Gigantis the Fire Monster (Godzilla Raids Again)(Gojira's Counterattack)(The Volcano Monster) (1955)
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Critic Reviews for Gigantis the Fire Monster (Godzilla Raids Again)(Gojira's Counterattack)(The Volcano Monster)
Audience Reviews for Gigantis the Fire Monster (Godzilla Raids Again)(Gojira's Counterattack)(The Volcano Monster)
Not a very good film. Just a regurgitation of the original 1954 movie. Only instead of fighting mankind, Godzilla is also fighting a fire breathing monster that walks like a dog and has spikes all over his body.
The first Godzilla sequel, which came out a year after "Gojira", pits Godzilla against his first opponent Anguirus. Still filmed in the glorious black and white, this film featured the first Godzilla monster battle, an element that would become a long-standing tradition of the franchise. Special effects supervisor Eiji Tsuburaya brings the same level of quality from the previous film, with some truly astounding set pieces. There is enough dazzling military action and impressive monster fighting that it almost counters the movies less-than-stellar plot. The film's plot still carries some of the grim tone of the original, but the awkward humor moments from the characters can be a little off-setting at times. The two main characters, Tsukioka and Kobayashi, offer a pretty interesting viewpoint but their story at times feels too isolated from the monster action. It is not until about two-thirds of the way through that the human characters even interact with Godzilla. Plus the movie tries to tug at our heart strings by killing off one of the main characters but the manner in which he is killed felt too random to be dramatically effective. Despite some of the film's dramatic shortcomings, "Godzilla Raids Again" remains a flawed but overall fun flick. Oh and by the way, stay away from the American version. The dubbing is awful and they call Godzilla "Gigantis".
Godzilla doesn't technically "raid again", it's a different Godzilla this time. Never to fear, this Godzilla has the same MO and also brings along a pal/enemy. The film moves focus away from science by giving us the protagonists of two pilots. These guys are the Japanese Maverick and Goose. Best of buddies, flirting with the ladies and spotting monsters. After one makes an emergency landing on an island his buddy comes to the rescue where they discover Godzilla in a battle with an Ankylosaurus. They manage to return home where the film pays attention to the youth of Japan and the rebuilding of the country. A nice look at a different part of such destruction that Godzilla represents. The main emotional weight is brought by Kobayashi and his awkward shy flirting with a girl from a well-to-do family. It doesn't feel inappropriate despite a giant monster about, quite the achievement. The final showdown sees a much more action packed attack than before, with planes, avalanches, and gasoline drums all taking part. Loses some weight of the original, but at least it doesn't repeat the same messages verbatim.
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