Movies and Film

A Battle to End all Battles – Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)

The third Godzilla movie of the Millennium era is interesting simply for the fact that this is a Godzilla that is truly monstrous. The creature looks similar to the previous films in the series, yet in this one, his eyes are a solid white giving the monster a very frightening look. Where before, it always seemed like Godzilla might have had a little of what one might call humanity, that is completely absent here and it is interesting to note that when he does make an appearance, he does so with destruction on his mind and no specific target. It is because of this that for the bulk of the film, Godzilla battles against those creatures which are termed the Guardian Monsters – Baragon, Mothra and King giant-monsters-all-out-attack-11Ghidorah.

So not only is this a Godzilla film, but he gets to share the limelight with two of his greatest adversaries in Mothra and King Ghidorah and the long-forgotten Baragon who had not been seen in a kaiju film since his brief cameo in Destroy All Monsters. Out of all the films in the Millennium series and all of those movies before them as well, none have been as visually spectacular as this one. Realizing that a big movie needed big effects, Toho would go all out and everything from costumes to CGI would look better than ever. Some of the best scenes would see the demise of the Guardians whose spirits would then infuse the next member of the team in the hopes that their added strength would be enough to take out the green behemoth, a hope that seemed to lose traction with every defeat. The final battle between King Ghidorah and Godzilla was truly epic and just when you thought it was over, it started back up like nothing happened, Ghidorah now powered up even more than ever before thanks to his fellow Guardians. The giant-monsters-all-out-attack-13ferociousness in which Godzilla is portrayed is refreshing in the sense that he is battling not only for his life, but with an eagerness to destroy. Godzilla is not a monster on the defensive in this film, he is a creature who rises to the challenge and as such, holds nothing back.

There was of course the human component in the film, with Chiharu Niiyama as the lead. She would play a reporter looking to do some good with her job instead of the fluffy dramas her company usually makes and to do so would mean capturing the story of the year which is Godzilla. While acting as a framework for the battle of the giant monsters, the story was not wholly uninteresting, but it was exactly that more than anything else. This movie was Toho wanting to showcase their monsters in a great big battle royale and that is exactly what we got.

Once again, this particular Godzilla film continues directly from the 1954 feature as if none of the other movies in the franchise happened and in one sense, it is a good thing as it is not a slave to continuity. It lets the filmmakers do what they will and gives them free rein to pick and choose what they want out of the mythos. As it is, Giant Monsters All-Out Attack is not only visually stunning and exciting, but a fantastic continuation of the original movie with an ending that is unlike any seen in a Godzilla film before. Truly one of the better kaiju films to come from Toho or anybody and worth every minute of your time.

4 out of 5

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