When it comes to Godzilla, most fans in the states are extremely hard to please. The last push for Godzilla came with Japan’s Shin Godzilla release in 2016, which received high praise from Japanese critics but mixed reviews from moviegoers& critics here on the Western side. However, Netflix surprised fans when they announced they were a Godzilla anime that would fly under the name Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters.
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters focuses on Captain Haruo Sakaki (Mamoru Miyano/Chris Niosi), an emotionally scarred man who was chases away by the emergence of giant monsters as a child. Amongst the giant monsters is Godzilla, who Haruo harbors extreme hatred against for killing his parents & the last of humanity away from their home. 20 years after this event, Haruo gets the chance to head back to earth with the soldiers from the remaining survivors & aims to out an end to Godzilla’s destruction.
It might come as a surprise to longtime fans of the Godzilla franchise but the human portion of the film, which we know is always a huge chunk of any Godzilla film, isn’t dry & doesn’t make the story feel as though it’s dragging its feet. Captain Haruo Sakaki’s past is fleshed out within the first ten minutes. Within these first ten minutes we are also given insight as to what all happened with the monsters taking over & we were introduced to the two species of aliens, the Exif and the Bilusaludo, who sought refuge on Earth & also offered to help the earthlings with their monster problem.
The story was well-written at points & didn’t deag its feet getting to the point. However, there were some major incidents that were brought up in the story & never touched on again like the fact that the emigration team of elderly survivors were killed off & Haruo knew it was an inside job & did nothing. In fact, this was completely forgotten before they left for earth & baffles me as it could’ve fleshed out an underlined story. Besides the reckless Haruo, the only other character that made their mark in the film was Metphies (Takahiro Sakurai/Lucien Dodge), an Exif priest & close ally to Haruo. The characters outside of these two were uninteresting & when some of them died, it felt as though nothing was loss. Godzilla was spoken about more than he was seen & viewers looking forward to seeing Godzilla get down & dirty might be disappointed by the lack of action from both sides of the battlefield. Fans maynalso be disappointed by the lack of additional monsters in the film. We only get to see Godzilla & these dragon creatures that attacked the soldiers.
The animation in the film was handled by Polygon Pictures who most avid video gamers know worked on games like Onimusha 2, Street Fighter 5, Resident Evil 5 & a few more. The animation in the film, when it comes to the environment & humans was spot on & beautiful, but it suffered the most when it came to Godzilla. At times, Godzilla’s animation was blurry & was out of place. Without going into spoilers, the final scene with the King of Monsters was a bit more cleared up & detailed than the earlier close-ups of Godzilla. This isn’t to say it will take viewers out of the film at any point, but it is definitely noticeable.
The music in the film was very engaging & fit well with every scene that contained it. The msuic was composed by Takayuki Hattori, who also composed for Godzilla 2000 & Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla.
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters is a good film & I am looking forward to the sequel, but I hope that they work a little more on the visuals for Godzilla & also revisit looked over story pieces from the first film.