Godzilla: Planet of Monsters - Kaiju Tuesday

     So just in case you’ve been living under a rock, Godzilla has come back into the mainstream in a big way.  In 2014 we saw a big Hollywood blockbuster simply titled Godzilla starring A-list actors such as Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, and Ken Watanabe.  While it might not be every Godzilla fan’s favorite Godzilla, it was certainly entertaining and big monster-sized step in the right direction.  Two years later TOHO decided it was their turn to reboot the franchise in the land of the rising sun.  Shin Godzilla (Godzilla: Resurgance) was a surprising movie to the most hardcore fans.  Its risks came with more reward than problems, it felt fresh and new in a film series known for its repetition. 

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     Now Netflix has premiered its new CG animated monster film, Godzilla: Planet of Monsters.  This film, like its predecessors takes new risks and most pay off while some don’t.  The good far out ways the bad here.  I was fearful of this move, this is a big deal for our favorite monster over in the U.S.  While his design seems to be more traditional with a few new ideas, the setting takes a much more science fiction turn in the storytelling.

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     The film starts in space with a colony of humans looking for a new habitable planet that resembles Earth.  Over time we see that they have no luck and mutiny is a likely scenario.  Their only choice is to return home and reclaim Earth as their own.  Out of the main human cast, some characters are better than others.  The main hero has it where it counts though, he’s interesting during his journey from being an untrusted member of the colony to one of the leaders.

     We get a hint of other A-list monsters appearing in the film but none make the spotlight except for Godzilla which might come as a disappointment for some, but the third act has more than enough action to settle those shortcomings.  While it isn’t perfect, the movie delivers on solid action, an interesting main hero, and a fresh setting on a planet that Godzilla has terrorized for over sixty years.  One more point I must address is the animation itself.  While it isn’t terrible it leaves more to be desired. 

     It is clearly a CG animated film inspired by anime.  If you only gave it a quick look you’d swear it was a hand drawn anime.  That being said, I wish this was traditional Japanese animation.  It looks awkward and lifeless in some areas unfortunately.  That is clearly a result from the art direction they chose, so I guess it comes with the territory.  Overall, I have to say enjoyed it, and I’m excited for the next two parts of this animated trilogy.

        Connor Hesnan

       Connor Hesnan