Just when it seems like there is nothing worth watching in theaters, Fathom Events once again descends upon us to provide us all with an actually good movie, that of course being either an old classic, a foreign film, or both. In this case, I got the chance to watch “Godzilla X Mothra X Mechagodzilla: Tokyo SOS” on the big screen.
“Godzilla: Tokyo SOS” is a direct follow up to the Godzilla film prior, “Godzilla X Mechagodzilla”. (See the Dec. 2 paper for that review)
The plot is that Godzilla is still at large and Japan’s Mechagodzilla named Kiryu is still in disarray, and one day, Mothra along with her twin fairies appear before an old man named Mr. Chujo and his nephew Yoshito and grandson Shun.
The fairies then tell them that Mechagodzilla needs to be dumped into the sea since they used the original Godzilla’s bones to make it and that’s a no go. Fortunately Yoshito is a mechanic for Mechagodzilla, but he doesn’t agree that he should be dumped into the sea. So, there’s a decent amount of drama between the different characters. Some believe Mechagodzilla needs to be scrapped, others say that he at least needs to kill Godzilla. When Godzilla does show up so does Mothra to fight him, but when that isn’t going well Mechagodzilla is called in to help out leading to a massive final battle.
So there’s a lot going on in the story and it can seem a little overwhelming as it’s basically a sequel to the original “Godzilla”, “Mothra”, “Godzilla X Mechagodzilla”, and then throw on “Space Amoeba” for good measure, but I wouldn’t say that those films need to be watched to understand this one aside from maybe “GXMG”. “Tokyo SOS” does a good enough job recapping the parts of those films that are important efficiently.
Does the story work? Kind of. It’s interesting and the theme of putting down weapons of mass destruction is pretty clear. The biggest issue I’d say is with the characters.
Coming off of the previous film which had one of the strongest protagonists in a Godzilla film, our protagonist here, Yoshito, can seem a little bland, and a lot of the other characters end up falling into being stock characters. Old man who turns out to be right, kid who shouts the monster’s name, mean rival, love interest, noble leader figure, it’s all there.
The character’s do not ruin the film and really aren’t that bad. They get the job done, but it is a noticeable downgrade coming off of “Godzilla X Mechagodzilla”.
What is an improvement over its predecessor is the action and effects.
The second half of “Tokyo SOS” is almost entirely monster action. You may be surprised to hear this, but when most other Godzilla films do this, it sucks. Usually the plot gets shoved to the side, characters are forgotten, and the fight drags out for way too long.
Here, though, it’s well spaced out and the characters are given interesting stuff to do that provides a break from the action without ruining the film’s momentum.
When we do get giant monster action, it’s glorious! “Godzilla: Tokyo SOS” is one of, if not, the best looking Godzilla film. It’s a beautiful display of practical effects.
There is some CGI here and there, but unlike a lot of the other Godzilla films at the time, it’s rarely ever noticeable, and the underwater shots of the CGI Godzilla looks great.
The fighting itself is awesome, I love it when they have the balls to rip and tear apart props and here they don’t hold back. Mothra in particular gets absolutely brutalized! Another thing that really helps the fights are the building destruction scenes. The monsters are constantly pushing each other through skyscrapers and CGI can never come close to the awesomeness of a miniature building being destroyed.
There’s also a nice mix of physical and beam combat, something the Godzilla series can struggle with sometimes, but here the balance is perfect.
The film is also bolstered by another beautiful score, but come on, every Godzilla film has a great soundtrack, except “Godzilla vs. Kong”.
So yeah, while “Godzilla: Tokyo SOS” may not be one of the all time best Godzilla films, it’s still a very fun one and definitely one of the easier ones for a modern movie goer to watch since you guys care so much about effects.
I give this film eight dead carcasses of “that turtle from ‘Space Amoeba’ out of 10.
Connor Keating is a Halstead sophomore in general studies