Godzilla Final Wars (2004)
Godzilla Final Wars has been described as a remake of the classic Godzilla film, Destroy All Monsters–and to a degree, this is correct. However, my first impression is that it’s more along the lines of Power Rangers meet Godzilla. Godzilla appears in a flashback during the first few minutes of the film, in a fight with the human combat ship Gotengo, burying him in ice at the South Pole decades before the time of the movie — and he then isn’t seen for the next hour of the movie.
Instead, we see the Earth Defense Force fighting a mostly losing battle against various giant monsters seen in previous movies, including:
Gigan – cybernetic creature equipped with a buzz saw and hook-like hands
- Hedorah – also known as the Smog Monster
- Zilla, aka. the American Godzilla from the film of the same name, starring Matthew Broderick
- Rodan – giant flying pterosaur
- Ebirah – giant crab-like creature, aka. the Sea Monster
- Anguirus – armadillo-like dinosaur, and frequent ally of Godzilla
- King Caesar – dog/lion/lizard creature
- Manda – a large, serpentine creature
- Kamacuras – a giant praying mantis
- Kumonga – a giant spider
The Earth Defense Forces are being helped by a mysterious race of mutants, human beings who fight with extraordinary powers, most of which are reminiscent of either the Power Rangers or Neo from the Matrix movies. Despite this, the EDF loses most of the battles when the monsters strike simultaneously, until a seemingly-benevolent race of aliens, the Xilians, make them all seemingly disappear. Treachery isn’t far away, however, and soon the movie moves between three main plot lines:
The plot is
The EDF’s struggles against the Xilians
- The revived Godzilla’s attacks against the various monsters, culminating in a fight against Monster X, who is secretly one of Godzilla’s greatest foes — with a helping hand (or wing) from Mothra
- An aged grandfather and his grandson, who rescue Godzilla Jr. (called “Milla” in this film), who play a crucial role in the end of the movie
If, like me, you’re a fan of the old, admittedly cheesy Godzilla movies, you’ll enjoy Godzilla Final Wars, and I recommend it. If you’re expecting high cinema, look elsewhere.
Editorial review of Godzilla Final wars, courtesy of Amazon.com
Godzilla’s 50th Anniversary project and costliest adventure to date out of 28 films. Earth has been relatively peaceful since Godzilla was successfully buried deep in ice beneath the South Pole. Then – sometime a few years hence – several of his old nemeses return to wreak havoc on cities worldwide. A huge spaceship suddenly appears and neutralizes all the monsters in a blink.
The visitors are “Xiliens,” who take human form and announce they would like to negotiate a peace treaty that would replace the United Nations with a “United Universe”. They are indeed too good to be true, however. It doesn’t take long before their nefarious real purpose is exposed – conquering Earth. Greatly outmatched, Earth officials decide to de-freeze Godzilla as man’s only hope to vanish the invaders, as well as the monsters they control. Only trouble is Godzilla is still mad at man for freezing him in the first place.
Movie quotes from Godzilla: Final Wars
Narrator: Wars and pollution, relentless fighting and environmental destruction, have all awakened vicious monsters. Humankind therefore joins forces with one another in order to drive off the monsters, instead of killing each other. Thus, the Earth Defense Force is born. Meanwhile, a new race of humans with supernatural abilities, called mutants, was discovered around the globe. The Earth Defense Force gathers them and puts them into a league called the M Organization. Their greatest enemy is the king of the monsters who first appeared in 1954, and have repeatedly threatened the world ever since. His name is …
M-Facility Soldier Kazama: [after defeating Ebirah] Sorry … I’m a vegetarian!
M-Facility Soldier Kazama: Hey, wait. Why did you hold back? You think you would beat me?
Earth Defense Force Soldier Shin’ichi zaki: No. No, you’re the winner.
M-Facility Soldier Kazama: Hey, listen. Just remember one thing: In real combat, it’s all about killing. You can’t listen to your conscience on the battlefield.
Earth Defense Force Soldier Shin’ichi zaki: If we don’t have a conscience, how can we protect people?
M-Facility Soldier Kazama: Your trouble is you’re too soft. Look, we’re mutants, okay? We were born to fight and that’s that. We’re not here to protect. You better remember that.
Earth Defense Force Soldier Shin’ichi zaki: Honestly, sir, you know how cranky these old farts can be sometimes.
[he turns around to see the young, beautiful biologist standing there]
UN Molecular Biologist Miyuki Otonashi: I think you’ll find I’m not cranky at all.
M-Facility Soldier Kazama: [confronting a Xilian in human disguise] Watch it, X-Man!
The Controller of Planet X: Well, I kind of like this face. It’s handsome … for cattle.
The Controller of Planet X: Resistance is futile.
Douglas Gordon: The world is ruined, and the war is already lost. Now it’s a matter of pride. We either die hiding … or die fighting.
The Controller of Planet X: [after Godzilla defeats ‘Zilla’] I knew that tuna-eating monster was useless!
Douglas Gordon: Hmph. The Gotengo’s our last hope, you say? Nope, you’re wrong. Our last hope is here.
[points to map]
UN Molecular Biologist Miyuki Otonashi: The South Pole?
Earth Defense Force Soldier Shin’ichi zaki: Area G?
Major Komuro: [to Gordan] You’re going to wake up Godzilla?
Douglas Gordon: Godzilla. The most destructive weapon on Earth.
Major Komuro: It’s too dangerous. What if he destroys the world?
Douglas Gordon: There is no world left to be destroyed.
Douglas Gordon: This final mission will decide the fate of the human race. This is Operation: Final War.
Douglas Gordon: Listen kid, there are two things you didn’t know about the Earth. One is me. And the other is … Godzilla.
Douglas Gordon: Then that’s it. Godzilla can handle the monsters. I’m going to kick that Xillian kid’s ass.
Douglas Gordon: Hey. I thought I told you guys to get back to the ship.
Samon Taguchi, Kenta’s grandfather: [to Godzilla] Hey, Godzilla! It’s over. You must forgive.
UN Molecular Biologist Miyuki Otonashi: Thank goodness. It’s all over at last.