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As you can tell, I have a LOT to say about this movie! But I got such a
headache from writing such a lengthy review that I was also afraid that it
would be too much even for IMDB to handle! But let me start by saying
GODZILLA, MOTHRA AND KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK (or GMK
for short) is perhaps the BEST Godzilla movie yet, a return to the glory
days of the 50s and 60s, and my personal favorite besides GODZILLA VS.
and GODZILLA VS. MEGALON!
I met the film's director, Shuusuke Kaneko, at Asian Fantasy Film Expo 2002 in New Jersey, so you know part of why this film means so much to me. Kaneko, a lifelong Godzilla fan, is a true genius when it comes to giant monster films, as shown in his wonderful Heisei Gamera film trilogy (GAMERA: GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE, GAMERA 2: THE ADVENT OF LEGION and GAMERA 3: THE AWAKENING OF IRYS, the latter, which I saw at AFFE 2002, is without a doubt the best Japanese monster film ever)! He also knows what truly made Godzilla so famous, even if some fans (both Japanese and American) take it for granted, that Godzilla is best known as an invincible, unstoppable villain (just like in the first four films), which caused a huge controversy amongst many fans when this film was made (they're still too used to the "sympathetic" Godzilla established in 1984, which was a lame cop-out on his supposedly "evil" character). Although I still love and grew up with the "good guy" Godzilla from the later classic films, I have come to appreciate the original evil Godzilla, as long as it was done right! And Kaneko really pulled it off, creating the best, coolest evil Godzilla since the films up to 1964 (even KISS' Gene Simmons, a Godzilla fan, should be really proud of this one)! He truly put Godzilla back to being the FOLLY OF MAN! Not the other way around (which the 1984 version officially mandated for all Godzilla films up until this one)!
Kaneko showed executive producer Shougo Tomiyama a story he did some time before scripting began, and it was called VARAN, BARAGON, ANGILAS: GIANT MONSTERS' ALL OUT ATTACK - GODZILLA 2002. The script was accepted, but not without some changes. The Toho suits told Tomiyama to tell Kaneko to lose the classic Toho monsters Angilas and Varan, as they were not bankable characters, so the suits wanted him to add the more popular King Ghidorah and Mothra along with Baragon. For 15 minutes, Kaneko sat in the studio in stunned silence, saying to himself, "How am I going to do this!?" Sure enough, he cleverly worked the two monsters into the picture, but he knew that it was going to cause a clamor amongst the fans. Nevertheless, not only did this have the biggest budget of the films, but also a more excruciating shooting schedule, (Toho's mandatory shooting schedule for a Godzilla film is one year; In fact 4-5 months, tops), which Kaneko and his talented crew made the best of. They worked around the clock to get this film done!
And the end result is a Godzilla movie like you've never seen before! As I mentioned before, GAMERA 3 is still the best Japanese monster movie ever, but when it comes to Godzilla films, GMK is as tough as they come! This film is definitely Kaneko's labor of love.
The story has very edgy parallels to the original 1954 GODZILLA, such as his destroying a ship, his attacking a hospital (in a scene comparable to the fate of Ren Yamamoto's "Masaji" character from the 1954 film), his appearance over a mountain (a tribute to his entrance in the first film), his destroying Yokohama, and the twist & turn climax, which was the most inspired since the first film. But in light of all this, Kaneko excellently emulated the original Godzilla, moreso than anyone in the past 17 years! And it also made more sense to add mysterious fantasy elements into the story, because Kaneko thought that there was no way you could "realistically" explain a radioactive dinosaur monster ("It would've made more sense if the monster were 15 or 20 feet tall," he said in an interview). The resulting statements in GMK are spiritual as well as socio-political. Although King Ghidorah and Mothra are clearly not fit for the story, Baragon was excellently portrayed, and manages to evoke sympathy from the audience! Despite Baragon's fighting spirit, Godzilla was pretty brutal on him! In fact, he was brutal to even Mothra and King Ghidorah, who have their own shining moments in the film also! The rest of the story is very intriguing and the pacing is fast. But much like the last two films, some things are not spelled out to the viewer in an obvious way, so to actually grasp the film, one has to see it more than once.
There's also a hilarious jab at GINO (Godzilla In Name Only; What we fans call the American Godzilla fiasco from 1998) at the beginning, when Admiral Tachibana (Ryuudou Uzaki) lectures his soldiers at a meeting. And there's tons of dark humor abound, especially a "real world" reaction to Godzilla, which really works! They sort of remind me of situations in Matt Groening's THE SIMPSONS and FUTURAMA! One of the coolest and funniest is when a man tells people to evacuate from a shopping plaza because Godzilla was approaching. One middle-aged woman was annoyed, barking "Why . . . What's the big deal with Godzilla anyway!?" It took one earth-shaking footstep to convince her! In another scene, Baragon runs amok on a mountain resort, and among the tourists seeing Baragon from afar, a woman thinks the monster looks "frightening but cute," and her husband takes a picture of her next to the scenery just before she reacts to something behind him . . . It must be seen to be believed!
The music by Kou Ootani (composer of the Heisei Gamera trilogy) is totally unlike any previous Godzilla score. It's more new-age/electronic than your traditional orchestral stuff (definitely a first). In fact, it's a MIXTURE between electronic and orchestral music! Some were reminded of either John Carpenter's stuff, or Michael Boddicker's score for THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI. But definitely a great score! Then, you have Toho providing the usual stock Akira Ifukube music track to let us know that this is a Godzilla film, but this film probably has the best use of it! The stock tracks were used in the right place.
The special effects are probably the best in a Godzilla film since Teruyoshi Nakano's breathtaking work in the 1984 GODZILLA. Special effects director Makoto Kamiya, who was Shinji Higuchi's assistant in GAMERA 3, makes his SPFX directorial debut here, and his work is mind-blowing! Director Kaneko is another one to thank, as he was there to consult with Kamiya on how the FX would look, so that they mix perfectly with the human scenes! Truly a first, as traditionally, all previous Godzilla films had the principal & SPFX directors work separately, which made the human and SPFX scenes too distant. The suitmation work here is great, and the CGI work is excellent (look for the scenes where Mothra hatches from her cocoon, where King Ghidorah rises over the city and spreads his wings, and where Godzilla swims underwater!).
Godzilla has never looked so alive, and tall! In fact, he's the biggest monster in the whole movie (60 meters)! Played by Mizuho Yoshida (who also played the title creature in Keita Amemiya's ZEIRAM films), this is the biggest Godzilla suit, measuring at around 7 feet! And amazingly, Yoshida put Godzilla in amazing poses people thought impossible to do in a Godzilla suit! He looks much more flexible than in the later films of the 2nd movie series (particularly from GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA '93 to GODZILLA VS. DESTOROYAH, where Godzilla not only looked way too fat, but also way too stiff)! The suit's head can also turn over the shoulder! Godzilla also has the most facial expressions in this film, and you don't know whether they're animatronic or computer-enhanced! Here, Godzilla has a muscular dinosaur-like physique, has white eyes that give him an evil look, and not only is his skin clearly charcoal-gray, but he also has his original white fins (though slightly smaller)! Godzilla's Radioactive Heat Beam is back to blue, and when he uses it, watch out!!!
Baragon is another highlight! Though he only appeared in two movies; FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD and briefly in DESTROY ALL MONSTERS, the subterranean monster Baragon is amongst the popular Toho Monsters, and his return in GMK is worth the long wait! The suit was brilliantly crafted, and every bit as alive-looking and flexible as Godzilla! Every time it stopped to do a thunderous roar, it just looked cute (Then again, all of the monsters had a certain cuteness in GMK, even Godzilla, in a kind of Jim Henson-esque sort of way)! This is the first time a Toho Monster is played by a woman. Rie Oota, making her debut in this film, has done suit work before in shows and stuff. She played Baragon remarkably! Also, since four-legged monsters usually had to crawl on their knees, that was a no-no for GMK. Yes, Baragon had to walk on ALL FOURS! And he did.
And yes, King Ghidorah and Mothra were not originally intended to be in the story (blame Toho, not Kaneko!), but this film has the best incarnations of the two monsters ever put on film! Ghidorah actually LOOKS more like a dragon (get a load of those legs!) and can actually fold his wings back! Incidentally, Fuyuki Shinada, who designed all of the monsters, was disappointed that Varan wasn't going to be in the story (Varan was one of his favorite monsters), but cleverly compromised by giving Varan's facial features to King Ghidorah's three heads! Best of all, unlike the previous new films since 1991, Ghidorah got his electric organ-like cries back! And Mothra looks her best here, too! She appears briefly in her larva phase, but prominently appears in her moth form. Very beautiful and wasp-like, and much better than the toy-like kid-friendly versions from the previous Heisei-era films. Thanks to both a great prop and CGI, Mothra looks very flexible. She also has a neat new power of shooting stingers from her abdomen!
Last, but not least, the human characters are among the best in any Godzilla film to date. The film's hero, Admiral Tachibana (played by popular musician/actor Ryuudou Uzaki), is memorable. He looks reminiscent of Kenji Sahara, with the same intensity (even though Uzaki is actually very hip in real life). The beautiful Chiharu Niiyama plays Tachibana's daughter Yuri, a young TV reporter and the film's main character. Sure, she starts out as just another reporter out to make a buck, but she changes in the course of the film, searching for knowledge, and making awareness to the public. The father and daughter relationship is very touching, especially before Tachibana goes into battle against Godzilla. Shirou Sano (Miyasaka in GODZILLA 2000) makes his second appearance in a Godzilla film, playing Yuri's comical long-haired boss Haruki Kadokura, inspired by Ichirou Arishima's role as TV editor Tako in KING KONG VS. GODZILLA. In fact, Sano took his copy of that film to the studio and showed it to the cast & crew for inspiration! Masahiro Kobayashi plays Teruaki Takeda, one of Yuri's co-workers and a possible love interest. He sort of reminds me of Jeff Goldblum, and has an appealing everyman quality. The versatile Hideyo "Eisei" Amamoto (who sadly passed away earlier this year) plays his final role as the mysterious old man Isayama, and even in his old age, had the same charisma he did as Doctor Who in KING KONG ESCAPES and Dr. Shinigami in the original MASKED RIDER series! Very worthy for a final performance. Some of the members of Tachibana's military forces are familiar faces from Heisei Ultraman and Masked Rider shows such as Hiroyuki Watanabe (Commander Akio Ishimuro in ULTRAMAN GAIA), Toshikazu Fukawa (Super GUTS Member Koda in ULTRAMAN DYNA), and Shingo Katsurayama (Detective Ichijou in MASKED RIDER KUUGA). And the cameos! Boy, where do I start! Kouichi Ueda, who's appeared in every single Godzilla film since GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE, cameos as the headman of the village in Niigata. Tomoe Shinohara plays a doomed teenage girl with just the right feeling! Masaya Takahashi (who appeared in GOKE: BODY SNATCHER FROM HELL) plays an old bicycle shop owner, from whom Yuri buys a bicycle. Yukijirou Hotaru (from the ZEIRAM and Heisei Gamera trilogy) plays a pathetic businessman who tries to commit suicide, but instead inadvertently discovers King Ghidorah! Kazuko Katou (who played Jun's mother in GODZILLA X MEGAGUIRUS) is the schoolteacher who witnesses the awesome power of Godzilla's Radioactive Heat Beam in another must-see part! Aki and Ai Maeda (who played Ayana in GAMERA 3) play two teenage twin girls who witness Mothra flying over Yokohama (Fun Fact: Ai couldn't stand her cameo, because she thought she looked fat in that scene!). Also, look for Masaaki Tezuka (director of GODZILLA X MEGAGUIRUS and GODZILLA X MECHAGODZILLA) and Kouichi Kawakita (who directed FX for all of the Godzilla films from GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE to GODZILLA VS. DESTOROYAH and the first two films in the Mothra trilogy) as JSDF officers, and Takehiro Murata (Andou in GODZILLA VS. MOTRHA and Shinoda in GODZILLA 2000) as a fighter pilot who gets blasted by the Big G! And aside from countless others I just couldn't be able to list, I'll close the cast with cameos from the monster suit actors in the flesh! Mizuho Yoshida (Godzilla) is the pink-shirted man standing by Aki and Ai Maeda to the right just after Mothra flies over the city. And Rie Oota (Baragon) and Akira Oohashi (King Ghidorah) are two of the three people in the Yaizu Harbor office who witness Godzilla rising from the ocean (and run out of the office after Godzilla's roar shatters the glass windows).
The film did VERY good at the box office (it was at #2, right behind HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE), extra thanks to Toho's double-featuring it with the first Hamtaro movie (Toho distributes the Hamtaro movies)! Toho hadn't been focusing on their kid audience that well (a lot of kids in Japan didn't even know who Godzilla was!), so GMK was a great start!
*sigh* I've exhausted myself from writing this review. I'm so exhausted that I skipped the plot, and leave it to you to watch the film to get it. But all I have to say is to do yourself a favor and recommend this movie to your family and friends. And I prefer the Japanese version in subtitles (avoid the awful International dub seen on Sci-Fi Channel). Side by side with the original 1954 film (preferably the more moving Japanese version), GMK is a masterpiece, the ultimate Godzilla statement. Shuusuke Kaneko is truly the next Ishirou Honda!
PS: As I type this, the latest film, GODZILLA, MOTHRA, MECHAGODZILLA: TOKYO S.O.S., directed by Tezuka, just got released in Japan this weekend. I hear it was really good! And best of all, news is in of Toho's next Godzilla film, to celebrate the Big Guy's 50th Anniversary (tentatively titled THE GODZILLA)! Here's to you, Big G!
Only two aspects of Daikaijû sôkôgeki bothered me. First, you were asked, again, to play a 'bad guy'. Second, your make-up was so awful that it was at times, impossible to see that it was actually you in this film. Even this however, could not prevent me from noticing that this script was a great big leap ahead of most of the rubbish you've recently chosen for your roles. All of your true fans know that your Tokyo destructive rampages are inspired by a single desire - to locate and destroy once and for all the Toho Productions studio, and that once you've destroyed it, your final purpose will be fulfilled. Yet, in this film, you had to pretend that you symbolize the collective guilt of the Japanses people. While this is certainly an interesting and philosophical not to mention political spin and it certainly made your unpleasant behavior tolerable for some people, I am wondering if you will ever get a great role showing your true colors - as a protector of all living things (Japanese and otherwise) - again.
Your acting, and your supporting cast, even the very small hairless apes, were positively stellar in this film, and the production values were good enough to inspire me to plead with you to spare Toho from the revenge you certainly deserve for their occasional attempts to ruin your career, your public image, and your family life. Despite your bad facial makeup, you, Mosura and Kingu Gidorâ were all shot beautifully with some of the best split screen and blue screen work I have ever seen. Although it bothered me that Gidorâ was cast in the role of saving japan, and that he even joined that overgrown spray-painted house fly Mothra in this effort, I am certainly glad that, despite the Americanized title - something like "Giant Monsters All Out Attack" - was not really what this film was about. I'm glad the director allowed the characters some time to develop and to construct an interesting set of subplots between scenes of mass devastation.
I don't blame you for avoiding Hollywood, especially after that film they claimed to be about you which they they hired one of your stunt doubles to do a few years ago. And this film gives reason to think there is hope for the Toho production company after all. But, the offer still stands. Retirement in Hollywood could really be a good time for you, and again, I can think of at least a few states with habits of electing famous middle-aged and older thespians of grand stature and size to public office. Besides, if you got cast in a bad role here in the USA, just imagine the popularity with which your first rampage through southern California would be received! So the prospects are unlimited here. Give it some thought!
The first time I saw this movie was on the sci-fi channel and the movie had pieces cut from it and it was badly dubbed. I bought the DVD and watched it and it was a lot better than the sci-fi experience. First off the music is great when you listen to it in stereo, secondly the effects are really good for a Godzilla movie. My major complaint it seems was simply Godzilla's appearance in the movie. It is a major jolt when one is used to the Godzilla of the previous two movies, but on seeing it again it looks rather good, and very evil (still a bit two dumpy, but I got over this time). In this movie, Godzilla is on a rampage...a rampage where he isn't just stumbling through the city causing damage because of his size, but rather causing damage because he wants to kill the people of Japan and make them suffer. Many of his most deplorable acts were cut from the sci-fi version, but on DVD you get to see him cause lots of pain on purpose. Who can stop the rampaging Godzilla...well we have Mothra, Baragon, and King Gidorah, but quite frankly these monsters just can not stand up to the power of this evil super Godzilla. So the military also pitches in with their full arsenal. Very interesting characters abound in a reporter and her military dad and various other interesting people. All of them with one goal: To stop the onslaught of Godzilla.
I am an avid Gojira and Kaiju fan for over 30 years now. I totally disagree with the other review that is posted for this film. "GMK", as it is known, is one of the best Gojira films in years thanks to the prolific director Shusuke Kaneko ("Gamera" 90's trilogy, the "Death Note" films, "Pyrokinesis"). What makes this film so special is Gojira's haunting hatred for mankind. His all-white eyes make this film even more sinister. Gojira purposely takes human life and has a deep-rooted grudge towards humanity. Look for a scene with a girl in the hospital looking out the window as Gojira approaches. The film has a modern day feel to it with the added elements of destruction and mankind's struggle to survive an "atomic age" type of disaster. The monster battles are fun to watch as well. Also in this film, Gojira has no interest in beating up the other monsters. It wants to kill them. One of the best Gojira films ever made.
GODZILLA, MOTHRA AND KING GHIDORAH - GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK
Granted I haven't seen many of them but I should think this 2001 feature is the best Godzilla movie I've seen.
50 years after the last Godzilla attack, Japan's coast again begins to feel the tremors of its favorite monster. There have been rumors of Godzilla sightings in other countries (a clever reference to the '98 Hollywood version when two naval cadets whisper to each other, "The New York attack was Godzilla?" "The Americans say so but our experts have their doubts"), but now it appears old Gojira, after a health-giving dose of radiation from a nuclear sub, is heading back to the Sushi bars.
The early parts are somewhat slow, time spent in introducing us to the various characters, with Godzilla sightings mostly restricted to brief glimpses amidst shaky cameras and falling debris. But soon our rubber-suited gargoyle, who is no more the lovable muppet monster of previous entries in the series, decides its time to come out of the closet for some major ass-kicking.
Fortunately, help is at hand in the form of the Guardian Monsters who are fated to protect Japan from Godzilla - Baragon, Mothra and Ghidora. Godzilla v/s Baragon is okay but not very good...there are no real special moves depicted and the rubber suits look too goofy in the day. But considering that Baragon's name doesn't even come up in the title, even the makers obviously considered him only a warm-up before the big battle.
And when the big battle starts...man!!! I wish I had been watching it in IMAX format with really loud surround sound, because this is one awesome battle. Sure, the rubber suits never get believable but I was having too much fun to worry about that. There's a good combination of scale models and CGI to depict the battle of the monsters and the wholesale destruction of Tokyo City. Caught in the crossfire are Japanese civilians and the Army, which is making its own (pathetic) maneuvers to combat Godzilla.
The acting of the human characters in this movie is corny but never annoying. The actor playing the military commander who is also the father of the reporter heroine is quite good in his role. The special FX may lack the polish of Hollywood extravaganzas but work perfectly well in the accepted formula. And unlike most Hollywood disaster movies, this is not one that leaves all the people except the evil lawyer miraculously unscathed. People here die. The brave soldiers die, the bumbling TV cameramen die, the schoolchildren die...even the cripple dies. That's what genuine monster movies are about. This film is a welcome return to the bad old days for Godzilla.
Godzilla is back and mean! I bought an imported copy from Hong Kong and I am glad to see Toho still up to their old tricks. I love this film and am glad that Toho included Baragon in the fight. Baragon hasn't been seen since 1968, and it was a real treat to see him battle Godzilla! Now, where's Titanosaurus?
Godzilla is a horrible little bastard in this movie. He is truly badass. For once, he has no redemption, to the point that previous alien controlled villains are now guardians of the earth. This film grabs the human element by taking a father and daughter as an army captain and a TV reporter. The effects here are just fantastic. All the puppets, suits, CGI looks great, and we get more Godzilla/Human interaction than ever. I loved the shot where Godzilla arrives and throws a boat into the air, only for it to fall straight down onto the camera again. We get some exceptional long takes of cityscapes. It's fascinating to see so many monsters beat each other in what looks like a real city. These Godzilla movies also have the confidence to just let it play out rather than making me sick with constant edits. With a subtitle of Giant Monsters All Out Attack, you know this is gonna be good. Just a shame that Mothra and Ghidorah were slightly out of character.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of the longest movie titles ever, but still one of the best G-films
of all time, second only to "Gojira". Where do I begin? I know, the
crew, all veterans from the acclaimed Heisei Gamera trilogy. Shusuke
Kaneko directs this film with the same aura of spectacle he did in the
90s, truly making him one of my top ten directors. This is definitely
the darkest film in the series, with Godzilla at his top evil.
First off, the dubbing is excellent in my opinion (although the DVD has the original Japanese track) and the characters portrayed by the actors were very well represented. I think Ryudo Uzaki , who played as Lt. General Tachibana, gave the best performance. He delivers a lot of the emotions in the film, especially in the scene where he recounts his parents' deaths to the original Godzilla in 1954. The story by Kaneko, Keiichi Hasegawa and Mashiro Yokatani was a very well done piece of writing. This leads to one of my top reasons for loving this movie: there is tons of monster-human contact. In other words, the humans and monsters interact with one another, specifically Godzilla. I believe the best two examples of this is one: when the couple look up while taking pictures at Hakone to see Godzilla staring down at them from behind a hillside, who knocks boulders on top of several tourist manically. The second, when that girl in her hospital bed thinks Godzilla has spared her when all of a sudden his tail slams against the hospital, causing the whole building to collapse! There are plenty of others and all are excellent displays of SFX and Kaneko's view on Godzilla.
Now, to the monsters. Godzilla looks great, if not a bit chunky, but it works. He looks incredibly evil, with pure white eyes, a nice touch. Plus the very mobile head and curling lips add to his awesomeness. In this film, not only is Godzilla attacking Japan out of his own desire, but also because apparently the souls of the victims of WWII inhabit his body, who want revenge because Japan is trying to forget about the war, and to a degree, the original Godzilla's attack in 1954. I think it was a very good way to visualize Godzilla. His heat ray is beautifully brought to life, especially when he takes his first shot at Baragon. Baragon is a very nicely done monster and the fight between him and Godzilla maybe one of the best I've ever seen in the monster business. Mothra looks great, if not incredibly smaller than she usually is, but it works. The cocoon scene was beautiful plus the exploding stingers was also a nice effect. King Ghidorah returned, and he looks good for the most part. What I actually didn't like about him was that he was small and weak compared to Godzilla, instead of being huge and imposing as he usually is. However this is not enough to bring the film down, because Kaneko makes up for it with Ghidorah's stunning entrance and (few) flight scenes.
The SFX were superb, especially at adding monsters next to humans. One of the best moments was when Godzilla hurled Baragon into that parking lot, filled with people and buses. The jet sequence was incredible and showed us a new era of blowing up jets, along with the JSDF scene with the soldiers can actually be seen in the explosions. Beautifully done. Like G3, this film can actually stand up to Hollywood productions. The drill missile, D3, was a very nice new weapon, as well as the Satsuma subs. The monster CGI was fantastic!! Mothra looked great computer-animated, but Ghidorah's revival scene didn't look as good, mainly because he was so illuminated. The three-headed dragon looked far better as he was flying over Yokohama Harbor. Not to mention the deflection-attack he uses against Godzilla's heat ray makes up for it. The CGI Godzilla swimming was damn good I must say ( the CGI aquatic Godzilla 2000 scene was HORRIBLE). The Yokohama set is huge and well-built and the end battle is one to remember!! It manages to involve the cast and serves as a emotional peak for both the monsters and the humans. Plus, the score was one of Koh Otani's best ever. It was modern, and yet still very much like the original Godzilla films, the good ole Ifukbe days. Otani defiantly knows how to keep the flow of a film through his very original music.
The ending is amazing to say the least, not that I'll spoil it for those who haven't seen it. My personal favorite of the Millenuim series, matching up to "Gojira", GMK is pretty bad-ass!
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
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.
Wow. That's all, just wow. This is one of Toho's best Godzilla films.
GMK is action-packed, exhilarating, and their are a few cheesy moments
to give you a chuckle. Godzilla looks awesome in this film. His white
eyes give you one of the more menacing looks of the monster. The action
scenes are great as G-Man faces Mothra, King Ghidorah, and another
monster that for some reason wasn't used in the title, but I don't
really want to spoil anything if you haven't seen the movie. The
effects are fairly spectacular, and the actors really do do a good
job...I think, I mean I really can't tell because I'm not from Asia.
Anyway, this is one of my favorite Godzilla films. You won't be disappointed seeing this film. I LOVE IT!
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