Godzilla: Final Wars begins where other Godzilla films end, and I don’t intend that as hyperbole, it actually begins where another one of these Big G flicks ends. Our favorite mon-star is getting ready to take the kaiju ice bucket challenge just like during the finale of Raids Again, only there’s some revisionist history at play, because this time the Gotengo from Atragon shows up to Steve Rogers the atomic lizard. After a big hero shot of Godzilla trapped in an overgrown ice cube, some Keith Emerson (of Murder-Rock fame) synths take over the soundtrack and we’re told a load of jibber-jabber about the gun-kata dancin’, kaiju fighting mutants from the M-Organization. Which I guess is like the X-Men, only minus the cocaine and pool parties.
Next up we’re in Normandy, and because this film is psychotic, Don Frye is commanding the Gotengo and duking it out with Manda. Along for the ride are Ozaki, the Neo of Final Wars, and Muscle Heat sensation Kane “Son of Sho” Kosugi. Ozaki and Kane (I can’t remember if his character even has a name) then engage in a wire-work laden cage fight complete with a mid-air, bullet-time armbar, before being alerted that a mummified cyber-kaiju (yes, they say “cyber-kaiju”) has been discovered off the coast of Hokkaido.
So of course we then cut to a pimp straight out of The Candy Tangerine Man arguing with a potty-mouthed cop (don’t worry kids, they dubbed over his f-bomb-laden tirade) who is towing said pimp’s hot pink pimp-mobile, when a drunken hobo chilling on a ratty couch spots Rodan coming their way. Next thing you know, things have gone all Destroy All Monsters on us, and Anguirus is attacking Shanghai, multiple reports have King Caesar in Okinawa, and Kamacures is being his boring bug self in Paris. All seen via TV by a legendary figure we’ve all come to know as “Chocolate Kid.”
With chocolate smeared all over his fat white boy face, Chocolate Kid howls the names of his favorite kaiju while bashing and smashing toys together in front of a TV screen displaying this, frankly, terrifying apocalyptic event. The best part of it all? He grew up to be Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s character in 2014’s Godzilla. Chew on that chunk of chocolate (feces) for a moment.
After witnessing this scat-show, we’re treated to the mutants of the M-Organization turning Ebirah into crab, I dunno, whatever you make crab into that really mashes them up a bunch. Crab cake? And then a spaceship arrives and from it comes the U.N. Secretary General that everyone thought got blown up in an airplane and he introduces everyone to the Xilians and says he wants to form the Space Nations and then Xilian-mania sweeps across the globe because the Xilians made all the scary monsters go away. I guess everyone forgot about the time these aliens showed up and screwed humanity over in Monster Zero.
Oh yeah, and that’s just first 25 minutes.
Roughly three and a half minutes after that, Ozaki stumbles upon a massive Xilian conspiracy. Three minutes after that, with the help of Don Frye, they then blow it wide open, exposing key world leaders to be Xilians in disguise. Turns out the Xilians think of us as cattle and need to harvest something or another inside of us in order to survive. Apparently to do that, they need unleash all the monsters they captured, creating mayhem and destruction.
Our heroes head off to Area-G to free Godzilla, still trapped in ice after all these years, because Don Frye thinks it’d be a good idea. He calls this Operation: Final Wars, which makes sense since the movie is titled Godzilla: Final Wars. From there, Godzilla fights other kaiju, Sum 41 does whatever they do, Don Frye pulls a samurai sword on the Big G, Gigan shows up with chainsaws for hands (gnarly, right?), oh, and Minira drives a pick-up truck.
And to think there’s people that don’t like
I know a lot of the old schoolers hate this slice of heaven (hell), but my 12-year-old neighbor insists it’s the best one. If you couldn’t already tell, I lean more in his direction. Director Ryuhei Kitamura raids the Toho vaults, as well as every major Hollywood blockbuster of the past decade, for what was Godzilla’s 50th. I can only hope that my 50th b-day is so loud and beautiful.
I think the best way to enjoy this is like Chocolate Kid. Your face slathered in fecal matter, toy collection at your feet, having yourself a ball while watching the end of the world.
This story is excerpted from the February 2015 issue of Otaku USA Magazine. For more great film reviews, order this issue from our online store, or subscribe to get every next issue before it hits newsstands!
– Ryuhei Kitamura Interview: Directing with Napalm
– Godzilla Exhibition Opens In Tokyo
– Godzilla on Their Minds
– Tokusatsu Special Effects Exhibition
– The Vault of Error: Luna Varga; Godzilla-butt girl remains a relic