Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Godzilla: Final Wars - 2004

This movie review will be partially written while watching the actual movie Godzilla Final Wars.  This movie was made in 2004, and has that feeling of something that was influenced by the post-Matrix world it came out in.  Briefly all the action movies had to spice up their camera movement, martial arts action, and craziness innovative factor to try and show that what The Matrix did could easily be imitated.

Another thing this movie falls victim to is way stereotyping their characters, but in that "we did it on purpose" way.  This is when you have it for the sake of comedy and easy accessibility, it's like when in a teen movie you dress the white guy up like Shaggy from Scooby Doo, have him make weed references, and make him the "comic relief".  This movie does the spoiled kid with chocolate smeared all over his mouth, it does the pimp black guy who drives a pink Cadillac and wears fur, etc.  They aren't funny, as you can obviously guess, but merely annoying.

No wonder there wasn't a Godzilla movie for 10 years.

In this installment, humans have these mutants that have some blood from the monster Gigan.  These guys are super good fighters and whatnot, and they are going to be super useful because all the sudden monsters appear from all over the globe, destroying cities like New York, Melbourne, Paris, and of course Tokyo among others.  It's an extremely high budget, overly stylistic film directed by Ryuhei Kitamura who had directed action films Alive and Versus.  There's the good and the evil mutants, and we follow a couple of them whilst the monsters appear, then disappear, then reappear.  This is the doing of the aliens, and it turns out that the only way to stop these monsters is by un-burying Godzilla, who is in Antarctica.

There's a stereotypical beefy white soldier dude played by MMA fighter Don Frye, who I've seen fight in Pride FC and UFC.  He's a decent fighter at times, but a terrible actor in this.  Of course, he doesn't have much to work with since his lines are all straight out of a cliches book.  He is an American general or something living in Japan and a member of the military.  What I love is while he speaks in English, everyone else speaks in Japanese....So either they can understand English but not speak it, or he can understand Japanese and not speak it?  Or actually, it would have to be both!  What the fuck, who made that decision?  I've seen that problem in other stuff as well, most notably in the recent Daredevil Netflix show.

Did I mention that horrible rock band Sum 41 has a song in this movie?  And it hurts about as much as you can imagine.  When Godzilla isn't acting like Gigan and some giant spider are barely even there, he is mostly just wandering around looking cool.  It's very short on the kaiju action for the most part and the humans are the focus for the majority of the film.  The kaiju fights do however give an opportunity to see Godzilla kick some major ass of all the monsters (almost all at least) and we do get to cheer for him if that's your goal of watching a movie like this.

The CGI in the movie is generally bad, very cartoonish, and it looks like some bad cut scene from a Halo game or something.  It sort of matches the general feel of the flick, though, in the "this movie kinda sucks" feeling that is.  It's just hard to be a Godzilla fan, especially when my favorites are the 60, 70's and 80's ones, and have this movie be part of the legacy.  It feels extremely dated for being only 11 years old too.  I mean, NONE of these actors are still in stuff, the director has been forgotten to Western audience, it feels way overly stylized in the worst of ways, worse than any Matrix ripoff or sequel.  It has terrible dubbing and watching it with subtitles is pointless since you should not even attempt to take it semi-seriously.

Despite Zilla getting killed and put in his proper place, this movie still only gets 1 star, and that's only given for the occasional kaiju coolness.

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