Godzilla vs. Destoroyah is elegant and powerful and it’s most known for killing off Godzilla. Here we are at the finale of the Heisei series and the twenty second film in the series overall and they decide to do something unheard of since the very first film, kill the big green radioactive dinosaur. Sure he has been defeated before and forced to retreat but actually killing him off is a huge deal. For a movie series to last this long and still come out swinging strong is impressive on its own but the film stands as one of the best in the entire series. The original idea for the film was to have the ghost of the original Godzilla be the main antagonist eventually killing the one we have grown to love but that was dropped for a new monster. Toho wanted to finish the series strongly to allow for an American series… Don’t worry we will get to that one next.
Miki Saegusa played by Megumi Odaka, makes her sixth and final appearance in this movie. The film opens on Miki searching an island for Godzilla and his son to no avail. In a startling reveal Godzilla is rampaging through Hong Kong but something is off about him, he’s a glowing red orange color. The Japan Self Defense Forces hire college student Kenichi Yamane, the grandson of Dr. Kyohei Yamane from the original Godzilla film, to unravel the mystery of Godzilla’s condition. The scientists come to the conclusion that Godzilla’s heart, which acts as a nuclear reactor, is going through a nuclear meltdown. And even more frightening when Godzilla reaches meltdown, he will explode with the force of a thousand nuclear explosions, taking most of the world with him. While all of that is going on a group of scientists are working with the oxygen destroyer work that killed the original Godzilla. There are also these little alien like things running around killing people to contend with and they are a good buildup to the ultimate showdown, as finally the military can handle these monsters effective. We have been waiting the whole series for the military to be effective.
This movie is elegant in almost every regard but problems do exist. Something of a common theme in the Heisei series is a common character who argues in favor of not killing Godzilla because he “is a living thing who deserves to live”. The tragic element to the creature is usually handled well in these movies but here the argument which is continued through most of the movie is invalid because well… if they don’t kill Godzilla the entire world dies a horrible nuclear death. Sometimes the editing is a little weird to. Sometimes the scenes are too long, and there is a little too any scenes of people sitting around talking about Godzilla.
Other than that though this movie is fantastic. The music is beautiful, the acting is considerably better than other Kaiju movies; the special effects are very appealing the little monsters are very scary looking and the miniatures look better than ever, and the final 10 minutes is heart breaking. The set up to the creation of Destoroyah is perfect if you know your Godzilla lore. He is accidently created using the Oxygen destroyer the only thing that killed the Godzilla. What better way to make the villain monster imposing? He even kills Godzilla’s son before taking on the big G himself. The final fight is amazing the two monsters just rip into each other causing a lot of awesome destruction all the while Godzilla is overheating and glowing more and more bright. It’s a perfect send off for the best section of the Godzilla series. I absolutely recommend the Heisei Godzilla series (films 1, 16-22 for those of you looking for continuity) if you want to try these movies but don’t know where to begin. Oh and Megumi Odaka… I am going to miss you, you crazy beautiful psychic who seemed to be in constant danger from Giant robots, missiles battling monsters, nuclear meltdowns, mobsters and moth gods… these movies are weird aren’t they?