Saturday, July 5, 2008

Movie Review: Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidora

Movie Review: GMK: Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidora; Giant Monsters All Out Attack. 2004 or so.

Boy, that’s an unwieldy title if there ever was one. Not unusual in Asia though, over here a movie title can be an entire sentence, let’s describe the entire movie!

This is the scariest Godzilla movie since the first one, fifty years before. Not that Raymond Burr crap, the real Godzilla, true terror, mothers and babies getting fried, Tokyo in flames, giant footfalls that still haunt my dreams. This one is terrifying. It has a unique G-suit, used only in this movie, big, broad square snout with dangerous looking teeth, blank milky-white eyes, this Godzilla looks dangerous, sounds dangerous, and damn, everyone whose paths' cross his in the movie agree, this ‘Zill is the real deal.

GMK stands outside the conventional Godzilla time line. Usually, these things can be stacked on top of one another; this one starts from scratch. The other three monsters have identities completely unique to this movie. There are three others, poor Baragon got left out of the title. Got to draw the line somewhere. Godzilla actually appears to die at the end of this movie, the first time he’s died since the first movie.

This is one of the few Godzilla movies where the human characters actually appear to be afraid of the ‘Zill man. Crowds too, not just running around, but running in total panic. There are scenes of a realistic evacuation, usually people just stay at home and watch TV. Several sympathetic characters are introduced, developed and then killed with terror in their eyes. Soldiers don’t just have their positions burned, they fly screaming through the air. All of the human characters are three dimensional, not the usual cartoon characters. Politicians and military people included. The female lead is genuinely heroic and sympathetic.

The monster fights themselves are very up-close and personal. Huge bites accompanied by crunching sounds; blood spurting, real emotion in the monsters eyes and actions, fear, aggression, contempt. Godzilla’s atomic-death-breath here is really impressive, a screen filling display of white hot horror, terribly effective whenever it is employed.

There’s a happy ending, not to worry. And a false ending too, the music over the credits gets somber at some point and the camera goes back underwater to revisit the dead Godzilla only to discover his still beating heart as big as a city bus.

No, this one is really good, I know that I like them all, but this one I would recommend to anybody.

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