbelieve that her boss could put
the moves on her. Her friends inform her that she needs to be tough to get
ahead in New York. Audrey assures them that she can be and they are less
then wowed. Audrey herself is wowed when she sees her old college sweetheart
on TV: A youngish looking fellow named Nick Tatopoulos.
On the East Side, three bums gather down on the River. One, fishing pole in
hand, sets down a lawn chair and casts his net into the River. Surprisingly,
he gets a bite...and proceeds to have his fishing rod torn out of his grasp.
Suddenly, the East River bulges wide and a huge wave begins rushing toward
Above, on the FDR Drive, commuters look out their car windows to see a
giant, reptilian monster rise out of the East River and step over FDR drive
into New York. Boats, trapped in the creature's forest of dorsal spines,
rain from the sky as it passes into the Fulton Fish Market beyond.
Several blocks away, New York Mayor Ebert is holding a rally. It's election
time for the Mayor (who's campaign proclaims "Thumbs-Up for New York"). As
Mayor Ebert begins to speechify, the ground begins to shake. The people can
hear it in the air and feel it in the streets. As the pounding draws closer,
the concussive shock bounces cars into the air. A block away, a building
shatters and thirty story monster walks through the mayor's fleeing
Blocks away, in their little corner diner, Audrey, Lucy and Animal feel the
shakes, too. Outside the diner windows, two large feet slam onto the street
and walk past the diner. Animal, a cameraman for IDF News, grabs his camera
from his overturned van and rushes off towards the creature.
He catches up to it as it reverses course near Grand Central Station,
capturing it on tape. But as he stands in the middle of the street, the
creature casually walks past him, almost crushing him in the process.
Colonel Hicks' plane lands in New Jersey, establishing a mobile command
center. After meeting with the regional commander, Sergeant O'Neal, Hicks
and the analysis team watch Animal's footage of the monster.
In WIDF headquarters, everyone is evacuating. Audrey sees some more footage
of Nick at the Military Command Headquarters. She tries to tell Caiman about
her "inside source" but he ignores her, on the way to the Command Center
himself. She accidentally steals his press ID and joins Lucy on the subway.
At the Command Center, Mayor Ebert touches down and goes to meet with
Colonel Hicks. As he wades his way through the throngs of reporters and
business owners, he meets a man with a French accent and a salt and pepper
beard. The man introduces himself as "Mr. Roache" of "La Roache Casualty and
Property Insurance", claming that the mayor can count on their emotional and
financial support. While he's saying this, Mr. Roache plants a listening
device on Mayor Ebert's collar.
Lucy, overjoyed at Audrey's sudden show of gall, cuts Caiman's picture out of
the ID and sticks Audrey's picture in.
Inside a bakery truck, parked somewhere in West New York, New Jersey, a team
of French speaking men from "La Roache Casualty and Property Insurance"
huddle together. The van is packed with surveillance equipment. Mr. Roache
enters and begins to listen in on Mayor Ebert's meeting with Colonel Hicks.
The meeting is not going well. Hicks must confess that the military has no
idea where the giant lizard might be. Ebert is furious, fuming about what
kind of damage the mass evacuation of Manhattan will have to his political
career. Sergeant O'Neil interrupts the meeting with another problem.
Flying into Manhattan, Hicks and the analysis team are led to the 23rd
Street Subway Station. The Station has been completely raised and seemingly
hollowed out. As if something dug into the ground below the subway tunnel to
widen it. This giant lizard is apparently, like most of his genus, a
While Hicks fumes, Tatopoulos points out that this creature is not a human
enemy, but an animal like any other. All the humans have to do is figure out
what he wants and the animal will come to them. Both humans notice dead fish
scattered about the tunnel floor.
A plan is concocted, with fifteen dump trucks carted into Madison Square,
each loaded with fish. The fish is dumped at the foot of the Flatiron
building, forming a pyramid of fish. The military, with Tatopoulos along for
the ride, pile the fish on and wait, with artillery poised to take down the
reptile once it emerges out of hiding.
Tatopoulos notices the large amount of covered manholes in the area and,
along with several military men, sets about removing them. While removing a
manhole cover on Broadway, Tatopoulos notices a huge crack forming in the
street. Running as fast as he can, he's evades the lizard just in time as it
rises out of the ground.
Fascinated, Tatopoulos snaps a picture of the creature, forgetting the
camera's built-in flash. The light attracts the creature's attention.
Swinging its head down to observe Nick, the creature sniffs him, decides to
ignore him, and calmly walks toward the fish as soldiers scramble to avoid
As the creature gulps down throat-fulls of fish, Hicks gives the word to
fire. Artillery explodes across Madison Square, with two missiles streaking
from a mobile rocket launcher. Deftly, the reptile ducks under these
missiles, sending them into the Flatiron building. Enraged, the reptile
turns toward the artillery and charges.
Breaking through the military ranks with three helicopters in pursuit, the
reptile evades them through the canyons of Manhattan, causing liberal
property damage in the process, including the destruction of the Chrysler
Building. Evading missiles and bullets, the reptile circles around behind
his pursuers and destroys them handedly.
In Madison Square, Tatopoulos collects a blood sample from the pavement.
It's small, but it's there. Working on a hunch, Nick goes into a pharmacy as
soon as he reaches New Jersey. He buys at-home pregnancy tests and meets
Audrey. It seems Audrey left Nick seven years ago without a letter or a
call. But after a small amount of negotiation, Nick seems ready to forgive
and forget. He takes Audrey to his tent in the Command Center and offers her
a cup of tea.
While they talk, Tatopoulos performs a test using the reptile's blood and
finds that the reptile is, despite some rather obvious physical
characteristics indicating the reptile's maleness, pregnant. Theorizing that
the reptile reproduces asexually and has, in fact, traveled to New York as a
Leaving Audrey alone in his tent as he rushes off to confirm his theory.
Audrey, in turn, opens a case marked "Top Secret" and reveals footage of
Panama, Jamaica, the cannery ship attacked in the Pacific, and an old
Japanese man whispering the word "Gojira".
Deciding to act tough, Audrey takes the tape to her boss at WIDF and films a
segment on this story. Her story. Her first big break.
The next day, in a meeting with military brass and regional politicians,
Tatopoulos tells them his theory on the creature's reproduction. Hicks
begins campaigning for the military to divide their efforts and search for
the creature's nest, despite contrary opinions from high ranking officials.
Even Hicks' support goes down the drain when Charles Caiman airs a report on
WIDF, telling the world about Dr. Tatopoulos' theories on this "Godzilla".
The military fires Tatopoulos on the spot. Nick, in turn, fumes at Audrey
for taking the tape. Audrey, in turn, fumes at Caiman for stealing her report.
She tries to get through to Nick, only to learn of his firing. Finding him
as he's getting into a cab, Audrey attempts to apologize. Nick, having none
of it, slams the cab door in her face, heading for the Newark Airport.
Animal watches the whole scene and follows Nick's cab in his van, figuring
he'll talk some sense into Dr. Tatopoulos. Inside the cab, Nick watches from
the back seat as he is driven past the exit to the airport and towards a
riverfront warehouse, where the cab stops.
The driver is a Frenchman with a salt a pepper beard that Nick recognizes as
"that insurance guy". The insurance guy introduces himself as Agent Philippe
Roache of the French Secret Service, on assignment in America to destroy
Godzilla before the reptile can breed. Roche informs Nick that the military
has decided not to search for the creature's nest and asks for Nick's
cooperation in hunting it down and destroying it before more Godzillas can
be born. Nick agrees to help.
Animal, observing all of this, rushes home to tell Audrey about it. Audrey
is in tears over what she did and Animal offers her a chance to redeem
herself. He plans to follow Nick and the French men into the city and film
it all, with Audrey along reporting it, telling the whole world that
Tatopoulos was right in the first place. Audrey agrees.
Tatopoulos, Roche, and a team of French men disguise themselves as soldiers
and drive into the city, sneaking through a checkpoint with an Elvis
impression. Animal and Audrey sneak into the city through an old subway
In Central Park, Nick's original plan has been redesigned. By setting a trap
in an open area, the military plans to destroy Godzilla with as little
collateral damage as possible. Everything is on schedule.
Driving to the 23rd Street Station, Nick and the French men begin to explore
the hallowed out subway when Godzilla, smelling fish in the wind, smashes
through a tunnel wall and crawls out into the streets. The military spots
him instantly and readies itself in Central Park.
But at the opening of Central Park, just as the cover of New York's
skyscrapers ends, Godzilla pauses. He observes the pile of fish, well lit
and inviting in open ground, and he sees the military men, crouch with their
lights and their guns and their artillery. Not falling for the same trick
twice, Godzilla turns and leaves.
The military opens fire and gives chase with an armada of helicopters.
Rushing down 58th Street, Godzilla blows through military artillery,
crushing everything in his way. Vaulting over an army encampment on the West
Side highway, Godzilla dives into the Hudson River, right into the sites of
the three submarines waiting there for him.
Dodging torpedoes as easily as he dodges missiles, Godzilla swims smoothly
under the U.S.S. Anchorage, blowing it apart with its own torpedoes.
Shifting course, Godzilla moves back towards Manhattan and begins to tunnel
into the bedrock under the city. As he forms a tunnel, the U.S.S. Indiana
and U.S.S. Utah close in and scores a direct hits.
In the tunnels, Nick and the French forces backtrack along Godzilla's
self-made tunnel. The tunnel leads them to a huge hallowed out structure
filled with fish, formerly know as Madison Square Garden. Godzilla has
carefully laid approximately two hundred eggs in the Garden and, as Nick and
the French men begin planting explosives, the eggs begin to hatch.
Audrey and Animal climb out of the subway in time to film the birthing first
hand. Each baby is 9-feet tall and ravenous for foot, immediately set about
devouring the fish scattered about the Garden. Nick does a quick smell check
himself and discovers that every human in the Garden smells like fish. The
hatchlings discover this too, and immediately begin chasing down and
devouring the large, fast moving, two legged fish.
Soon, Audrey, Animal, Nick and Roache are the only humans left in the
Garden. Nick tries to contact the military on a cellular phone Roache gives
him, but all phone lines are currently busy. Trapped together, with no way
to contact the outside world, Manhattan stands to become flooded with baby
Then Audrey has an idea. Leading the survivors to the Madison Square Garden
broadcast booth, she convinces Ed, the WIDF technician to pick up the
transponder feed from the Garden and put it on live.
Live from Madison Square Garden, with Audrey and Nick in front of the camera
and Animal behind (with Roche staying discreetly out of range). Nick informs
the world of the Godzilla's reproductive capabilities and calls for the
military to destroy the Garden as quickly as possible.
Hicks, in turn, calls for a squadron of F-18s. Ethe technician informs the
humans in the Garden that they have six minutes to escape. Thanks to Roche's
quick thinking, the humans escape, just as the F-18 bombard the Garden with
The survivors look on as the Garden burns. Nick is thankful for Audrey's help
in saving humanity. They share a moment, but the moment is very short.
Godzilla, recovered and pissed off, bursts from the street and sees the
remains of his young scattered about. Godzilla spots the four humans and
makes a not-too-far-off intuitive connection. The chase begins.
Hotwiring a cab, Roache drives like hell through the city with Godzilla in
hot pursuit. Like a man trying to catch a mouse, catching the cab proves
none-too easy for Godzilla. After making a hurried right on 34th street, cab
and monster run right into O'Neil and a convoy of military vehicles moving
through the city. As they pass, Nick tosses the cab's ID out the window.
Still driving as fast as they can, Roache drives the cab into the Park
Avenue Tunnel. The military has blocked off one end of the tunnel and
Godzilla soon blocks off the other. As the reptile begins to dig the tunnel
out, O'Neil's voice comes over the cab's radio. He tells Nick that they need
to lure Godzilla out into the open so the military can get a clean shot at
Nick thinks up a plan. He tells O'Neil to direct the F-18s to the Brooklyn
Bridge. Escaping by shinning the cab's high beams into Godzilla's face,
Roache races to the Brooklyn Bridge. Over Manhattan, the departing F-18s
swing reverse course and arm their Maverick air-to-ground missiles.
At the bridge exit, Godzilla bursts from the ground directly in front of his
prey's cab. Doing a quick, one hundred and eighty degree spin, Roache still
isn't quick enough to avoid Godzilla's closing jaws. Only a section of
highway between Godzilla's bottom jaw and the cab prevent the humans from
being crushed. Spotting a power line swinging aimlessly, Nick grabs the line
and shoves it up into Godzilla's gums.
Reflexively, Godzilla opens his mouth and the cab bursts free across the
Brooklyn Bridge. Godzilla follows, with the bridge shaking itself apart
under his weight. By the time the cab reaches the Brooklyn side of the
bridge, Godzilla is caught in the suspension cables. The F-18s swoop in and
send twelve missiles into Godzilla's sides. Severely injured, Godzilla
Nick ventures out towards Godzilla and looks into the reptile's yellow eye.
He hears Godzilla's heart slow and stop. For a moment, Nick looks somber.
The victory leaves a bitter taste in his mouth. Then Audrey takes his arm
and leads him away from Godzilla's corpse, into the throng of reporters that
Charles Caiman is there, overjoyed because he believes Audrey has secured an
exclusive for him. Audrey takes this opportunity to officially quit as
Animal notices that the tape has disappeared out of his camera and neither
Audrey nor Nick removed it. Then the cell phone in Nick's pocket rings, the
one Roache gave him inside the Garden. Roache is on the other end and
promises to return Animals tape "after I have removed a few items from it".
Roache thanks Nick for his help and hangs up. Nick, Audrey, and Animal walk
away into the crowd.
Meanwhile, in the ruins of Madison Square Garden, the last surviving
Godzilla egg cracks open and a new Godzilla shrieks its birth cry to the