Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters

May as well continue tracking the Godzilla films I watch. I am going to start by saying  I’m not a big anime fan. Traditional cartoon animation is what I grew up on and is what I prefer. To me, anime tends to be overly dramatic and kind of grates on my nerves a bit. So it’s rare I watch any of it. However, the premise of this is actually pretty cool. Godzilla ended up wiping humanity off the planet, literally. They went off Titan A.E.-style, fleeing from the big guy’s wrath. Unfortunately, they fled to some dive planet that wasn’t habitable. So they pulled a u-ey and headed back to Earth in an attempt to confront their nemesis.

The spacecraft

Great setup, but what went wrong? Quite a bit actually. We are introduced to some aliens early on who really never get developed. You’re just supposed to get it. They both look like normal humans, so that didn’t help either. At least in the regular series entries, the aliens were human but they wore stupid looking costumes to separate them. Here it didn’t help.

One of the aliens reminded me of an elf and seemed overly interested in our hero. I get the feeling he wanted the hero to rise to the occasion and slay the beast, and I’m not talking about Godzilla here either. That part felt weird and a bit creepy, but maybe it’s just me.

Back on Earth

Anyway, so humanity took to the stars to try and escape. They have been away from Earth-like twenty years and are on the edge of completely losing it. Food is tight and there is a conspiracy that maybe those in charge are intentionally killing people off to make the supplies last. Sadly, that is about the end of that talk because next thing you know, we’re back on Earth with a bunch of ships, walkers, and cannons ready to fight the big guy. This is supposed to be an act of desperation, but they look really well armed and fed for a group that spent as much time surfing the stars hungry as they did. I’d also point out this was the same military that got decimated before.

They do end up fighting Godzilla here, and the battle is pretty epic, yet it doesn’t really do anything to fix all the other issues this whole thing has. The attack force didn’t seem like a ragtag group of survivors. They all looked well fed and numerous. So no matter how last-ditch effort this was supposed to be, it felt like maybe a last ditch effort before leaving Earth. I expected more rusted equipment and less combat-ready soldiers.

The little tank that could

The most interesting part of this really never gets explored at all, which is Godzilla nearly wiping out humanity and causing the survivors to flee. The Wikipedia article for this mentions that other monsters rose up and attacked us before Godzilla rose up and wiped out everything. So that kind of explains the downfall of humanity, but such widespread devastation seems a bit difficult to be pulled off by a few monsters. I’d have rather this showed that downfall and where the aliens came into the picture. A good ending would be the ships taking off for parts unknown. This film really should have been that story. Instead, we’re dumped into the middle of this chaos and fed only little bits and pieces of the history.

Combat cycle in action

As mentioned previously, the other key thing that really didn’t get explored at all was that the people in charge were intentionally killing off people to make supplies last. The very first scene of this was our hero making a stand so more wouldn’t die, yet that gets dropped very quickly once they decide to go back and fight Godzilla.

Small spoiler, but at one point it was brought up that a moon base was a valid option. Which begs the question, if it’s a good option now that they crossed the galaxy and came back, why wasn’t it the first option when they fled? Too many of these oddities came up as I sat there watching this, which really kept me from enjoying anything about this film.

The end of everything?

If you take a typical Godzilla film, they don’t really explore any higher ideas. You get some backstory and a big fight. This entry does try to explore some ideas but then dumps them as soon as it can. I can easily say this series needs a prequel movie if not just made into a TV series. We’ll see how the second entry goes, which is now out on Netflix and from what I gather, it’s a bit better of an entry than this was. This movie just didn’t do a very good job at all.