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Dream accomplished (movie review)

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Well, there's a dream accomplished. To celebrate my birthday a day early (it's the 5th), I went to see a Godzilla movie on opening day in Japan. The movie? Godzilla: Final Wars.

Disclaimer: The review as you see it here has NO spoilers. By clicking the link to my LiveJournal, you WILL see spoilers. You have been warned.

LINK TO SPOILERS INCLUDING COMPLETE LIST OF ALL MONSTERS IN IT (there's alot of 'em...a whole hell of alot)

So as for the review...it's definitely a good Godzilla movie. Not the best, but certainly not near the worst. For me, I loved the first one, Godzilla vs. Biolante, the 1984 one, and Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (the third reincarnation, latest one made), in that order. This one comes right next in line.

Plot wise, it's definitely easy to see how Toho has switched the focus of Godzilla over the years. In the beginning, it started as a message to the world, advancing soon to a semi-serious monster movie where he fought other monsters. As time went on, he was slowly geared more towards kids. Then in 1984, he came back as a more adult-oriented (kinda) monster, again destroying the city. Subsequent movies slowly let the cheesiness creep back in, but never completely went towards the younger group. Then came the new movies after Godzilla 2000, slowly but surely working its way towards a young crowd. Finally, with this last movie, Godzilal seems like a good, hearty family movie.

And not that such a thing is bad, not at all. Even if it is quite cheesy now, there is still the awe inspiring power of Godzilla on the screen.

The plot of the movie was easy to follow (I made sense of it even with my limited Japanese skill), but I felt it jumped around alot in the first half. Transitions from scene to scene were very quick, and it was almost like, "This happens, then this, oh and this also happens." Even so, such a device seemed to be purposeful, and didn't detract the viewer from understanding the plot.

Action wise, it was pretty good. The fight sequences were not as good as they were with the most recent rendition of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, and I often felt that they were over too quickly. Even so, they were still quite enjoyable, and the final battle actually lasted quite a while. And really, with the amount of monsters in the movie, it's easy to see why they had to shorten some of the battles.

The action with the human scenes is also quite good. The CGI this time around actually looks real nearly all the time, as do nearly all the other effects. The fights were good enough to keep me (and the 8 year old in front of me) on the edge of our seats.

Oh...and the one in Sydney...yeah, best one. Especially with a remark made during that time by one of the characters.

Acting...well, it's a Godzilla movie. Or was it? There was even less cheesiness in the acting this time around, and most of the time it was pretty believeble. Except for the fight scenes. They were still very entertaining, but rather than going for realistic, they went for anime-style action. Which actually seemed to fit pretty well.

So overall, a very good 50th anniversary movie. Highly recommended. Godzilla is still the King of The Monsters.

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