6.15.2009

Godzilla / Final Wars : 3 of 5

Even though I watched Final Wars, the last Godzilla movie made so far, a few years ago, I decided I had to check it out again so I could totally say I've watched all 28 Godzilla films in order (which makes this a re-review)! Now that I've seen them all and my brain is filled with Godzilla history, knowledge, and appreciation, I have to say that Final Wars didn't impress me near as much as it did when I was a novice Godzilla fan. There are certainly some fantastic aspects, like seeing so many monsters in one movie (and actually knowing who they are now!), as well as lots of classic actor cameos, but the balance between the "human story" and the "monster story" is way off, especially for a grand finale film. For example, there are plenty of long sequences like motorcycle chases and hand-to-hand battles between the Earth Defense Force humans and the humanoid aliens, but no one watches a kaiju film to see martial arts! Instead, the monster battles are sometimes ridiculously short, making it seem much too easy to defeat these huge beasts. Even so, it's great to see classic kaiju that haven't shown up in ages (I loved seeing Ebirah again!) rendered with modern special effects. Although I'm not so much into CG in monster movies, I have to admit that Rodan's flight through New York City, bursting apart buildings by sheer wind force, was definitely spectacular! I also liked Godzilla's moves against King Ghidorah, especially when he uses one of Ghidorah's heads to blow off the other two. The characters aren't too bad (Miyuki the biologist was super cute!), but as I said, they just got too much screen time in comparison with Godzilla. Overall, Final Wars isn't a terrible film, but it's barely half as good as the previous two or three Millennium movies, so it's a bummer to think of it as the last Godzilla film ever. I hope someday Toho decides to bring Godzilla back, but until then it's been a complete blast to watch all 28 movies, and I wouldn't mind doing it again!

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