Godzilla Vs. Monster Zero Reviews
It is interesting that they cast a known US actor in the cast.
Like I said, Godzilla is working part-time in this movie. In the first act, he only appears for three minutes more or less to fight along with Rodan, the Monster Zero which turns out to be Ghidorah...in space! That's some cool stuff there. Godzilla even manages to do a victory dance!...OK, now it's getting ridiculous. Then, the second act pays tribute to the title, because literally, there are Zero Monsters in this act, it's just the human characters and the story. But got to hand it to them, it's still a pretty interesting act. The third act is mostly the monsters doing what they should have been doing this whole time: destroy shit and fight. The fight scenes and the destroying scenes are good, the story is pretty standard, but fine, and even the sci-fi feels kinda fresh. But I felt there was just barely enough Godzilla in this movie, and I really missed him big time on most of the movie. I acknowledge the rest is not bad, but I came here to see The King of Monsters, but I had pretty heavy sci-fi stuff, which is something I didn't come here for. It's like going to Domino's and order a Pizza, but you end up receiving McDonald's Happy Meals, it just doesn't feel right.
However, maybe this movie did more than I could understand; maybe it'll grow on me later, but who knows. It never bored me, the final act was cool and I actually didn't feel empty, but the bad stuff still bothers me. Check it out if you can.
When you think of a campy science fiction movie, this one's pretty much got it all. First of all, how can you not smile at the notion of a planet beyond Jupiter named "Planet X"? It only becomes better when you see the inhabitants of the planet, which despite the movie trying to pretend (at least for a little bit) are benevolent, are clearly evil. They're the opposite of our kind, gentle people of Earth: they're robots whose civilization outlaws emotion, they're bent on domination of the universe, they have advanced technology but are still barbaric in terms of dealing with insubordination and, they have legions and legions of the same model of women and men walking around their planet. Clearly they don't value individuality like we do and the way they name things are uncreative, they really ARE evil! Next, they employ the use of flying saucers to travel around. Not spaceships, actual flying saucers. To top it off, they employ mind-control technology and are allied with Godzilla's most sinister foe to date, the evil space dragon who destroyed all life on Venus, King Ghidorah! The camp doesn't stop there though. Because this is a film shot mostly in Japanese, we've got stilted, awkwardly phrased and dubbed dialogue with some plot elements getting totally lost in translation to the point where they make no sense (the alarm as a children's toy for example, what's up with that?) In this film you will also find some staples of science fiction camp: interstellar love, Earth being given an ultimatum of surrendering to an alien threat of being annihilated and giant monsters wrecking up the place.
How does the film work as a Godzilla movie you might ask? Well it's actually a significant step up from the previous film. Unfortunately this time around we don't get any new monsters, but there's a lot more monster combat and some cool science fiction battles thrown in too. We've got scenes set on Planet X where Godzilla, Rodan and King Ghidorah fight, but we've also got a lot of action happening on Earth. When the Xians make their sinister plans know to the United Nations and the governments of the world, they bring Godzilla, Rodan and King Ghidorah to Earth to tear up the place and show that their threats are real. So you've got Godzilla and Rodan acting as both heroes and villains in this movie, with you thinking "No! Please don't destroy them, just slow them down so our heroes can break the mind control devices and change them back to their heroic selves again!" We've got some pretty good sequences of destruction with the monsters individually attacking the city, attacking the military vehicles sent against them and against each other multiple times throughout the film. It really delivers in that department and, there's a bonus. With the alien invasion plot, we also get to see Earth's military forces squaring off against flying saucers. It's not just any regular tanks and planes though, to combat the alien technology (which communicate using magnetic waves), humanity has to arm themselves with these cool tanks that look like they shoot lightning (actually they shoot magnetic wave interceptor beams) so it actually brings something new to the franchise.
On top of all that good stuff, we've also got a really interesting human plot. Our two heroes, Glenn and Fuji are both likeable guys (and not reporters or policemen, as most protagonists in these movies tend to be) and when these buddies go off to investigate what kind of shenanigans the Xians are up to, you really get excited because you know just as much as they do that there's something fishy going on. These two guys really feel like the kind of guys that have seen all kinds of adventures together and this is their latest, and greatest one. Even when they're not on Planet X it's pretty interesting. There's this whole mystery with Tetsuo, this subplot about Fuji disapproving of his sister's fiancé and Glenn getting all romantically attached with Miss Namikawa (Which leads into one of my all-time favorite lines ever uttered in a children's movie: "You rats! You stinkin' rats! What did you do to her?!"). We've also got those terrific alien villains, who are a lot of fun to watch because they're just so transparently evil. They don't really seem to have a reason for wanting to conquer Earth except for maybe our superior sense in fashions and the fact that being so far from the sun probably makes them really grumpy when they wake up. I guess on a technical level the monster suits don't look much better than they did in the previous movie, and it really is more of a movie you make fun of as an adult and genuinely enjoy as a kid, but it's nonetheless a lot of fun to watch. I almost forgot to mention that this is the movie that famously features Godzilla dancing! Not only that, but it is followed up by a hilarious reaction from the Controller of Planet X. It is truly glorious.
If you're a fan of Godzilla movies, not just the serious well-crafted movies but also the goofy, badly ported over 60s films, this is a great one to show to your friends to get them initiated. The aliens look like they're taken right out of an old "Star Trek" episode, the plot has got all sorts of twists and turns, the heroes are likeable and the film features three of the most iconic monsters in the franchise with some good amounts of destruction. It's a perfect mix of a genuinely interesting plot and a movie that's so bad it's good. There are a lot of memorable moments and it's perfect for young and old fans alike so I'm going to say that of the first three eras of Godzilla films this is one of the best. I know it's not high art, but this is what you want in a movie, a great time with your friends or by yourself for all sorts of different reasons. (English Dub on Dvd, April 5, 2014)