GODZILLA: FINAL WARS [2004] – movie review

April 5, 2014 · Print This Article

What started in my childhood ended this afternoon as I watched the final Toho made Godzilla movie, GODZILLA: FINAL WARS [2004]. I am afraid to say this movie was an absolute abomination and I wish I would never have watched it. It is not just the worst Godzilla movie ever made, I think it is the worst movie of any kind I have ever seen. I could not be more disappointed.

Back in 2007 I began to revisit the Godzilla series, watching the original 1954 movie, which is a flawless masterpiece and one of the all-time great movies. Then in 2012 I began to formerly watch all the Godzilla movies in order. Watching all the classic Showa Series movies again was great, then most of the Heisei Series were new to me too, and then concluding with the Millennium Series, though this series left me mostly disappointed.

I had very high hopes for FINAL WARS, as it would be the last new Toho Godzilla movie I would ever see (unless they renew the franchise). It started just as I would want a Godzilla movie to, with the classic and iconic Godzilla theme by Akira Ifukube. I liked the look to the Godzilla suit this time too, going back to a more classic toned down look. However, as the opening credits began showing flashbacks to earlier Godzilla movies almost immediately I sensed something was not right. Some kind of horrible techno music was being overlayed. Then cut to a scene on a submarine digging ship piloted by a crew overacting in every possible sense with a low quality production value I never saw before in a Godzilla movie. It was a shock to the system. This was like a C-movie made in 1984 in some makeshift back alley Los Angeles studio lot. There are just no other words to describe it other than a total and complete abomination and ruining of the Millennium Series, which was not that good to begin with.

I saw an English dub, which I am sure did not help things, but the dialogue was beyond ludicrous. The whole story was just a series of plot holes with all the action a series of deus ex machina. Again, the human characters were all straight out of an 80s C-grade production, no resemblance at all to the usual human characters in a Godzilla movie. This was just more shock.

The cinematography was yet another shock, mostly done in some overexposed blue toned look. Just totally horrible. Then there were countless kungfu scenes with preposterous human characters. I mean countless and they went on forever and did not drive the story forward! Godzilla movies are 90 minutes for a reason, at 2 hours this movie actually made me think about fast forwarding through the stupid and pointless human fight scenes.

The story is just some aliens posing as friendly coming to Earth to take over. I am ok with a thin story like that, but how it unfolds has no cohesion, nothing. The aliens zap up and take control over all the monsters, save of course for Godzilla whom they somehow had no knowledge of.

The final battle could have been good, but it was totally intercut with a horrible human battle on the UFO mothership. Monsters were killed out of nowhere, like how two Gigans were killed. A head just explodes (how?) and another gets cut off (how?). So easy and horribly edited.

For any new Godzilla fans, or old ones who have not finished the Millennium series like me, I implore you, please, please do not watch FINAL WARS, it will just taint the whole Godzilla movie watching experience for you. I really wish I could un-see it and have it erased from my memory. Toho, how could you let a film like this be released and be the grand finale to the entire Godzilla series, a movie entirely outside of all the previous movies in every aspect. Just a complete failure and abomination.

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