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Review Godzilla: Final Wars a.k.a. Gojira: Fainaru uôzu (2004): Incredible spectacle from start to finish!

genre: kaiju, action, science fiction

...And Godzilla ruled over them 


It had been a while since I saw this last but for some reason I never gotten around to write a review about this one. With the new Godzilla Resurgence coming I thought it was time to revisit Godzilla: Final Wars. And i'll be damned it was just as awesome as the first time I watched it.

Now I am fully aware that the hardcore fans and purists aren't fond of this one since it strays away from the previous Godzilla movies a little too much. However I think that Final Wars offers the old school fun and mayhem most fans want but on top of that get so much more. Who can we thank for this? Director Ryûhei Kitamura. You might know him from Versus, Azumi, The Midnight Meat Train and No One Lives. If you are familiar with those movies then you know that the man knows how to do a lot with very little. Godzilla: Final Wars is no different. Visually speaking this Godzilla is beautiful and mind blowing. You will have to see for yourself what the giant monsters including Godzilla are capable of. These aren't the slow moving menacing monsters from the past. Nope we are dealing with super strong, fast and immensely overpowered menacing monsters who have a bone to pick with humans. But don't worry we can always count on Godzilla to save the day.

This time around he unknowingly helps out humans in their fight against the X aliens. They pretend to come in peace and want to help out. Wait, haven't we heard that before? But of course not everything is what it seems and humans are facing extinction and very desperate. So much so that they call in the help of their most destructive arch enemy Godzilla. It takes a full hour for him to get into action. But once he does it's one fantastic moment after another. He has to battle so many monsters it is ridiculous. Including Zilla (The Hollywood version featured in Godzilla (1998) with Matthew Broderick.) Every battle is awesome and epic in it's own right and shows how it's done. I think director Gareth Edwards should be ashamed that a film that is ten years older and only had a budget of 19.5 million dollars is superior in every way. His Godzilla cost 160 million dollars.

The only gripe one could have is with the unusual cast. One of the main characters is Don Frye ( a former MMA fighter) who can't really act but manages to rock anyway without speaking one word Japanese. Kane Kosugi is also in this one and like always is criminally underused. Instead we have to deal with pop star Masahiro Matsuoka who clearly is out of his depth action wise. The villain of the story is played by Kazuki Kitamura and he clearly is having fun as he hams it up big time. I love it when a villain goes over the top and does not take himself too seriously.

And that is exactly the attitude you should have when watching this Godzilla outing. Actually any Godzilla movie since the whole concept is. I mean we all know is a man in a suit and yet every fan can easily overlook that. Then why not accept the different take on it? A must watch!

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