Watching this after watching TOMG last night, I can’t help but feel that TOMG is a better send off then this one.
I think this film is way more complex then it wants to be, and feels like a conglomeration of a bunch of different ideas. It doesn’t know if it wants to be a spy movie, a hard sci-fi film, a Godzilla film, and has way too many elements spinning out of control, leaving nothing in the way of interesting characters. And unfortunately, the film is full of pointless moments.
Pay attention to the sequence where the crew attacks the Kilaakian moon base. While there is some interesting stuff there, such as the fire screen, the master cannon rover, and the controller, note how it keeps cutting back to Professor Yoshida and crew talking about how they wonder what’s going on and if the crew will survive. IIRC there’s even dialogue like “there’s nothing we can do but sit and drink coffee”. All of this isn’t just expository, it’s pointless exposition. It deflates the one interesting action sequence with the space crew. The film is full of a lot of short, but pointless moments like these.
Notice how the film doesn’t know if the ending is Defeating Ghidorah, defeating the fire dragon, or destroying the base. While the fight with Ghidorah is fine, the fire dragon is so pointless and feels like just a way to have the ship do something, which begs the question why not have the fire dragon before, or even included in part of the sequence of the monsters attacking and destroying the earth.
In regards to characters, I forget the main leads name, but he’s the most generic do good hero type, and he actually barely does anything heroic. The same thing goes for everyone around him, and to really dumb because we know all the actors involved are fantastic and charismatic in preceding films. Kyoko is horribly written, it starts to make her out as the main antagonist in a way, and then instantly completely drops her halfway through the film only to be reduced to a cameo status. It doesn’t develop her at all, especially the weird implications of being controlled by aliens post facto.
The film is also poorly paced. We know the monsters attack the earth in a short sequence showing Godzilla, Rodan and Gorosaurus attacking Moscow, Paris and NYC. Then a few minutes later, we get brief shots of Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra destroying a plane, boat, and train. And then that’s it. For a movie about the monsters destroying the world, there should’ve been more, and more OOMPH. It feels like the monsters are immediately forgotten about, and it doesn’t leave the impression that the earth is being destroyed. There’s long gaps between the monster scenes, and the film wouldve been better paced if we kept cutting back to monsters destroying the earth.
In terms of monster action, I’ll forgive the fact that Varan and Baragon are completely pointless, and that Minya and Kumonga are sortve just there, but I couldn’t help but notice how bad the actual monster sequences are. When Godzilla appears in Tokyo, he just destroys a few buildings, while Manda destroys a few overpasses. Rodan flies around for a bit, and then the military shows up and blasts the crap out of not only the monsters but city. Despite their being four monsters, it feels really quick, it’s just undwhelming.
The Kilaaks are probably the most boring aliens in the series. The whole metal thing is cool, but unlike the rest, the leader has no personality and in many ways seems comical.
It’s not the worst Godzilla film, but for what it’s supposed to be it’s dreadful. I don’t want to hear excuses for this one, because IMO films like Godzilla vs Gigan do way more with way less.
Then, everything changed when the Giant Condor became the Giant Eagle.