Original Release: June 26th, 2018
Honestly, I have the least to say about this one.
Which is kind of depressing, considering how important this movie is to the franchise. This film completely changed where the series was going. With the first movie, Godzilla was a terrifying metaphor for nuclear destruction. The next, he was throwing down with another giant monster for survival.
Yeah. In case you didn’t know, this was the first Godzilla VS film. And we got this.
This movie was a huge step down from the original in basically every way. This is mostly because it came out a year after the original, but it’s not just production quality that’s taken a hit: the story is super weak compared to the original.
Then there’s the Godzilla suit. Which…
Can we have the old suit back? I get that it’s less of a death trap for the poor actor inside it, but… it just looked better, man.
Plus: Anguiris, the monster facing the King of the Monsters in this film, is hardly intimidating. There are two main reasons for this: one, we know so little about him and two, the film isn’t shot in a way that creates fear of him.
Allow me to explain. In the original film, we knew little about what Godzilla actually was, but enough to make us scared of him. He’s an unstoppable, radioactively transformed super creature that is nigh impossible to kill. But in this film, neither Godzilla or Anguiris are developed enough to be scary. We know that the two species are ancient enemies, that they’ve both been mutated to some degree, and they want nothing more than each other dead.
Part of what made the big guy so scary before was the fact that he wasn’t actually malicious. He simply walked onto land because he was running low on food. Put simply, he was an unstoppable wild animal. He was essentially a walking disaster.
Also, the special effects and the way the film was shot all added onto the fear. He felt large and unstoppable because of all the different sets and low camera angles.
None of this is present in Godzilla Raids Again. The camera doesn’t do anything to create the illusion of size, instead leaving all of that work to the sets. Because of this, you never feel like you’re watching two giant monsters going at it in this movie. Therefor, you never feel excited or scared by watching these two titanic beasts tear through a city.
Then there’s the plot, which is so boring and forgettable that I can barely remember it even now. And I just watched the film for this post. It can be boiled down to ‘Godzilla and Anguiris are fighting and the Japanese need to stop them’. Y’know, the same plot of the first film without the mystery and terror plus one monster.
Whereas the first film had some incredibly interesting characters, such as the reclusive genius Dr. Serizawa (who is still the only human in the history of the franchise to actually kill Godzilla) the second movie just… doesn’t have any. The two Japanese pilots are alright but forgettable.
And they’re the best characters in the film.
Put simply, this movie lacks either terror or excitement. We won’t get that until the next movie.
Again, I could go on and on, but I simply lack the motivation to do so. I’m just going to go watch King Kong VS Godzilla for tomorrows post.
I can’t say you need to go out of your way to watch Godzilla Raids Again. There are worse things you can watch, sure, but unless you’re looking for a quick nap, this one is pretty easily skipped. Hell, I didn’t even know it existed until I entered high school.
Don’t you worry though. The next few movies are a good time.