March 15, 2014 · Print This Article

I was prepared for GMK to be a step up in the quality of Godzilla films from in the Millennium series bringing back familiar and favorite monsters. I was totally taken by surprise though by the complete change in tone of this movie from pretty much every other Godzilla movie. From the roles and looks of the monsters, to the editing, to the complete dismissal of all previous Godzilla movies except the original, GMK was a very different installment and not necessarily the better for it.

There was no real monster action until 38 minutes into the running time, which usually results in a lot of clock watching, but this time there was actually a bit of story to follow and a limited number of human characters so things were more focused. A reporter (naturally young and pretty of course) from a low budget TV production company specializing in monster and ghost myths comes across a book describing the three guardian monsters of Japan. Of course there are military characters and they are busy trying to determine if after 50 years Godzilla has returned. The reporter believes there really are three guardian monsters and they will protect the Japanese homeland if Godzilla does return and attack again. This provided a story element we could see building and coming to fruition, thus making the non-monster scenes somewhat interesting.

When Godzilla does finally appear, I was taken aback by his big change in appearance. He looked much more like the Showa era Godzilla than the very modernized look in the previous Millennium and even Heisei series movies. I thought his neck was too thin and floppy looking, and the worst was that his eyes were glazed over milky white. This made Godzilla look lifeless. You could always see his pupils in the past allowing the viewer to read his thoughts. I just kept thinking this Godzilla is blind or some kind of ghost!

The other twist is that Godzilla is the bad guy again, and for some reason King Ghidorah is not Monster Zero from outer space anymore, but a 1,000 year old dragon sleeping under a mountain in Niigata. First though, poor Baragon does battle with Godzilla and it is not pretty for him. In fact Godzilla seems extra strong in this movie, especially his thermonuclear breath.

Godzilla makes his way to Tokyo as we learn that why Godzilla chooses to attack Japan again is that he is possessed with the souls of all the dead that the Japanese military killed in WWII and those spirits urge Godzilla on to attack Japan. This is somewhat in the background, but at least some explanation was offered for why always Japan.

The final battle takes place in Yokohama again, with Mothra and King Ghidorah trying to stop this super powerful Godzilla. The reporter’s father naturally is also the commander of the navy so they are very involved in the ending action. I was worried for Godzilla, as I always root for him and for him to be portrayed as the out right bad guy I did not like. For those like me that always think Godzilla is the hero, fear not, the ending respects his character.


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