Godzilla-thon: GODZILLA, MOTHRA, KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL OUT ATTACK (2001)



Director Shusuke Kaneko had various ideas for the next film before it became GMK: Giant Monsters All Out Attack. The first idea was to have Godzilla fight Kamakuras, but it was turned down because there already was a movie about Godzilla fighting a giant bug (Godzilla vs Megaguirus). His next idea was to have Anguirus, Varan, and Baragon defend Japan against Godzilla. TOHO liked the idea, but they ordered Kaneko to replace Anguirus and Varan with the more popular monsters, Mothra and King Ghidorah. The reason for the changes was to make Godzilla look stronger.


Monster designer, Fuyuki Shinada, was disappointed that his favorite monster, Varan, was not going to be in the film. So he compromised by adding Varan's facial features onto Ghidorah's three heads. 


Some of the city sets in GMK: Giant Monsters All Out Attack were used by Quentin Tarantino for Kill Bill Volume 1.


Review:


In an age of peace, Godzilla is resurrected by the spirits of the soldiers in WWII when Japan wants to forget the atrocities and war crimes the country committed. The only hope in protecting Japan are in the hands of three guardian monsters, Baragon, Mothra, and King Ghidorah.


The story for the most part is not good. It is one of those ideas that sounds good on paper and it falls apart when put into production. Godzilla's role is to make people remember Japan's war crimes and atrocities during WWII, which I don't see how he could do that since all he did was make people remember his previous attacks in 1954. Speaking of remembering, in the movie there were people that think Godzilla was all just a myth. How can you say that Godzilla is just a myth if the movie also acknowledges that the events in the 1954 film happened? Wouldn't that be part of the movie's history? That is like if America forgot about George Washington or how America was founded. That is not something you just forget. That is an event that every history class would remind you of. So I don't agree with the fact that people would just forget.


There was a small mention to Tri-Star's GODZILLA at the beginning of the movie. During a lecture from Commander Tachibana, there were two guys in uniform and one asked the other if the monster that attacked New York really was Godzilla. The other guy responded that the American experts said it was, but Japan's experts has their doubts. This was more like TOHO themselves were saying that they don't acknowledge GODZILLA as a real Godzilla movie.


The special effects really shows how much TOHO has improved on the CGI. It's very telling how much production improved and always looking to push beyond expectations.


Godzilla's new look is definitely terrifying even with the pupil-less eyes. When most of the movies has Godzilla being a misunderstood creature this one has no misunderstandings. He is truly an evil creature that is hellbent on destroying Japan in this movie. Not many people like the idea with King Ghidorah being the good guy this time, but to me it is a nice change. He is usually playing the role of the bad guy and playing the good guy opens up other possible ideas for this monster. So it felt good to be rooting for King Ghidorah this time rather than Mothra or Godzilla. We always see monsters have roles changed before, so why is it that King Ghidorah must be the exception to stay as the bad guy? Mothra looks pretty good in this movie as well. Instead of looking all furry she looks more scaly and much smaller than her previous incarnations. The only monster that got the bad end of the stick was Baragon. He first appeared in Frankenstein Conquers The World and then had a cameo appearance in Destroy All Monsters. Then, he was switched out with Anguirus in Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla. Finally, Baragon has a role in a movie and he is treated like a punching bag. I feel bad for it and the puppy dog eyes makes me feel even worse for it.


Final Verdict:


GMK: Giant Monsters All Out Attack is one that sounded good on paper, but execution came out only sub-par. The story is tedious to follow and is sort of convoluted. However, the special effects are eye catching and the fight scenes are fun to watch.

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