When the aliens Xilians invade Earth, they release monsters to destroy the big cities. The Earth Defense Force formed by mutants is incapable to defeat the creatures. Commander Douglas Gordon decides to unleash Godzilla that has been trapped for many years to fight against the monsters. Godzilla becomes the last hope on Earth to vanquish the evil aliens and the powerful Gigan. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Tôhô continued its practice of casting actors from the original Godzilla series into roles in films for this latest series. For this film, they brought back Akira Takarada, Kenji Sahara, and Kumi Mizuno. In addition, at least four actors from the Heisei Godzilla series appear in this film, and at least one different actor that starred in each of the preceding Millennium Godzilla films makes an appearance in this movie. See more »
The lights on the Empire State Building change color from the skyline shot to the close-up. See more »
Wars and pollution, relentless fighting and environmental destruction, have all awakened vicious monsters. Humankind therefore joins forces with one another in order to drive off the monsters, instead of killing each other. Thus, the Earth Defense Force is born. Meanwhile, a new race of humans with supernatural abilities, called mutants, was discovered around the globe. The Earth Defense Force gathers them and puts them into a league called the M Organization. Their greatest enemy ...
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The film opens with the old "TohoScope" Toho logo (which was used in Toho's widescreen films from 1957 to the mid-60s). See more »
A Fun film that makes no excuses for being what it is!
First, before my review, I have address two points of contention about this film. For starters, the hero (Ozaki), besides having short black hair, black clothes and martial arts skills, no more resembles Keanu Reeves, than a brick resembles a prime-mover. His clothes may have similar pigmentation to the Matrix's Neo but in this film Ozaki is actually wearing white plastic body armour, and his military coat is dark green. Both he and Neo might share martial-arts knowledge. At least Ozaki is from the country that invented a large portion of it! Besides, I thought he looked MUCH more like Noah Wyle. If his coat had been white, perhaps people would say the film was ripping off ER.
The second issue is about the 'Matrix style'. Since even the creators of those films admit that their style harvests greatly from manga, anime, and HK action movies, it would be fair to say that Final War's director, Ryuhei Kitamura is more influenced by his own culture than three blockbuster popcorn flicks. Stopping bullets with telepathy, psychic battles, gravity defying fights, and slow motion have been enjoyed in Japan and mainland Asia for a VERY long time. Unfortunately, many aspects of their fiction have been somewhat hijacked by Hollywood.
The director shows many influences in this film, and it would foolish to deny that the Matrix did not play a part in shaping his approach. However, many film goers are simply unaware of the depth of The Matrix's own influences, and shouldn't attribute too much to them. Anyway, on to the review.
Well, if you are seriously wanting to get anything out of this film, you should probably become a fan of Godzilla and Kaiju genre. Anyone else would probably mistake this film's style, steeped in Kaiju tradition, for faults. It is true that the special effects are mostly 'analogue', and that the monsters are NOT CGI (usually). Yes, they are men in suits wrestling in model cities, but is it a flaw? Heck no! This film is great entertainment, and even a little touching!
The story is simple: a new force threatens the earth and sends monsters to destroy cities and crush humanity. What else? Luckily, the defenders of earth, a collection of mutants themselves, strive to combat the threat and restore peace. Godzilla herself may just be the only weapon left to mankind that could save the human race.
And so stylistically this film is very SF. The human forces wear futuristic body armour and sport hightech weapons. There are flying battleships and alien spacecraft. This may be an angle that some fans don't agree with but atleasy the monsters are all here. I forget how many, but quite a few from the Godzilla bestiary return to wreak havoc, and there are some fantastic clashes between them.
However, Final Wars is as much a human story as it is one of mass destruction at the hands of giants. Yes, that was a little difficult to say. But there is quite a lot of focus placed on the human protagonists this time. They are fighting a new and mysterious new foe. Many of the action sequences, and in fact often the longest ones, involve humans in hand-to-hand.
Even if this raises the hackles of a few Kaiju fans, I can understand: bring on the rubber-suited titans and all that. Yet I think that this dual focus adds an engaging dramatic quotient to the film. The action sequences may also draw a few comparisons to a certain fizzled out sci-fi trilogy, and all I can I say to that, is written above. And the words "get", "over" and "it".
The acting skill of the players varies between that of a seasoned performer to that of a pro-wrestler grapling with his lines. Oh wait, I think he is a pro-wrestler. I feel though, that if viewers are looking at acting skill in a film like this, they missing out on the bigger picture. Rest assured however, that this is definitely not like Devilman, where store-front manikins could have acted better.
Reportably, Final Wars is an anniversary film, and it is, though doubtfully, the last in the Godzilla series. For that reason, regardless if it remains that way, I was very happy to see the film stay true to the heritage it is a part of. It provides a fitting farewell. There is something refreshing, watching rubber-suited actors trample miniature sets - actors pretending to be monsters, waving their claws about. Sure the such things are cheesy and yes the rest is overly stylised, but the film makes no excuses for that, and it shouldn't.
Bring it on!
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