Godzilla: Monster Planet
I was so excited to see a new Godzilla coming out on Netflix. I had been waiting to see what the next iteration of the world’s most famous monster would be since the amazing Shin Godzilla came out in 2016. From the trailer. I was interested in the CG Anime style it went with because I thought they could go places with animation where live action could never go. Just look at Godzilla the Animated Series. No, not that Godzilla the Animated Series. The OTHER Godzilla the Animated Series. They did some groundbreaking work.
I’m kidding, of course, both series are awful abominations of the worldwide phenomenon created by Tomoyuki Tanaka .
Unlike their American counterparts, Anime has seen some of the most CONSISTENT epic animated fight scenes of all time (and I think the top 10 are all in One Punch Man). The point is, I was excited to see where Hiroyuki Seshita, the director of Blame!, Knights of Sidonia, and several episodes of Ajin, would take the epicness of Godzilla. The trailer made me excited too.
So, before I continue and talk about the plot and such, let me say this. It was okay. If you are a Godzilla fan, then you will like the movie, if you aren’t a Godzilla fan, then why are you here anyway?
That being said: SPOILER ALERT AHEAD.
Brief synopsis for those of you who don’t remember the first part of the movie: it’s been a long time since humans have been able to exist on Earth, because Godzilla is too awesome and destroyed everything. So for a while, humanity has been roaming the stars looking for somewhere else to live. It didn’t go well, a bunch of people died and our hero, Haruo, was put in jail because he tried to not let people die, and the higher-ups of the spaceship are bureaucratic politicians.
They decide their best course of action is to go back to Earth, and fight off Godzilla. Luckily for humanity, Haruo is hell-bent on defeating Godzilla because the monster killed billions of people, and humiliated the ones who survived. Haruo has a plan in mind, and the various decision-makers agree. They fight and ultimately kill Godzilla in a spectacular self-destruct type fashion. Then they realize they only killed one of Godzilla’s offspring, and the true Godzilla emerges, and he’s even more awesome than when he destroyed humanity the first time. The humans decide the best option is to run as fast as possible. Which, by all accounts, was an extremely good idea.
See, the ship wasn’t gone for the small amount of time they all thought. It was actually gone for 10,000 years, and then they figure out they were gone for over 20,000 years. Through all this time, Godzilla has been alive… and growing. He is now over 300 meters tall (over 980 feet), and has increased in power to well over 9,000.
They don’t talk about power levels in the movie, to be clear, I could just tell.
So that’s the plot, more or less. They also meet some aliens, and there’s a lot of technobabble about how Godzilla got the way that he is and how to kill him, and whatever. All the rest of the movie was a little, take-it-or-leave-it, and I was finding it a little difficult to pay attention. When they got to Earth though, I was totally into it.
They find out that plants have evolved, because of the harsh climate Earth developed, by growing metal-like cells as opposed to the soft, squishy plants we have now (except for Australia’s Gympie Gympie plant. Seriously. Stay away from that thing). In a scene, a guy uses a knife to cut a sample of fern, except his knife just breaks over the fern’s leaves.
My actual reaction was as follows:
It looks less impressive written down, but I thought specifically, “whoa.” So be careful around the plants, for sure. But as if hell-plants weren’t enough, some other creatures crop up. These flying monsters called Servum (basically Godzilla-plated pterodactyls) put the humans back in their place, and remind them how weak they are. Seriously, the Servum are awesome. They look like the offspring of a Xenomorph and a dragon and are about as powerful as that sounds.
Not-Godzilla was pretty cool, too. He was big and formidable and did a lot of damage to the humans trying to get their planet back, but the reveal of the true Godzilla was… just wow. After the moment passed, and mid-sip of my drink, I realized my mouth was hanging open a little. I said aloud “that’s awesome” to no one in particular. His scale isn’t understated, and I believed he was a 20,000+-year-old monster who had a particular distaste for humanity. He was on screen for maybe 3 minutes, but it made the entire movie worth watching. With one swoop of his tail, he blows pretty much everyone away. I couldn’t tell if they showed off his famous atomic breath in this or not. They might have called it something else, but they did say it registered over 900 gigawatts, and that made me think of my contractual obligation to insert a joke into the article (see power level line above).
I’m so excited to see the next in the series, Godzilla: The City Mechanized for the Final Battle. The title is a little clunky in English, but nonetheless, I am anxiously awaiting its arrival!
So Godzilla: Monster Planet-
Worth it? Yes.
See it? Sure.
Award-winning? Not so much.
I suggest you see it if you want to, and don’t see it if you don’t. While you wouldn’t really be missing anything truly amazing, I believe it’s worth slogging through the middle to see how awesome the writers and directors made Godzilla: Monster Planet.