GODZILLA: PLANET OF THE MONSTERS
GODZILLA: MONSTER PLANET
(Gojira: Kaiju Wakusei)
It also a very different Godzilla film than anything we have seen before. Most Godzilla films are not about too much more than Godzilla on the rampage and/or beating up one or more other giant monsters. Theres none of that here. We see images of one or two monsters in the background montage of Earths devastation at the start but that is it, while Godzilla does not even appear until 55 minutes into the film. Instead, the majority of the film plays out as a Japanese space opera. This is a well-established tradition in anime think of something like Space Cruiser Yamato (1977) but leads to a very different look and approach for a kaiju film. All of the Godzilla films have nominal science-fiction elements usually no more than the alien invaders or super-science devices created to defeat the monster and these are dwelt on in no more depth than is required than to set up the monster bash or provide a means to defeat the monster(s). The surprise here is that we leap into full space opera and planetary adventure. As in the case in most sf anime, a good deal has been expended on designing the vehicles, mecha, drop ships and computer consoles in the control room. It is doubtful, for instance, that any other live-action Godzilla film can boast having a specialty prop designer.
You appreciate Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters for the fact that it is trying to do something different creating a story on an epic canvas 20,000 years into the future and incarnating Godzilla as an avatar of pure destruction that threatens the entire planet. On the other hand, while you prepare to sit down to watch a Godzilla film, the big disappointment come in that keeps Godzilla off screen for the bulk of the show and the story is instead focused on the slow and slightly melancholic story of humanity adrift in the universe think Battlestar Galactia (2003-9) minus the Cylons. Things do pick up in the second half and we get some mass destruction sequences towards the end with humanity battling Godzilla. However, rendered in animation and compared to the awe-inspiring visual effects in recent Godzilla outings such as Godzilla (2014) and Shin Godzilla (2016), these pale into forgettability. Not to mention the film reaches a frustratingly abrupt and unresolved ending, no doubt keeping things open for a sequel.
The other Godzilla films are: Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1954), Gigantis the Fire Monster/Godzilla Raids Again/The Return of Godzilla (1955), King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1962), Godzilla vs the Thing/Mothra vs Godzilla (1964), Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Monster Zero/Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965), Godzilla vs the Sea Monster/Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966), Son of Godzilla (1968), Destroy All Monsters (1968), Godzillas Revenge (1969), Godzilla vs the Smog Monster/Godzilla vs Hedorah (1971), Godzilla vs Gigan/Godzilla on Monster Island (1972), Godzilla vs Megalon (1973), Godzilla vs the Cosmic Monster/Godzilla vs the Bionic Monster/Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1974), Terror of Mechagodzilla/Monsters from an Unknown Planet (1976), Godzilla 1985 (1984), Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991), Godzilla vs Mothra (1992), Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1993), Godzilla vs Space Godzilla (1994), Godzilla vs Destoroyah (1995), Godzilla 2000 (1999), Godzilla vs Megaguirus (2000), Godzilla Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001), Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002), Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (2003), Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) and Shin Godzilla/Godzilla: Resurgence (2016), plus the anime Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (2017). Both Roland Emmerichs Godzilla (1998) and Gareth Edwards Godzilla (2014) are big-budget, English-language remakes.