Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (Review)
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
aka Gojira vs Desutoroia
Directed by Takao Okawara
Written by Kazuki Omori
This is the final film in the Heisei series. It is also the final film in March of Godzilla 4. Funny how things work out, almost as if it was planned… So when Godzilla vs. Destoroyah was originally coming out, it hit the press because Godzilla dies. Thus, the entire ending is completely spoiled. Good job, publicists. This was the time when everyone was dying. Godzilla, Superman, Orville Redenbacher, Kurt Cobain, Jonas Salk, and Motoo Kimura. Everyone was dropping dead. It became passe, especially since everyone who died seemed to pop up good as new in a year or so. Originally, Godzilla was to stay dead for ten years so America could have their own Godzilla trilogy. But then Dean Devlin/Roland Emmerich managed to mess that up something awful, and Godzilla had to be rushed into making a reappearance to make up for how terrible the American film was. Even years later, Toho still hasn’t made up for how horrible Emmerich/Devlin’s Godzilla film was.
But enough of complaining, we’ll do plenty of that once we get around to that bastard of a film. For THIS film, Toho decides to connect it to the original film more than any previous Godzilla film. The oxygen destroyer is mentioned often, and is the source of the new villain who appears to fight Godzilla. It seems that no matter what mankind does, it creates giant monsters that destroy Tokyo. Maybe Tokyo should move five miles away from where it is located, that will probably solve all the problems.
Godzilla will be all red and smoking, as he inches closer and closer to nuclear meltdown. So now the poor actor in the suit has to sit around as dry ice is pack onto him before each shot, so the proper amount of steam sprays out. The fact they went and made a new Godzilla suit is probably a good idea, as the older suits were beginning to wear out and it helps emphasize the change in Godzilla is permanent and unavoidable.
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah didn’t hit the US for a few years thanks to the lack of US distribution, so for a while all you could see it on was bootlegs. Then the VHS tape with the dubbing came out in the late 90s, and eventually it got released on a double DVD with Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, which is the only DVD release in region 1 so far. So the US has never been able to see this the way it was originally created, unless you get an import DVD.
Oh, no, Baz island has gone missing!! What the hell was Baz Island? That’s where Godzilla and son were hanging out. But wait…Godzilla in Hong Kong! And he’s all glowing red and smoking and stuff. I told you to lay off the ciggies, Big G! Now you got Big C! Godzilla also has super red atomic breath like when he superpowered up at the end of the last film. Surely a coincidence.
The Godzilla UN Council meeting meets, and tell us that Baz Island blew up due to uranium that probably influenced Godzilla’s redness thanks to the radioactivity. Dr. Fukazawa is on the council even though he’s been MIA for the past few films. Special French Resistance Agent Ozawa (who is in America for some reason) brings up Dr. Milton, who knows Godzilla’s reactor is overloading (Dr. Milton compares it to his heart.) So Godzilla has a broken heart? Dr. Milton then asks about his stapler and talks of merry squirrels.
The reactor overloading of Godzilla is all based on a college kid’s internet essay! The UN council has time to read every random thing someone posts on the internet? Did they read my old webpage about how Greys secretly control every nation on Earth? Because…..I totally didn’t mean it. Please to abduct me late at night for probing, nice aliens!
The internet paper was written by college kid Kenkichi Yamane, his father was Dr. Yamane’s adopted son (the Odo Island native), who was orphaned in the original Godzilla film (his character is seen but barely mentioned in the American version) but I remember him well from the original Japanese cut when I saw that. When you see his photos you will know who I am talking about. This Son of Yamane wanted his kids to be great scientists, but Kenichi is a failure and his sister is a tv newscaster, Yukari Yamane. Kenichi thinks his dad ain’t proud. Kenichi says he sent his thesis to G-Center, but there was no response, so why was it on the American internet? Professor Fukazawa offers him a job at G-Force, and Kenichi is hesitant about being involved, but when he finds out Miki Saegusa is there, he totally wants to come. Obsessed stalker as a hero? All right!
On the news (hosted by Yukari Yamane), some dude named Dr. Ijuin has invented Microoxygen and won the Nobel Prize. Big deal, midget oxygen. Blah blah microoxygen makes things grow better…but it could be a weapon! Except the inventor says no one this day and age would want to start a global war! What a chump. If you think Microoxygen sounds like the oxygen destroyer weapon, give yourself a gold star! Or a Nobel Prize.
Hey, Yukari Yamane’s producer is Andoh from Godzilla vs. Mothra! I’m sure he is playing a different person, but they don’t give his name so I am just declaring he is really Andoh. So now it is true. Yukari Yamane gets a note from her aunt Emiko Yamane, who you might remember from the original film, asking to meet her. In G-Force, Miki Saegusa has ditched the horrible hairstyle and clothes she had in the last film and has gone back to looking cute in military-style clothes. She is heading up task force to find LittleGodzilla, so Kenichi Yamane immediately gets off on the wrong foot by suggesting LittleGodzilla is dead, killed by the explosion on the island. He’ll have to do some extra-strength stalking to make up for this faux pas!
Emiko Yamane tells her niece about the Oxygen destroy Dr. Serizawa invented, complete with flashbacks to the 1954 film. Emiko says Dr. Ijuin’s invention is the same thing! What is funny is that Dr. Serizawa wasn’t dubbed in the 1956 American version, but is dubbed now in the 1996 flashbacks! Yukari Yamane goes to visit Dr. Ijuin, who says he knows all that Dr. Serizawa crap but things are different now. They just are. He says nature has seen this all before.
Nature is now going to go nutso, as there is a crazy accident in tunnels under Tokyo Bay! Nature, you jerk! G-Force finally locates Godzilla again, who is now even hotter. Kenichi says Godzilla will continue to fission more and more, and then explode! The camera zooms on Dr. Fukazawa to show how dramatic this is. We are told that when this happens it will blow up the atmosphere and kill all life on Earth. There is a nice visual of this happening which is sort of cool.
Yukari Yamane notices Dr. Ijuin taking soil samples at the accident site, he somehow scores dinner with her as he explains that the soil shows millions of years ago it didn’t have any oxygen in it – he is specifically talking about the Precambrian era for all you nerds.
The military is mad they can’t bomb Godzilla any more because he could explode, which is odd because none of their attacks ever work. Kenichi wants to do the oxygen destroyer again…so queue more flashbacks! Aunt Emiko is wary, she tries to warn Kenichi off of it. Emiko has pictures of Dr. Serizawa and Dr. Yamane in her house, but none of Hideto Ogata?? Were they worried we would recognize Akira Takarada from the other Heisei films he was in?
There are signs of life in the soil samples, but it escapes and is somehow in the sewers. We cut to a guard in an aquarium, he sees the water eat away at fish until they are skeletons in a cool effect. This seems to give him a mental collapse, so maybe he’s one of those fish freaks like Troy MacLure. Dr. Ijuin is asked to make an oxygen destroyer, but first he must analyze a tape of the fish dying. They do some CSI-type zoom, enhance, and 3D scan which turns a blur into an ultra-detailed 3d model of a tiny lifeform. Let’s ignore that what they did is impossible and just focus on how there is a freaky micro-shrimp thing dissolving fish into bones.
LittleGodzilla might be killing whales but is still MIA. Third world democracy. He’s got more records than the KGB. Meanwhile, Ray Harryhousen-style monsters are causing trouble in Tokyo. Like thirty cop cars go to investigate, making the film look like a Blues Brothers chase sequence. The SWAT goes in, with guns that look like guns from Aliens, and wandering around an abandoned warehouse filled with creepy monsters, some of hem are armed with motion detectors(!!) and then the monsters attack from the ceiling!!! Did we switch movies all of a sudden? Will Kenichi complain about how this is a bug hunt? Will Miki Saegusa walk out in a power suit and fight Destoroyah, saving her surrogate daughter?
Monsters jump out from all over the place and eat and puke white energy stuff all over the SWAT. One monster attacks the press outside, causing everyone to scatter. The monster was upset over perceived media bias. Yukari hides in a car, and when the monster attacks the car we see it even has a tongue with chompers on it! The monster blasts up like 75% of the car with its energy waves, but it misses Yukari and Dr. Ijuin saves her. The monster gets flamethrowed!
If Japan doesn’t have enough problems with the unauthorized remake of Aliens happening in Tokyo Bay, Godzilla is attacking nuclear plants in Bongo Bay. Bongo! Whereever that bay is, it rules. The military says…send in the SuperX3! The SuperX3 looks like a Transformers Toy of the Decepticon type, with a red-windshield that wouldn’t look out of place on KITT from KnightRider or on a Cylon. SuperX3 has no explosives, all weapons are freezer weapons that freeze stuff. Thank goodness the military had that lying around in cast they needed to attack Godzilla but couldn’t use any explosives on him. The SuperX3’s main pilot is the same dude who played Kazuma Aoki in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 2, so I’ll just claim he is playing the same character also!
The Superx3 readies to attack as the score kicks in with another Akira Ifukube up-tempo beat. They fire freezer missiles onto him, soon Godzilla has ice glomps and it looks like a can of shaving cream exploded on him! Godzilla freezes up and cadmium is fired into him to keep him cold. It looks like Big G will be frozen for 6 hours, so SuperX3 goes home. After he thaws off, Godzilla’s fission levels go down a lot so it looks like he won’t blow up the planet, but the film isn’t half over yet so we know something bad will happen.
We find out Miki’s powers are fading away. Meh. LittleGodzilla finally shows up, not so little anymore. He’s GodzillaJunior now, because Toho realized they could make new toys for him every movie! GodzillaJunior is heading to the Bering Sea, Godzilla is following him, and his temperature is rising again! Now he is going to meltdown, which means explode and sink into the Earth to the core, destroying the Earth. It’s the China Syndrome x100000! Godzilla will meltdown at 1200 degrees, he is at 900 now and rising 50 degrees a day.
Back in Tokyo, the solders vs. aliens have upgraded to Freeze-Masers and Akira Ifukube scores play as the vehicles roll in! The battle seems to be going well (though practical effects prevent shots on the monsters like legs getting blown off or other stuff we’ve come to expect by now from SciFi Channel films) but the creatures then aggregate together, microoxygen goes through the roof, and now we got one gigantic monster! They combined like the Constructicons, but instead of Devestator, he is Destoroyah! Destoroyah is aka Destroyer, but since that name can’t be copywrited he is Destoroyah even though it will be pronounced Destroyer the entire movie. Confused? Dr. Ijuin declares it isn’t microoxygen that made this monster, it was oxygen destroyer, thus the monster is Destroyer.
Destoroyah, he’s big, he’s bad, he’s smashing crap up! Destoroyah can also fly because…of…something. Never mind physics in a world with giant monsters and microoxygen, so now we got a flying giant monster. The army can’t believe they have two giant monsters to deal with despite two monsters appearing at the same time for the past several movies (and several of them had THREE monsters!)
The new plan is to get the monsters to fight, they will use GodzillaJunior as bait despite Miki’s objections. The battle will be in Tokyo, so they will evacuate 200 miles! Miki and French Resistance Agent Ozawa use their combined psychic powers to tell GodzillaJunior to go to Tokyo, so he does. What a chump.
Destoroyah is blowing crap up because that’s what he does. Junior then comes ashore, and now with monsters on both sides, the panicking people don’t know which way to run while screaming. Destoroyah immediately starts blasting up Junior, and drops a building on him. Die, Junior, Die! Destoroyah almost knocks down the helicopter with Miki and Ozawa in it, but Junior saves them with a breath blast. Junior blasts Destoroyah the frak up, but Destoroyah then just reforms to attack again. That effect is so cliché now. Destoroyah is on top and pounding Junior, who is blasting off limbs with his breath. Now that is pretty cool, more with the limb blasting!
Oh, no, I actually supported something GodzillaJunior did! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!
Next, Big G arrives. Before he gets to the action, Destoroyah stabs Junior in the throat with his tongue teeth, while Dr. Injuin explains that Destoroyah is absorbing energy from Junior by injecting him with microoxygen. Junior breath blasts Destoroyah off of him and into a power plant, stopping the evil monster for now. Dad and son reunite, then an even bigger giant Destoroyah explodes out of the power plant.
Godzilla is at 1141 degrees, so sending in the Superx3, if they freeze him at the right moment they can minimize the damage. Destoroyah knocks over Godzilla and grabs Junior, flying off while carrying Junior. He drops Junior into a building, then starts blasting him. Destoroyah also blasts the chopper the girls (Miki and Ozawa) were in, but they got out seconds before and are now wandering around the battle area.
And Godzilla Junior dies!
Miki cries, but I smile!
Godzilla is sad, but angry. Godzilla and Destoroyah fight, including a sequence where Destoroyah’s tail grabs onto Godzilla and drags him along. Then the duel moves more inland, where Destoroyah uses his horn as sort of a lightsaber to slice up Godzilla, scoring some slashes in Big G. Godzilla counters with superblasts to the chest causing Destoroyah to puke green slime, then he punches Destoroyah causing even more green blood to flow. Destoroyah collapses, but turns into a pack of smaller monsters (bigger versions of the ones that attacked the cops) that start crawling all over Godzilla. They swarm all over Godzilla despite him killing a few.
Yukari Yamane’s newschopper is sent to rescue Miki and Ozawa, finding them in the nick of time before they are killed by more debris. Godzilla is now free of the Destoroyah bugs, and heads towards his dead son. A small energy transfer seems to do nothing. Godzilla becomes angry and blasts into the sky, the SuperX3 prepping to fire when he hits 1200…
Then Godzilla is blasted by a newly reformed Destoroyah! Stupid reforming monsters! Stay dead, already! Destoroyah grabs Godzilla by neck with his tail and tosses him around while sucking energy. Destoroyah then throws Godzilla into building.
We know Godzilla is gonna blow soon because his spines begin to melt. Godzilla also has weird energy emanating out his back. Godzilla shoots off part of Destoroyah’s face with a breath blast, and then fires some more. Destoroyah tries to fly off, but the humans blast him with ice masers (called ULT Lasers for Ultra Low Temperature) and the SuperX3 ice gun, knocking Destoroyah out of the sky, dead.
Now for Godzilla…
Fire all the ice masers at Godzilla! We get some epic music with angelic choir voices, and radiation levels go through the roof (someone actually comments “What radioactivity!” Things become really sad as Godzilla’s skin melts off, and then his whole body collapses as it melts away. Godzilla is dead. But he took Tokyo with him, thanks to the amazingly high levels of radioactivity it is also now a ghost city. We are all sad that Godzilla is dead.
The radioactivity begins to disappear…
Because it was all absorbed by GodzillaJunior, who is now alive again and is now the new Godzilla!
The film ends with a few clips of 1954 Godzilla again.
That’s it? They don’t even say specifically that it was GodzillaJunior that was the new Godzilla, everyone learned it from being told that or figuring it out! There is no resolution at all. What will happen to G-Force? Will stalker Yamane get with the now powerless Miki? Is Tokyo really too radioactive or did GodzillaJunior absorb it all? Inquiring minds want to know, but will never know, because the Heisei series is finished! Yes, it is over, in what was supposed to be a ten year break to let the Americans do their own Godzilla films. But we know how crappy that turned out and suddenly Godzilla 2000 was rushed into production.
So I guess we should give the Heisei/versus Series a proper farewell. Except we aren’t done with the Heisei Series. As of this writing, TarsTarkas.NET hasn’t done Godzilla 1985/Return of Godzilla, partially because to review it properly we need to watch both the American and Japanese versions, thus it takes a lot longer to set up. And while I own both versions, one is in a box somewhere so the film got skipped, hopefully next year for March of Godzilla 5 it will be done. So we’ll put off the analysis for then as well, and that means March of Godzilla 4 draws to a close. We had a few surprises mixed in with the Heisei marathon, and this year I actually got almost all of the films done in March, something that hasn’t happened since I started these. Don’t expect it to repeat itself, because who knows what things will be going on in my life 11 months from now. So for now, back to Turkish remakes, girls dressed as cats, SciFi Channel originals, and foreign films so bad their home countries have disowned them.
But first…the Crazy Interview Segment!
Rated 9/10 (Nuking, Where is Dr. Bradly?, Bones, Dr. Yamane, Dr. Serizawa, Maser commander, General on the ground, hrmm…, Ice gun)
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