Notable Cast: Mamoru Miyano, Takahiro Sakurai, Tomokazu Sugita, Junichi Suwabe, Kenta Miyake, Kana Hanazawa, Yuki Kaji, Daisuke Ono, Kenyu Horiuchi, Kazuya Nakai, Kazuhiro Yamaji
When Toho Animation announced that its next Godzilla feature would be an anime, it was easy to see how that would appeal to people. As the months rolled on, the information about this anime, titled Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters, didn’t necessarily seem to coincide with what I associate with a Godzilla film. Namely, the film was a post apocalyptic space film where the plot focused on humans returning to Earth after abandoning it thousands of years previous because of Godzilla’s presence. Other information certainly made me cautious and as time wore on I found my expectations for the film plummeting to the point where I almost had no desire to watch the actual film when it was finally unleashed as a Netflix original just recently.
Still, I’m a Godzilla fanboy and so I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and prepared for Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters.
However, in its ambitiousness, the film also is a complete failure. My brother and I, in our love for the Godzilla franchise, always make fun of it for what we refer to as “G-Science.” G-Science is when the series makes up some random scientific sounding mumbo-jumbo to try and justify its own ridiculousness. Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters is ONLY G-Science and it’s completely ungrounded from any kind of sanity. The film spends almost its entire hour and a half run time justifying its own weird science, from the religious aliens who are shoehorned into the plot needlessly to the obscure concepts of why Godzilla is indestructible, immortal, metal (?!), and has its own electromagnetic shielding (?!?!?!). This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are also metal dragons, metal plants, and a ton of plot teases to storylines that never come to fruition. I’m not even going to touch on the weird space society that is founded or why/what/how that works and, honestly, the film seems fine with not explaining that either.
|Not mecha, but kind of still mecha - Godzilla.
Even if the plotting and character development weren’t complete trash, the rest of the film doesn’t fare much better. I’m no anime expert (far from it, really,) but I felt the animation was choppy and felt half developed. The color schemes are all mute and the opposite of energetic, particularly since it goes from the grays and blacks of space to the grays and blacks of a metal (seriously, what the hell) planet Earth. I’m pretty sure they throw in purple ship rockets and orange explosions for the sake of just giving an audience something else to look at. The voice acting is perhaps the best part of the film, again, I’m not an expert, but considering how little they are given to work with in terms of dialogue and character it’s almost a moot point.
Maybe it’s because I’m not an anime fan that Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters did resonate at all with me. It seems ambitious enough and strange enough to be something unique to add to the decades long franchise, but everything in this film is a massive misfire. The script is a trash heap of jargon, the characters don’t create dedication to the large universe being built, and even the animation seems rushed and uninspired. If this is the first of a trilogy, which it would seem to be by the relentless teases and cliffhanger ending, I’m not sure I’m even sold on coming back for the second part.
Oh, who am I kidding? I’m too much of a Godzilla fan to ignore the next one. Let’s just hope it’s better than whatever this film is.
Written By Matt Reifschneider