Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) – Ryuhei Kitamura

 

It’s time to dive back into the Sci-Fi Chronicles book… and spend some more time with that big green monster, Godzilla.

This time around, it’s his 50th anniversary, and the 2004 feature wanted to pull out all the stops as Godzilla confronts almost all of his old enemies but also a new one known as Monster X.

What follows is a slick-looking film that marries practical effects, and still enjoyable model work, with computer generated images, and makes for a fun film, though, it seemed like it took forever once again for the titular monster to show.

In fact, the beginning of the film shows an Earth Defense Force ship, blasting Godzilla, and burying him under tons of ice to keep him out of trouble. From there we are introduced to a number of characters spanning the EDF as well as the M Force, which is made up of humans with mutant abilities (though we never really see an X-Men type antics taking place).

These two forces are around to protect the planet from the seemingly unending slew of kaiju that seem to keep showing up on the planet.

Things take a strange turn when an alien ship arrives, claiming to come in peace, but you know these things never work out like that. It seems the aliens were the ones who created the mutant gene, and are going to use that to control M Force, turning it against the Earth, as well as all the monsters, which also contain the mutant gene.

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The aliens let loose with all manner of monsters, all over the world, and there are a lot of familiar faces for Godzilla fans, including one monster that looks uncannily like 1998 Emmerich version of Godzilla.

The EDF decide to risk rousing Godzilla, hoping he’ll just take on the monsters, and minimize the collateral damage, while they take on the aliens alongside some of the M Force who are fighting the attempts of the aliens to control them.

This one is loud, absurd, and damn near impossible not to have fun with. The only complaint I have is that it takes so long for Godzilla to be let loose again, beyond that there are monsters, spaceships, crazy fight sequences, snappy uniforms and cool designs… Though, admittedly, some of the monsters are a little goofy looking…

There are story threads, such as they are, that span the globe, and the whole bit with Minilla just proved to be pretty annoying.

But you get caught up in it, it’s just so exuberant, and goofy, and wants to have fun, that you can’t help but say, ok, go ahead Godzilla, trash the city!

Definitely far more fun than the most recent remake!

Man these are fun films. What’s your favorite Godzilla film? Monster?

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