Strange incidents occur when an American submarine has been destroyed by a mysterious force at sea off the shores of Guam. Only Admiral Tachibana was certain that behind the disaster was none other than the destructive King of the Monsters, Godzilla! 50 years after his attack on Tokyo in 1954, Godzilla has mysteriously returned to life to destroy Japan, and General Tachibana, whose parents died in the monster's destructive wake, was prepared for his return to protect Japan from yet another tragic disaster, but is dismissed by the overly confident Japanese government, who underestimate Godzilla's power. But to further prove Tachibana's claim, his daughter Yuri, who works for the TV news program "Digital Q," investigates strange phenomena in three separate areas in Japan (two of which involve the deaths of immoral youths), and meets a mysterious old man named Isayama, who proclaims that aside from his infamous nuclear origins, Godzilla is an accumulation of vengeful souls (of both ... Written by
John Cassidy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was the first film since Godzilla vs. Mothra (1964) to portray Godzilla as truly evil. Director Shûsuke Kaneko preferred the original "evil" Godzilla for his film, and comes up with an unusual motivation (Godzilla, a monster brought to life by nuclear weapons, is a "specter of war"). See more »
When Mothra is on Godzilla's head and wrestling with him, just before King Ghidorah first arrives, you can briefly see some sort of black rigging protruding from Mothra's back, most likely a device used to support the Mothra puppet. See more »
I had been very proud, up to this moment, that I had never seen any real combat in my life.
You felt that way too?
I think everyone feels that way.
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The rap among Big-G. fans is that this is - as one reviewer put it - "the best of the best". And after reading about the historical-spiritual content of the plot, I really had high hopes for it.
But I was disappointed. Because my hopes were so high, my disappointment may be clouding my judgment; but the problem is simple: at the beginning of the film, there's a great to-do made about Godzilla representing the souls of those slain in WWII, and also a subplot initiated, about Mothra, Ghidorah and Baragon being mythic protectors of Japan.
But, ultimately, not much of this is used to tie up any of the narrative threads; and the issues get more confused as the film progresses and it becomes unclear whether the problem of the past is what actually happened, or whether it is simply that the government was dishonest about it.
The issues do introduce the monsters and get them into battle. And then, at the end of each battle - especially the last - the mythic element is brought back into play to account for some highly impressive special effects. This is no doubt the most sophisticated special effects display we've seen in any Godzilla movie, and it is way better than the trashy cgi show of the American Godzilla rip-off of '98.
I like the special effects, and it's always a pleasure to see the Big Green Guy (looking nastier in this movie than he ever has) knock down a few buildings and kick monster butt. I also appreciate the humor, e.g., the "Blair Witch" parody. The acting is very effective all around, and the direction is above par for the series. Still, really, this film has a tad less "spiritual" clout than "Godzilla vs. Mothra" - and I'm referring to the 1960s version (AKA "vs. the Thing"). Partly this is because the story seems to be struggling for a compromise: the stupidities of the past are counter-balanced with the social stupidities of the present - many of the victims of the monster mêlée suffer because they wander into the battle zone like tourists, unable to comprehend the destructive forces around them. The point is well taken; but it's unclear what the long range consequences of this might be. None of the loose ends are tied up - not even the meaning of Godzilla's ever-beating heart (which we know, from countless other films, is actually a nuclear reactor).
And just as a side note, I REALLY object to Ghidorah being portrayed as a "good" monster - the beast is utterly brainless, that's what makes watching Big G. slap him around so much fun.
I just feel that more effort was needed on the story, even if at the expense of the special effects.
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