So despite one of the most unwieldy titles in movies history (for the sake of my sanity I’ll refer to it a GMK from here on in, Yeah?), this Godzilla entry has a lot of weight on its dorsal spines…
The 26th Godzilla movie (if you count the 1998 US version) and the third in the “Millennium” series (‘Zilla flicks are separated by time periods the way Bond movies are sorted by actors) GMK on paper doesn’t seem to have a lot going for it…
However, GMK proves to be not only a radioactive breath of fresh air, but a perfect jumping on point for newbies to the world of grown men in rubber lizard suits enthusiastically kicking over prime real estate. You see, the film makers here have decided to do something that’s now actually quite in-fashion for long running sagas, and that’s ignoring almost every single movie that preceded it and go completely in it’s own direction. The main benefit of this proves to be the tremendously entertaining version of it’s biggest star, Gojira himself. No longer painted as a google eyed saviour of mankind, indifferent force of nature OR metaphorical scourge on humanity, the Godzilla of GMK is a milky eyed, prehistoric fanged, fucking SERIAL KILLER of a Kaiju, mercilessly killing and maiming every single living thing that moves in his path. He’s a bit of a sadistic prick too as evidenced by a scene where a patient trapped in a hospital stares in horror as the multi storey motherfucker slowly stomps towards a collision course with the building she’s in. At the last minute the radioactive bastard turns away, but as the poor woman sighs a breath of relief, in swings his tail and obliterates her room and everything in it. It’s not like Godzilla hasn’t been a villain before but to be this much of a bellend is unheard, of and yet the results bear so much fruit. Another example of the King Of The Monsters fantastically being a massive knob is his mid-film scrap with Baragon, essentially a giant leathery monster with floppy ears, a horn on it’s head and the giant eyed stare of a stoned puppy. Being hopelessly out monstered, Baragon has his butt unapologetically handed to him in a fight as fair as Warrick Davis Vs. The Undertaker and twice as fun as at one point ‘Zilla even curb stomps his opponent against the side of a mountain. It’s like the Godzilla we know and love has had a sizable nervous breakdown and has decided to behave like late-career Mike Tyson to deal with it. It’s almost a horror movie.
The plot, generally as thin as most monster movies usually are, makes a positive out of it’s simple premise. Godzilla, now powered by the spirits of those killed in the Pacific during World War II, wants to turn Japan into a country sized parking lot but only the prophesied return of 3 three “Guardian Monsters” can hope to slow his apocalyptic roll. An old General who helped defeat Godzilla in 1954, readies himself for a rematch while his daughter, a TV reporter uncovers secrets that may save us all.
It ain’t art but it gets a lot of monster madness on the screen in quick order and it’s carried out with such enthusiasm it’s impossible not to get carried along with it’s batshit premise. Plus we get two of Godzilla most consistent foes for the price of one. Mothra, giant hippy moth who is all about peace, love and drugging her enemies in her valium- like wing dust like a benevolent date rapist, and, here enjoying a rare good-guy turn, King Ghidorah, a triple headed dragon who is more gold and shiny than Tony Montana’s bathroom.
Absurd, overblown, yet very, very exciting GMK is the best Godzilla movie made since the millennium and may be the best watch to prepare before 2019’s Godzilla: King Of The Monsters roars into cinemas due to the it’s chunky monster cast and weirdly spiritual end of the world premise.
An aversion to giant monsters suits will not be cured by this movie but Kaiju enthusiasts should lap this up with glee.
All thriller, all ‘Zilla.