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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!

By min | July 24, 2006, 1:00 PM | Godzilla & Movies | Comments (8)| Link

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I ask you: Is this the face of a killer?

The Man-Thing movie wasn't very good. OK, it was awful. But you probably didn't need me to tell you that. I guess this tells you everything you need to know: "The film was originally intended for a 2004 video release, then upgraded to a theatrical release for Halloween, then back to video and later to the Sci Fi Channel television release it received in 2005."

The Elektra film gets a solid "almost OK" rating from me. More ninjas totally flipping out and killing people definitely would have helped things along, but it had reasonably true-to-the-comics versions of Stick and Typhoid Mary, so it gets credit for that. I probably would have liked it less if we hadn't fast forwarded through most of the "plot".

Now, i have to be careful here, but Fantastic Four may have actually been "pretty good". I caution you, i had just sat through Man-Thing and Elektra, so it's possible that even Nothing But Trouble would have seemed like a good movie by comparison*, but i actually enjoyed FF. Sure, the Dr. Doom character was terrible, sure the Thing looked absolutely awful, sure the plot made very little sense... wait, was i saying this movie was good? Well, it was a fun dumb action movie, let's just leave it at that.

*No way.

By fnord12 | July 23, 2006, 10:22 AM | Comics & Movies | Comments (2)| Link

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