Godzilla: Final Wars
Not to be outdone by Spored, we have our own Godzilla review. I warn you. There will be spoilers.
The movie was touted as a return to "old-school" Godzilla, as it is yet another "final" episode in the Godzilla franchise. It is definitely the best of the "new" Godzilla movies, but hardly on par with 1960s-1970s Godzilla, imo.
When in doubt, throw in a robot. - Although just about every monster Godzilla has ever fought makes an appearance in this film, there was a definite shortage of monster-ful scenes. How could this be? Why on earth would any director bother with scenes not involving men in monster suits? These are very valid questions. You won't like the answer, but I'll tell you what they did. They filled the huge chunks of time with people doing "dramatic" things. Sure, there was one kewl fight scene. And who doesn't love super-powered humans in uniform (the director didn't really make use of them, either. i'll get into that a bit later). But i'm in it for the monsters. And if you can't provide me with monsters, you'd better have something damn good to replace it with. Like a robot that communicates using semaphore. Now that's kewl.
So, the movie starts off with Godzilla falling into the ocean in the South Pole and getting frozen there. Some years later, the UN has formed a force of super-humans (also referred to as mutants) whose purpose is to fight monsters. Suddenly, monsters are everywhere. Australia, China, Japan. Mutants are sent out to engage them. Enter the requisite aliens. They're actually controlling the monsters. Their goal is to enslave the Earth and use the people as a food source. And guess what? The same thing that lets them control the monsters also let's them control the mutants! That pretty much takes care of the entire mutant force in the first 30 min. All except one, that is. He's special. Who didn't see that one coming?
What follows next is lots of dialogue between the main characters. Lots of time spent on discovering the aliens who claimed to be friendly weren't really. Lots of really poor acting on the part of one Don Frye, former mixed martial arts champion who speaks English the entire movie while everyone around him is speaking Japanese and a worse actor than Hulk Hogan (despite what Spored would have you believe). One not so thrilling motorcycle fight scene. And still no Godzilla. No Godzilla for at least the first hour of the movie.
When they finally do free Godzilla and bring him back to Japan, that's when the fun starts. Godzilla comes out victorious with every monster he encounters. Mostly, because he's totally pissed off. If you've seen Godzilla vs. Mothra, i think you'll notice Godzilla is not good when he first wakes up. In fact, if there is no breakfast sandwich ready and waiting, he pretty much kicks everyone's ass until there's no one left and then he goes home and goes back to bed. At one point, King Caesar, Rodan, and Anguirus attack Godzilla all at once. Needless to say, the fight ends with all three of them laying pathetically in a pile. Let's face it, King Ghidorah, these guys are not.
They even trot out Manilla for this one. He is definitely my least favorite Godzilla baby, but his antics are still cute. The requisite little boy shows up and teams up with Manilla, dragging his grandfather into it all. Only in a Godzilla movie will you find family members more than happy to transport you and your lizard friend in their vehicles. The only problem i had was the little boy's shorts were clearly not short enough. As you all know, children in Japanese movies are always dressed in shorts that would make even Magnum P.I. blush to wear. I'm pretty sure it's part of the child labor laws in Japan.
More humans running around and dialoguing. Meanwhile, Godzilla is presumably fighting a space robot monster the aliens sent in. But you wouldn't know it cause they don't bother to show you the fight. They were too busy showing you people. Jerks. They can go to hell.
At some point, it becomes pretty obvious that the people making this movie are either big fans of Star Wars and the Matrix or weren't able to come up with their own ideas so had to steal them from someone else's movies. There's a scene reminiscent of the Death Star run in the first Star Wars movie. Also, lots of Matrix-esque camera work on the fight scenes with the slow motion and the flying in the air and such.
Mothra makes a two-second appearance, but the little twins don't do their little Mothra song, so there's another point deducted. Jerks. The space monster robot turns out to be King Ghidorah in disguise. Ofc. He kicks the crap out of Godzilla. Alot. Godzilla triumphs at the end and then tries to eat the humans, but Manilla steps in. Godzilla, thus thwarted, decides to go back to monster island and have a beer.
The humans are happy. They're saved. Except, pretty much all of Japan has been destroyed what with all the monster fighting going on. And realistically, I'd say all the people were dead, too. But, hey, who cares? They beat the aliens!
Don't forget the souped-up Gigan, with chainsaws for hands!!! But yeah, totally not enough big monster fights.
Oh, and also:
OK, good review. I'm surprised you didn't lump X-Men in there with Star Wars and The Matrix (Mutants, exploited by humanity?!).
As for the Don Frye vs. Hulk Hogan for the world heavyweight championship of bad acting, I still maintain that Hogan is the worse actor on 2 counts. Number one, Hogan is the star of the #5 worst movie on IMDB. #5 people! That's pretty damn impressive on a list of 100 that has Manos the Hands of Fate, Gigli, King Cobra (awesome movie with Pat Morita, I strongly recommend it!) and a movie I just found today and now NEED to see: Anus Magilicutty (which is apparantly 99.9% unscripted, score! And yes, it says Anus, not Angus. That's not a typo.).
But I'm getting off topic. My second reason for stating that Hogan is a worse actor is that, well, I've seen him wrestle. Recently. He fought The Rock at a Wrestlemania a couple years back.
A good portion of pro-wrestling is the ability to act (they call it selling, when you act like being hit by a move has devestated you, even if the move is as ridiculous as "the Worm", which was performed by Scotty 2 Hottie. Don't ask. Luckily for us, Scotty had a bit of a drug problem and was fired.). Simply put, Hogan dosn't really sell, he just kind of falls down. Or Hulks up, depending on how long the match is scheduled for, Brother.
Now as far as Don Frye is concerned, here we have someone who participated in a full contact combat sport and is now trying to cash in on his career as an actor. I actually think he's closer to Steven Seagal, in that he performs as a stereotype which carries him though the film. Seagal plays a quiet angry guy who hurts people. Frye plays a loud guy who doesn't really hurt anyone, but wants to. Neither of them is good, but I can think of some actors who are far, far worse.
If you read my review, you have one such example of awfulness. Mr. Chuck "Walker, Texas Ranger" Norris. Now thats some bad acting. Bad script too, which is also his fault as both a writer and producer.
And if you want to go even further down the road of bad martial arts acting, you can always subject yourself to Chevy Chase's performance in the 2004 made for ABC family movie "The Karate Dog". (Note: At first I thought it was Tim Allen performing as the voice in the awful commercial I saw, but apparantly even Tim Allen has some standards. Who knew?)
steven seagal is neither a good actor nor familiar in anyway with anything that might be construed as "martial arts". i would take norris over him anyday.
it would have to be mutants discriminated by humanity for me to make the x-men connection. they were basically the elite military unit in this movie.
The fact that they bothered with mutants at all leads me to believe that one of the writers is probably an X-Men fan.
As for preferring Chuck Norris to Seagal, I just want you to watch some Walker, Texas Ranger and a Seagal movie back to back and tell me that you still prefer Norris. Go ahead. Or maybe I can dig up a couple of episodes of the old Chuck Norris cartoon show. You know, the one where they go out to rescue the dolphin from being manipulated by an ecil scientist? It can't be that hard to find, as Adult Swim broadcast that and an episode of the Mr. T cartoon last April 1st.
*correction. "Evil" scientist, not "ecil".
its a great movie you assholes !