I’m a Godzilla fan. An old school Godzilla fan. I remember watching the movies on TV when I was a kid in the 70’s and early 80’s. So I have that old school affection for the Godzilla movies made in the 60’s. And frankly I didn’t want to mar those memories with any of the newer and most likely changed up characters and plot lines. Let’s just say I didn’t really have high hopes for the modern franchise. Well, that was until this week when my old man came across two Godzilla films showing on the Sony channel. I figured, eh, why not.
Watching the film brought me a certain joy on a couple of different levels. In Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) we find the earth to be in a peaceful, slightly futuristic state. Godzilla is safely frozen in the South Pole and all is right with the world. Or is it? We are introduced to an elite core of mutant soldiers who are found to have special abilities. They fight really well, like in the suspended-in-air Hong Kong martial arts kind of way. They man/navigate these large air ships that are tipped with this sort of spiraling drill. I mean, they are straight out of a Flash Gordon movie! And so are the some of the uniforms. Beyond that, the movie brings together a lot of the 60’s Godzilla’s main themes and characters. To be honest, they had me at Godzuki aka Manilla. I swear he was called Godzuki back in the day. He’s Godzilla’s Mini-Me. Anyway, we suddenly have aliens appear, intent on harvesting humans for food or some such nonsense. By the way, the only distinguishing characteristic between the aliens and humans is their use of heavy eye shadow and lip gloss, but I digress. The aliens bring back all the old monsters to show us whose boss. So what do we humans do? We wake up Godzilla, he’s the only thing powerful enough to save the human race.
So while the earthlings battle the aliens, Godzilla battles the monsters. Let me just say that some of the choreographed fight scenes are right out of the Matrix and so are a lot of the outfits. A lot of shiny black vinyl etc. I guess that’s another reason I dug the film, I’m a big Matrix fan! The monsters, including Godzilla look virtually unaltered from their 60’s and 70’s selves. That my friends, was a major selling point for this gal. The human race is virtually demolished save for a few key people. But we rally back, as does Godzilla after he gets an infusion of super power and strength sent to him by one of the main mutants who as it turns out is a Kaiser! A Kaiser is a mutant with latent super powers. Godzilla regains enough strength to do away with Monster X and the handful of remaining humans land safely on the ground. Manilla steps in and convinces Godzilla to not pulverize the humans. Godzilla and Manilla then walk back into the ocean.
It’s so nice when we can all just learn to get along.