The last summer of the 20th Century. That day, the human beings learn that they are not the only ruler of the planet Earth. The appearance of the giant living creatures "Kaiju's" and the ultimate existence that destroys all monsters: Godzilla. Through the battle against kaiju's that lasted for half a century, human beings has experienced continuous defeat, and finally plans to escape from the Earth. And in 2048, only those who were selected by the A.I. managed under the central government boarded the inter-sidereal emigrant spaceship "Aratrum" to head for "Tau Cetus e," the planet beyond the distance of 11.9 light-year. However, the environmental condition differences between that of the Earth and Tau e, which they finally arrived after 20 years were far beyond the predicted numbers, and was not an environment considered to be habitable by human beings.
The young man on the emigrant ship: Haruo, who saw his parents killed by Godzilla in front of his eyes when he was 4 years old, had only one thing in his mind for 20 years: to return to the Earth and defeat Godzilla. Shut out from the possibility of emigration, as the living environment in the ship deteriorates, the group of "Earth Returnists" led by Haruo became the majority, and determines to head back to Earth through a dangerous long-distance hyperspace navigation. However, the Earth they have returned to has already passed the time of 20,000 years, and has become an unknown world with the ecosystem reigned by Godzilla.
At the end, will human beings win back the Earth? And what will Haruo see beyond his fate?
I wish I could enjoy this movie in its entirety, but alas, that's only the last 30 minutes of it. For all it's elaborate setup, it's still a simple, cheesy kaiju movie. Have the monster appear out of nowhere, cause carnage and destruction, work out a solution, proceed to the cheesy action. It's a shame such a simple sequence of events had to be made convoluted mostly because the screenplay had to fill the alloted 1:30h hour mark for a full on movie to be released in theaters.
The story is the worst part of it. Gen Urobuchi could never make exposition dumps natural or compelling
in any way. So the 1st whole hour is just a grueling trudge through pointless politicking and technobabble all alluding to the final fight and the character of our MC. It is blatant, obvious and patronizing, on top of being needlessly convoluted. Godzilla attacks! Gasp! Let's have 2 alien races come and not-save-us-by-making-mecha-godzilla, cuz we need to throw that reference in, all to have us start in the setting of spaaaace! What the fuck does space have to do with my kaiju apocalypse?! The movie agrees and has us go back to Earth... 1000 years post-Godzilla cuz spacetime continuum. Except it's 10 000 years once we see the Earth, except it's 20 000 years after we examine the carbon contents of the plants. So all this setup was to just get us into a jungled up foggy ass Earth to face Godzilla, and dinosaurs while we're at it! All the talk about living in a ship, wandering through space, that's just to fill time, we're on Earth, so everything's fine right? It's not like you'll be facing those same issues when plant leaves are harder than your pocket knife and shatters it on impact. There's no point to it all, it doesn't ground itself for the super serious tone it goes for, and doesn't really explore the despair it mentions.
Characters, as usual, make the story in anime. Except when they don't, when we have a rebellious MC that starts out with a suicide bomber threat because he cares for his grandpa, only to obsess over Godzilla's murder for the rest of the runtime. Very consistent, deep character writing indeed. Metphies, the "alien" companion gets a special mention as being the plot device that enables the MC to be batshit crazy without consequences and be reprimanded again, on top of blatantly stating in metaphor what's about to happen, the worst kind of foreshadowing, when you're too lazy to allude it and just outright state it. He also doubles as a mouthpiece preaching not-Christianity like a crazed priest, who worships *drumroll* God(zilla) - The King of Monsters!
The rest of the cast are your usual military hardasses and politicking council members who don't do jackshit, but get to expodump it anyway. The rival that screws the MC, gets it wrong and redeems himself. Add a stock waifu, and bam, a whole cast of colorful characters which you will instantly forget once you're done watching!
Polygon Pictures have been infamous for their shoddy CG Netflix shows, but this time, they actually improved their model rigging and it doesn't feel like animations are played in 15 FPS. Movement is just smooth enough to feel natural from the characters. The grimy aesthetic isn't bad when it works, but those are rare few moments. The shadows are too heavy, too high on contrast, the metalic scratches don't seem natural at all, the background art which they use seems unpolished and blurry in order for the CG to fit in easier. And despite all that the directing is competent enough to make use of 3DCG action framing that makes things feel tense and exciting. A shame that even the director's professional work couldn't make up for Urobuchi's amateur approach to exposition and setup. And something important for Kaiju fans- Godzilla is but ugly and the crew knew it, the shots were skewing away from the rough model, deliberately avoiding to show it off. It's very disappointing to see how the studio is taking 1 step forward, yet 2 steps back into the pit of "CG trash".
Sound design just doesn't really match what you'd imagine is bullets hitting metal-like objects. There's no real satisfying crunch to the explosions, just a loud noise. Again it falls down to the serious presentation of the show falling flat on its face, As all the the inappropriate OST used for key battle scenes, it really takes you out of the experience, trying to piece together what it's conveying with techno chip music when it's been using ambiance and orchestra for the most part. Shows that live off spectacle alone can get away with shoddy SFX if they get it right, and even when it does, it's immediately undermined by another sound effect that just doesn't seem to fit or make sense, because the audio director also didn't have a good idea of what the scenario was supposed to be.
The only enjoyment I got from the movie is the Godzilla fight obviously. It's so cheesy, and very much feels like a video game boss raid. Controlling the movements, the timings, positioning, distracting aka aggro control, now THAT is some fun stuff to any gamer to observe. Virtual tactics applied in a movie. On top of the visual spectacle, the movie redeemed itself on that front, as an in-the-moment thrilling joyride. Only to end on a cliffhanger with a cynical message that holds no water or meaning due to the empty setup up to the Godzilla encounter.
So yes, this is a pretty awful movie when you watch it with any modicum of standards, be it for narrative or visuals. It doesn't even work as a cheesy action flick due to the grueling 1 hour exposition setup before the actual Godzilla scene. It was torturous to watch, and I didn't even get a proper reward for getting to the end, I only got another preaching lecture to hype up the next movie, as this is now a trilogy... yay...
After watching this movie, I feel while it was just bad and was compiled to writing a review for it. It held potential to be a lot better. For everything that happens, I didn't feel like I was rewarded or really that surprised, even with the ending events. Although it does open it up nicely for part 2 and 3 in the future. This movie is a glimpse at what the whole series could have been but never quite gets there.
Note - This review will be spoiler-free so I won't go too deeply into it
As for the story, it was one of the movie's biggest
letdowns. While I admit I have not seen any Godzilla films before, I could tell this was a change from what I have heard about other Godzilla movies. With the premise of the film being the monsters have invaded Earth, destroying everything and Godzilla rises above all of them, killing everyone including the other monsters. The humans fail and even with the help of two alien species (only thought there was one originally). They fail to kill Godzilla so they go off to space to find somewhere else. That was the interesting parts, but this is never really extended.
They could have then look at morals of being with other "aliens" for one thing, I mean surely if you are on a ship with a load of aliens with you all alone in the vastness of space, not knowing if you are ever going to find a habitable planet to live on, that there would be divisions starting to appear in the community. Not just leave it as oh the committee are starving everyone so they are bad. Only then having them not really protest against anything at all for the rest of the movie??? I wouldn't know though as the film never really tells much the audience that much. That is the problem that keeps occurring throughout the film. While I agree it doesn't need to tell us everything, you hardly learn anything which doesn't fit the pacing of the show which is slow yet fast...
Which leads me to my other main problem with the story, the pacing is poor. The pacing is too slow for the film to be an action thriller, while it's too fast to be able to explain much. It's weird as it seems like it is slow but it then it looks like it skips mini events, making the whole story feel incomplete.
Moving on to the art, I was disappointed with it (best part of the film as well). I have seen the best of polygon pictures works with ajin and knights of sidonia (Pingu in the City does NOT count) with the animation in them suiting the shows and looking good/decent because of that. For this though, while it was nice in places. It was not really improved compared to other polygon picture tv series which you come to except this not to be the case. In fact, I would say it is worse than them. I don't mind this type of CGI that much, I mean the animation for space portion of the film and the last event, that was good. But for the rest of it, it's just a lack of effort with elements looking similar to each other and colours moulding into one instead of blending together with the fog to limit the fov. Also, I was pretty sure they blurred bits of Godzilla as if to make look faster, not really sure why. Movies are usually meant to be pretty crisp but this film isn't really.
Sound...well very mediocre with not really remembering much of it music wise. Only the ed song was decent and that was about it. While for va, well I couldn't really tell you much since not many people talked that much other than the mc and his two buddies. I didn't feel much from the va so it was pretty forgettable.
Now the other main problem with the film...the characters.
The range is pretty bad, we have the mc who I have not seen him smile once yet and is always thinking about just killing Godzilla instead of anything else such as relationships and protecting others lives. The film is pretty much mostly focused on just him as well (except for his alien buddy). This really affects the plot as it doesn't allow for anything else to be explored at all, no fears, no morals, no friend beef (that mini fight by the ladder was pathetic so doesn't count) none of that. That only leaves focusing on killing Godzilla and THATS IT. The others barely say anything to build up their characters properly and mc alien buddy is always just serving the mc like some king and he has the second most lines. I would honestly say that Godzilla himself had more lines than most of the cast and he can't even talk.
All the complaints with big problems with the story, I still kind of liked parts of the film. I can see why people like it. It is simple (too basic for me but anyway) and interesting (can be) that isn't saturated with action. It just doesn't push itself to be anymore though which is why I can't give it a higher rating.
Overall, I just wouldn't recommend it, it isn't a cheesy action flick, nor is it a well detailed/explained story. It just leaves it with something eh and never really rewards you anything at all.
note - The film will be part of a trilogy so you can't really skip this. Just will have to see how the next one is then...
Godzilla has had it rough since his reawakening. With the boringly slow pace of the Legendary Godzilla, to the blazing fast pace with no real motivation that was Shin Godzilla, none of the recent Godzilla movies have really been all that good lately.
Will this Movie make the difference and usher in a new age of excitement and kaiju goodness for Godzilla and all his fans?
No… no it won’t.
To be honest… the trailer was enough to make me want to avoid this movie. The CG looked god awful, and I wasn’t entirely impressed with the premise… I don’t even really understand what motivated me to
watch it. I should have skipped it as I had originally planned
The movie was poor on all accounts, but the thing I want to complain the most about is the visuals… they are awful. Nothing looks good. Everyone looks like videogame characters from ten years ago, and the G-man himself looks like a giant lump of bashed metal. No details to pick out at all. His overall design seemed to me to emulate the Legendary (thicker) design, and as I wasn’t a fan of that design to begin with, rubbing all the detail out and making it look metallic didn’t help.
It wasn’t all bad though… there was this moment when, not one, but TWO alien races came to the planet to kill Godzilla and failed spectacularly… the ridiculousness of it did make me laugh… it was the only laugh though.
Speaking of these aliens though… why didn’t either of them mention to the humans that “Look, we’ve been refugees ourselves for like… ever? There are no planets out there, fight for this one” at the beginning? And what happened to their “fleet” of ships. Did they just drop some of their kind off and leave?” Why didn’t humans evacuate on those ships since all of these aliens just seem to be so “we’re in this together”?
There was also a off hand remark about how one of these aliens has seen the fall of civilizations all over the galaxy, and MOST of them fall to creatures like Godzilla.
That last one took me out of the experience more so than ANYthing else in this God(zilla) forsaken movie. What are the Kaiju then? Are they actual tools of destruction? Tools for whom?
Overall, this movie was great, though it could have went deeper into the backstory of the main character, other than "i hate all the titans, i will kill them" type of attitude.
My enjoyment of the film was pretty fulfilled, i waited and received what i expected, nothing too fabulous, but at the same time it wasn`t unsatisfying to watch.
so as i would say, this movie gets a clean 7.5, though out if 10, even though i
marked it a seven
Art: the few Godzilla scenes there blew me way, though it was mainly because of the feeling of size coming off of him
Sound: The sound was very expertly done, with all the bass used during Godzilla`s dub-step cannon attack, tiss wonderful
Characters: the characters where very lacking, though they had enough action with these characters to make them stick out more.
Overall the movie is a enjoyable film, nothing too crazy.