Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

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Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001) Japanese theatrical poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byShūsuke Kaneko
Written byKeiichi Hasegawa
Masahiro Yokotani
Shūsuke Kaneko
Produced byShogo Tomiyama
Hideyuki Honma
Starring
CinematographyMasahiro Kishimoto
Edited byIsao Tomita
Music byKow Otani
Production
company
Distributed byToho
Release date
  • December 15, 2001 (2001-12-15)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryJapan
LanguageJapanese
Box office¥2.7 billion
(Japan rentals)[1]

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (ゴジラ・モスラ・キングギドラ 大怪獣総攻撃, Gojira, Mosura, Kingu Gidora: Daikaijū Sōkōgeki)[a] is a 2001 Japanese kaiju film directed by Shūsuke Kaneko. Produced and distributed by Toho Studios, it is the 26th film in the Godzilla franchise and the third film in the franchise's Millennium era, as well as the 25th Godzilla film produced by Toho.

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack stars Chiharu Niiyama, Ryudo Uzaki, Masahiro Kobayashi, Takashi Nishina, Kaho Minami, Shinya Owada, Kunio Murai, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Shingo Katsurayama, Takeo Nakahara, Toshikazu Fukawa, and Hideyo Amamoto, alongside Mizuho Yoshida as Godzilla, Akira Ohashi as King Ghidorah, and Rie Ota as Baragon. The film places Godzilla in an antagonistic role, possessed by the souls of those that were killed during World War II, while Mothra, King Ghidorah, and Baragon team up to defeat it. Like the other films in the franchise's Millennium period, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack serves as a direct sequel to the original 1954 Godzilla film, ignoring the events of every other installment in the series.

Plot[edit]

During a briefing with the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) regarding Godzilla's first attack,[b] Admiral Taizo Tachibana is alerted about an American nuclear submarine that went missing off Guam. Search and rescue units find the sub destroyed and capture footage of a giant creature's fins nearby. Tachibana's daughter, Yuri, films a docudrama with her production crew at Mount Myōkō, where a mysterious earthquake briefly occurs. It occurs again later that night, burying a biker gang and leaving one surviving trucker, who witnesses the monster Baragon, which he misidentifies as Godzilla. The next day, Yuri's colleague Teruaki Takeda supports her theory that a monster may have been the cause of the mysterious earthquakes and gives her a book called The Guardian Monsters.

At Lake Ikeda, a Mothra larva attacks a group of teenagers who disturbed her shrine while in Aokigahara, a suicidal man accidentally encounters a frozen Ghidorah. Yuri interviews Hirotoshi Isayama, an elderly man who explains to her the legend of the Guardian Monsters: Baragon, Mothra, and King Ghidorah, iterating that they must be awakened before Godzilla destroys Japan. Yuri and her team visit the Guardian Monsters' shrine, where she finds a strange stone before returning to interview Isayama. In the process, she discovers that the souls of those who were killed during the Pacific War are embedded within Godzilla and are lashing out due to modern Japan's denial of its past crimes.

Godzilla and Baragon surface and battle in Hakone, with the former emerging victorious. Yuri is injured during the fray and goes on her own after Takeda refuses to take her to Godzilla's location. Mothra's cocoon is discovered in Lake Ikeda. After the jets fail to stop Godzilla, Tachibana sets up a defense line in Yokohama. An imago Mothra and a juvenile Ghidorah awaken and battle Godzilla in Yokohama. Mothra sacrifices herself and imbues her spirit into Ghidorah, transforming him into the 3,000-year-old dragon King Ghidorah, who manages to injure and drag Godzilla underwater. Tachibana and his colleague board miniature submarines to launch missiles into Godzilla's wound. Yuri and Takeda report on the struggle from a bridge that later collapses from Godzilla's atomic breath.

The shrine stone falls from Takeda's pocket and revives King Ghidorah, who saves Yuri and Takeda from their fall before they swim ashore while the monsters continue to fight. Godzilla destroys King Ghidorah, unleashing the spirits of the Guardian Monsters, which drag Godzilla into the sea. After entering Godzilla's body through his mouth, Tachibana fires a missile at his wound. Godzilla attempts to kill Yuri and Takeda, but Tachibana's missile explodes, causing his atomic breath to escape through the gaping wound and build pressure within his body. Tachibana escapes as Godzilla sinks and explodes after attempting to kill Tachibana with his atomic breath. Japan rejoices at their victory, with Tachibana saluting his colleagues and the guardian monsters. On the ocean floor, Godzilla's disembodied heart continues to beat.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Director Shūsuke Kaneko cycled through various script ideas while attempting to conceive the film. In the earliest known script, Godzilla would have faced off against a revamped version of Kamacuras, but this idea was scrapped since Godzilla had fought another insectoid kaiju in the previous film, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus.[4] A second idea involved Godzilla battling a new alien monster in a futuristic setting, but the script was considered too dark for a Godzilla film.[4] The Guardian Monsters concept came next, though Kaneko's original script originally had Anguirus, Varan and Baragon defend Japan against Godzilla.[5] Toho approved the script, but told him to replace Anguirus and Varan with the more popular Mothra and King Ghidorah, as the former pair were not considered bankable enough to guarantee a box-office hit. Skeptical at first, Kaneko managed to work the two new monsters into the film.

The film is especially notable for the changes made to the monsters, such as King Ghidorah in a heroic role despite previously appearing an as antagonist and being shorter than Godzilla instead of taller. Additionally, Godzilla was meant to walk with his back and tail parallel to the ground. However, this idea was dropped due to the strain it put on Godzilla's suit actor, Mizuho Yoshida, and the monster retained its upright traditional posture. Like Ghidorah, Mothra is also portrayed as being smaller than previous incarnations and resembles a butterfly instead of a moth. She also displays the ability to fire stingers from her abdomen instead of her traditional poison powder. Furthermore, her Shobijin were dropped, though an homage to them appeared in the film as twins who see Mothra fly overhead. The changes were made to make Godzilla seem stronger as Kaneko wanted it to be the strongest monster in the film and originally chose monsters that are notably smaller and less powerful than Godzilla as its opponents. After being asked to work in Mothra and King Ghidorah, he compensated by making them weaker than past incarnations. Monster suit designer Fuyuki Shinada was reportedly disappointed that his favorite monster, Varan, would not be in the film, but compensated by adding its facial features to King Ghidorah's heads.

Furthermore, Godzilla's radioactive element was replaced with a mystical element, as its origins are rooted in Japan's past during World War II.[6] While Godzilla is still a mutant dinosaur that was created by the atomic bomb, it is also described as the embodiment of those killed or left to die at the hands of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Pacific War. The extent to which his nuclear and spiritual origins balance is never specified. Kaneko, a lifelong pacifist, wanted to give the film an anti-war angle. The nuclear origin was left in because he knew that audiences wanted a realistic Godzilla, but he believed it worked better with a fantasy element.

Release[edit]

Box office[edit]

Produced with a budget of $9,400,000, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack opened in Japan on December 15, 2001 on a double-bill with an animated film called Hamtaro: Ham Ham Big Land Adventure.[7] In its opening weekend, it grossed approximately $1,900,000.[7] By the end of its box office run, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack grossed a total of approximately $20,000,000, with 2,400,000 admissions.[7] It was one of the largest-grossing Godzilla films of the Millennium series in Japan.

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD on January 27, 2004, and on Blu-ray, bundled with Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, on September 9, 2014.[8]

English version[edit]

After the film was completed, Toho had their international versions of the movie dubbed in Hong Kong. This dubbed version significantly changes the meaning of several lines throughout the film.

Sony licensed GMK and Godzilla vs. Megaguirus with the hope of giving both films a theatrical release in the United States. However, after the American release of Godzilla 2000 under-performed at the box office, plans to give any newer Godzilla films a wide release were scrapped. Instead, Sony prepared edited television versions of both films. These premiered in the United States on the Sci-Fi Channel on August 31, 2003, during the channel's Labor Day marathon. In February 2004, the uncut international versions of both films were released on DVD with the addition of the original Japanese soundtracks, a first for an American release of a Godzilla film.

Critical response[edit]

Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 63% rating from critics, based on 16 reviews with an average score of 5.29/10.[9]

Troy Guinn of Eccentric Cinema gave the film a score of 8/10, calling it "one of only three Godzilla films I would recommend to anyone besides giant monster-movie fans or sci-fi buffs, the other two being the original Gojira and Mothra vs. Godzilla."[10] Bryan Byun of DVD Verdict gave it a positive review, calling it "one of the most exciting entries in Godzilla's long cinematic history."[11] Stomp Tokyo gave the film a score of 3/5, calling it "one of the better-looking entries in the series, albeit one of unfulfilled potential."[12] John Wallis of DVD Talk felt that "the story is quite weak and somber" and that "this new take on [Godzilla] doesn't really work,"[13] while Gemma Tarlach of the Milwaukee Journal said that "GMK is best when it embraces its unabashed cheesiness. But when it tries to make Statements with Meaning, whether on Japan's past aggressions or ersatz samurai ruminations on the duty of a warrior, the movie flounders like a giant lizard hogtied by power lines."[14] Film critic Leonard Maltin gave it three out of four stars, one of only two Godzilla films to receive more than two and a half stars, with the other being Godzilla 2000.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Also known as simply GMK[2][3]
  2. ^ As depicted in the 1954 self-titled film.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "歴代ゴジラ映画作品一覧/年代流行". Nendai Ryuukou. Archived from the original on December 2, 2020. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  2. ^ Vizard, Guy (September 13, 2018). "The 10 Best Godzilla Movies Of All Time". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  3. ^ Seibold, Witney (May 29, 2014). "Godzilla Goodness: Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)". Nerdist. Archived from the original on June 18, 2018. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack <Toho SF Special Effects Series SPECIAL EDITION>. Toho. 2001. p. 10. ISBN 4-924609-80-3.
  5. ^ Naohiko, Mamiya (2002). Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack Super Complete Works. Shogakukan. p. 34-36. ISBN 978-4-09-101481-8.
  6. ^ Motoyama, Sho; Matsunomoto, Kazuhiro; Asai, Kazuyasu; Suzuki, Nobutaka; Kato, Masashi (2012). Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works. villagebooks. p. 274. ISBN 978-4864910132.
  7. ^ a b c GMK Box Office, Toho Kingdom
  8. ^ "Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack Blu-ray".
  9. ^ "Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  10. ^ Review by Troy Guinn, Eccentric Cinema
  11. ^ Review by Bryan Byun Archived 2008-05-26 at the Wayback Machine, DVD Verdict
  12. ^ Review by Stomp Tokyo
  13. ^ Review John Wallis, DVD Talk
  14. ^ Review[permanent dead link] Gemma Tarlach, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

External links[edit]