Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 120 minutes
Click to Expand Credits:
For fifty years there’s been only one true OG, Godzilla King Of The Monsters. But as much as the Godzilla series has brought so much joy and happiness to fans around the world, the inconsistency of several installments has, at times, left some fans to think, what the hell is going on at Toho? The good news for Kaiju fans is that “Godzilla Final Wars” is a kick-ass giant monster flick that’s a lot more “Destroy All Monsters” than it is “Godzilla Vs. Megalon.”
For the 28th installment of the series and the final Godzilla film (at
least for the next ten years according to Toho), bad boy director Ryuhei Kitamura (Versus) is behind the camera. Like all good Godzilla films this one centers on hostile aliens that want to destroy the Earth. And like all good Godzilla movies these aliens come from Planet Xillan (Planet X) and use giant monsters to attack. And like all good
Godzilla movies this one has monsters…lots of them. There are so many nods to previous Godzilla films and even non-Godzilla Toho pics that
Godzilla fans’ heads will be spinning to catch them all. As another nod to the past, many of the actors are veterans from various eras throughout the series.
“Final Wars” is a Toho class reunion for some of Godzilla’s greatest (and in some cases not so great) foes from the last 50 years. Everyone from Anguirus, Manda, King Caesar and even Hedorah (the Smog Monster) make the scene. Cites around the world crumble as the aliens use the monsters to do their bidding, who can save the day? The problem this time around is that Godzilla’s buried under the South Pole and unable to stop the carnage delivered by over a dozen monsters simultaneously attacking Earth.
The monster battles are great as men in rubber suits mesh with CGI but as we all know, the monster mayhem and city smashing is never the problem with these movies. The problems arise from the lame ass acting and soft storytelling that takes place between the tank stomping and building crushing.
This is what makes “Final Wars” a great send off for the series. The humans (and aliens) in “Final Wars” are chewing up as much scenery as the monsters. There are all kinds of plots and sub-plots thrown around at will. M-based proteins, mutants, alien abductions, mind control – what isn’t going on here? When a kick-ass human named Captain Gordon (Don Frye) takes charge of things, the aliens had better re-think their plans for global destruction because Gordon has a plan “to release Godzilla from the South Pole.” For once, the character interaction and human side to the story is actually interesting, and a lot of fun.
Once Godzilla is released, it’s game over for all those B-listers. He’s pissed and he takes it out on everyone and everything in his way. If this truly is his last outing, at least he’s going out with a massive bang.
Posted on July 10, 2005 in Reviews by Jim Agnew
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