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Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah:
Giant Monsters All Out Attack
Year: 2001
Director: Shusuke Kaneko
Producer: Hideyuki Honma, Shogo Tomiyama
Cast: Chiharu Nîyama, Ryudo Uzaki, Masahiro Kobayashi, Eisei Amamoto, Shirô Sano
The Skinny: Mothra, King Ghidorah, and Baragon fight the latest incarnation of the Big "G" to protect the Earth.

     Like its predecessors Godzilla Millennium and Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, GMK wipes the slate clean and starts a whole new story timeline. Godzilla has not been seen since 1954 when the oxygen destroyer killed him. General Tachibana (Ryudo Uzaki) of the Japanese Self-Defense Force is starting to suspect that Godzilla is back and responsible for the destruction of a submarine off the coast of Guam.
     Tachibana's daughter Yuri (Chiharu Nîyama), with whom he has a strained relationship, works for a Reality TV show called Digital Q. The show specializes in stories on Blair Witch and Bigfoot type legends which contain a lot of made up details to get ratings. That is, until Yuri and her crew stumble upon the real thing. Yuri meets a mysterious old man (Toho kaiju veteran Eisei Amamoto) who explains that the Guardian Monsters of Japan (Mothra, Baragon and King Ghidorah) are re-awakening to defend the homeland from Godzilla. Yuri decides to report the story at any cost, while her father simultaneously tries to destroy Godzilla.
     Expectations were very high for GMK as it was the first Godzilla film to be directed by Shusuke Kaneko, who redfined the genre with his Heisei Gamera trilogy. Unfortunately, the film does not live up expectations in some areas. In the Gamera series, Kaneko was often criticized for having too much story and not enough monsters. Sadly, GMK suffers from the exact opposite ailment. The story is full of holes and the character development is nonexistent. The difficult relationship between Tachibana and Yuri is supposed to be dramatic, but the attempt fails miserably, and the resolution is completely cold. The film lacks the necessary quiet moments and plows through the last forty minutes with non-stop monster action. Also lacking is the musical score by Kaneko regular Ko Otani. There are a few good cues (such as the theme when Mothra breaks forth from her cocoon) but most of the score strays a little too deep into John Barry territory, and loses its own identity. The classic Godzilla theme by Akira Ifukube is only used once, but is as powerful as ever.
     Still, the fights are staged very well, and contain lots of nods and winks to great kaiju battles of the past fifty years. A daylight stand-off between Baragon and Godzilla is pleasantly reminiscent of the Ishiro Honda's work in such films as Monster Zero and Destroy All Monsters. The special effects and suit designs in GMK are also some of the best ever, with the final battle between Mothra, Godzilla and King Ghidorah being particularly ambitious.
     Is GMK better than the last two Godzilla films? You bet it is. Still, if the expectations hadn't been so high, it would have been even better. (Magicvoice 2002)


DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Universe Laser
Japanese Language Track
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen