Final Wars

Tonight’s screening at Waseda Uni that I’ve chosen is the most recent Godzilla film that has been produced, “Godzilla: Final Wars”. I first saw this at the Melbourne International Film Festival back in 2005-ish. I really enjoyed it in the environment of the festival, the director came out and said a few word at the start. And the film itself was a break from the other international films I’d seen over that week.
So, I’m screening now as the third film so far and thinking it should provide some interesting discussion around the landscapes Godzilla has destroyed and the creativity of destruction. It’s a controversial choice to screen this one so high up the order as it is an unashamedly style over substance piece. A big contrast to the original and GMK that I have just screened. But I think the shift in pace is a good one. And the international path of destruction and collection of nearly all the kaiju makes this a visually decadent experience. I’m not sure if this will directly meet some of the local area needs as Tokyo doesn’t get much air-time given the international tourism of the locations in the films. And the buildings which are destroyed only feature briefly and, to my memory, don’t play much of a role in establishing the story or purpose in the film.
I’m interested to hear what the thoughts are on it though.

Just some quick notes after seeing FINAL WARS – it was rather empty of what I’d hoped to find. The locations featured in the movie, while numerous and far ranging (even including Sydney), were rather empty and shallow. No one, for instance, would think upon visiting the Opera House in Sydney – “Yes, beautiful, oh and I think it was also in that Godzilla movie”. There’s little to give relevance and impact to the locations. Partialy due to the shortcomings in the story, which is too diravative and lacking in any meaningful contribution to the Godzilla canon. As a collegue commented to me, this is like the usefulness of sustaining an injury, it reminds you of all that is needed to function wholey. Certainly this film has made me appreciate more the original Godzilla and GMK for their skill at crafting a Godzilla film.

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