Sniff, sniff. I can’t believe that I have reached this point. Today I am watching the last of the Japanese Godzilla movies. This has been the best four weeks of my life, as far as movie watching goes. So for the 50th anniversary of Godzilla, Toho decided to go big for this movie. Aside from Godzilla, 14 other monsters were featured in this film, 10 of them having not been seen on film since the Showa era ended. I guess they figured if you’re going to go out, go out with a bang. So let’s get with today’s movie, Godzilla: Final Wars.
The plot: In 1964, the EDF (Earth Defence Force) are using their combat vehicle, Gotengo, to battle Godzilla at the South Pole, when a sudden quake opens a fissure underneath Godzilla and the Gotengo is able to bury it under a mass of ice. 40 years later, attacks by giant monsters have become a common occurrence. A mutated race of humans with superhuman strength and physical abilities have emerged and joined the EDF in battling the giant monsters. Shinichi Ozaki, a mutant soldier, and Miyuki Otonashi, a U.N. biologist are studying a mummified monster whose blood happens to contain M-base, a blood property that is also found in the mutants. Suddenly, they find themselves transported to Infant Island, where the Shobijin inform them that the monster is called Gigan and that it had tried to destroy all life on Earth 12000 years ago but was defeated by Mothra. They also warn that a battle is coming and Ozaki will play a key role in it. Monsters begin appearing in major cities across the world and the EDF is hard pressed to deal with them when all of a sudden, alien ships appear and teleport the monsters away from the cities. The aliens, called Xiliens, warn the Earth of a dangerous planet called “Gorath” which is on a collision course with the Earth. They also claim to want a peaceful partnership with the Earth, but Ozaki, Miyuki, and several others don’t trust them. They discover that the Xiliens have taken over several members of the government and plan on taking over the planet. When they expose the Xiliens for what they really are, the Xiliens take control of all of the mutants, except for Ozaki, and release the monsters to attack the Earth and wipe out the rest of the EDF. Captain Douglas Gordon, commander of the Gotengo, suggest a radical course of action, release Godzilla to fight the monsters. As they head towards the South Pole, the Xilien commander revives Gigan and sends it after them. At the South Pole, the Gotengo manages to revive Godzilla, who kills Gigan and then heads towards the Gotengo, intent on destroying the ship. The Gotengo proceeds to lead Godzilla to the other monsters, where Godzilla winds up battling and defeating every monster it faces. The Gotengo attacks the Xilien mothership but they wind up being captured. Meanwhile, Godzilla senses Gorath’s approach and unleashes it’s atomic blast at it, destroying the planet but a new monster, Monster X, emerges. A revived Gigan also appears to battle Godzilla but Mothra arrives to battle the cyborg and sacrifices itself to destroy it. Godzilla and Monster X battle as Ozaki, Captain Gordon, and the rest of the Gotengo’s crew battle the Xiliens and manage to escape and destroy the Xilien mothership. With Godzilla losing it’s battle against Monster X, Ozaki uses the Gotengo’s weapons to give Godzilla more power, which it uses to kill Monster X. Godzilla then blasts the Gotengo and goes to finish it off, but Minilla appears and puts itself between Godzilla and the humans, wanting the fighting to stop. Godzilla winds up leaving with Minilla while the Gotenga’s crew watches.
This movie is entertaining as hell but it does have some flaws. The plot was good but the actual story borrowed from a lot of different influences. Watching this movie, you could see elements of The Matrix, Independence Day, Star Wars, and several other science fiction movies. Most of the monster designs looked great, except for Rodan, whose suit I was really disappointed in. The surprising thing for me was how funny Don Frye was in several scenes, which is not what you picture when he is mainly known for being a MMA bad-ass. Because there were so many monsters, most of the fights were pretty short and in some cases, not that good. But the battle between Godzilla and Monster X was much better. Plus, I loved the scene/battle with Godzilla facing off, and completely destroying, Zilla (that stupid monster from that 1998 movie starring Matthew Broderick). Yeh, it isn’t going to win any awards, but it will entertain you which is all anyone could ask for.
Rating: 4 out of 5