TokyoVigilante wrote:The film lacks the gusto, artistic flair, or the endearing characters as the film it's most readily comparable to, Monster Zero; in fact it's moreorless a watered down cheaper feeling retread of MZ with just more monsters added. But speaking thematically and its place in the franchise and Godzilla lore, it works fantastically. From the perspective of the climate of the nineteen-sixties with its enthusiasm for the future and the power of science to bring a prosperous future, and the space age that promised a brighter and less bleak future then the one of the atomic age, Destroy All Monsters is a fitting cap to the Showa era and this mindset. These fantastic mutants and prehistoric monsters won't be killed or feared, but they'll live in peace and respected for their power and studied so they could provide back to the human race.
In his treatment for the unmade opus "Twilight of the Superheroes", Alan Moore writes about Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns and how, despite relying on topical eighties issues (which date the book), not killing the character and the very nature of superhero comics to continue on forever, it thematically caps and ends the legend of the Batman in such a way that for all eternity stories of Batman could be made and all could build up to DKR thematically, if not coherently. Alan Moore attempted to do this with the entire DC Universe with his epic adaptation of Götterdämmerung, but it never really came to fruition and would eventually get picked and rejiggered into Kingdom Come.
This is what I like about Destroy All Monsters, it's both a physical and thematic end to the Showa era. Forces of nature and science that have been unwittingly unleashed have been brought under control and now man and monster lives harmoniously in a bright future full of possibilities. For the Showa era, the time period it was made in, and the people behind the films and their own world views, it works perfect in that regard even if it's got more then its fair share of warts.
I'm not going to disagree with you on that. I do think that Destroy All Monsters
is a great end to the Showa era, for how it wraps up everything that the filmmakers wanted to say about the franchise at that point. It does it well for all the reasons that you pointed out.
However, when looking at Destroy All Monsters
on its own merits and ignoring the other entries in the Showa era, the film begins to falter. While the film may not be that long, the pace makes it feel much longer than it is. A lot of scenes tend to repeat of themselves, or have no purpose other than to have action scene. During my latest viewing, I found myself caring less and less, because I felt that the main characters were just going around in the same circle, especially when they were on the moon, attempting to get into the Kilaak base. I really felt that some scenes could have just been cut, because of how repetitive it can be.
I still like Destroy All Monsters
, for how well it's made and how it feels like a nice end to the Showa era, but it's far from one of the best Showa films, mostly because how repetitive and boring it can be at times. I'd say Destroy All Monsters
is the the most "mixed-bag" of all the Godzilla film, by which I mean it's got a fair share of good points, but also bad points. On one hand, you got this amazingly put together daikaiju film, with tons of monsters, great effects, awesome music and a well-put together cast. On the other hand, by making it an all-out bang, action scenes tend to have no purpose and start to feel the same. It makes for a kind-of experience where I only want to remember the best parts, such as the attack on Mt. Fuji.