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The Gojira movie series really isn't the most consistent one around. Every time that it changes director, the movies also change considerably in its style and approach. In that regard it's actually quite similar to the James Bond franchise for instance, which isn't just a random comparison, since some of the Gojira movies are heavily influenced by the Bond movies of its time, such as, very notably, this one as well.

Even though this movie is nothing like any of its predecessor, it's actually the first sequel to return to the franchise's original roots. Doubt that many people remember, since most people always tend to think that all of these movies are all about giant monsters fighting each other but the original 1954 "Gojira" movie actually had a pretty heavy environmental message in it. It were the humans who created the monster Gojira, by not treating nature well and by allowing nuclear testing. This movie actually features a similar sort of concept, with as a difference that this time around the big threat is a smog monster, who makes people sick and destroys buildings and objects with his poisonous gas.

The smog monster is of course a, not so very subtle, metaphor for the damages that the humans are causing to their environment, with all of the fumes and gasses they are spreading. The movie even turns into an environmental campaign, completely with some, very random, lame and cheesy looking cartoons, explaining the negative effects of smog. I admire the effort and creativity but at the same time, it of course also feels weird for a Gojira movie to be more or less more of a campaign movie, rather than just one that entertains and features tons of fights and awesome to watch destruction in it. In that regard this movie seems quite similar to the previous series entry "Gojira-Minira-Gabara: Oru kaijû daishingeki", that basically was a campaign movie against bullying, in which Gojira got reduced to a secondary character and the movie was about anything but the kaijus.

Well, this movie at least luckily doesn't forget to still bring some entertainment as well. There are actually quite a few kaiju fight in this movie, in which Gojira battles the smog monster, who is also known as Hedorah. The smog monster has the ability to change shape, so there is plenty variety in the fight scenes. I even have to admit that the fight scenes are shot pretty well and exciting and perhaps are even better to watch as the ones in any of the other previous movies. I also kind of liked the fact that the fight scenes were taking place during the night-time, though I still would have liked to been able to see more of what was going on at times.

I also liked how Gojira more or less was the good guy in this movie and I guess I can say by now that I like Gojira more when he's a good guy than when he's the main bad guy and he's just simply causing destruction and chaos. It's more fun to be able to root for Gojira and cheer when he's fighting another kaiju, who's threatening humanity.

It's yet again a pretty odd entry into the Gojira series, with it's unusual themes, very random scenes and yet again a young kid as the main protagonist but at least the movie still is fun and entertaining to watch as well, if you are able to look past the silly and simplistic story and some of its odd and random moments.

6/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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