Old 10-30-2008, 10:10 PM
Godzilla Raids Again

This is part 2 of 29 of the Adam J. Hakari/Count Chocula GODZILLA retrospective. We will be reviewing all of the Godzilla flicks over the next few weeks/months/years. For the sake of convenience, the films will not be reviewed in chronological order. Hey, we're just two losers doing a lot of writing for free, so don't expect brilliant journalism. Okay, enough bullshit. Sit back and enjoy...

If Gojira was that one teacher in school that never strayed from the curriculum, then Godzilla Raids Again is like a substitute. For a while, it lets you get away with screwing around and having a bit of fun, but it's not long before the flick slaps its game face on. Godzilla Raids Again pretty much follows this structure. While the first half is an entertaining monster mash that never gets too cheesy, the second half sticks out like a sore thumb, swiftly putting an end to the good times it started out with.

While scoping out the ocean for a fishing fleet, a pilot is forced to make an emergency landing at nearby Iwato Island. But when another plane is dispatched to rescue him, a threat all too familiar to Japan is soon discovered. Though the city-stomping monster known as Godzilla was killed following his Tokyo rampage, it seems that a not-too-distant relative of the beast is alive and well on the island. It's only a matter of time before the new Godzilla sets his sights on destroying the city of Osaka, but as it turns out, he's not alone. There's another monster, named Anguirus, on the loose, and he's brought his feud with Godzilla to the mainland, a true clash of the titans that the people of Osaka may never recover from.

Godzilla Raids Again marks something of a halfway point for the Godzilla series. Though not as stone-faced as Gojira, it didn't quite embody the cheeseball mentality that the following feature, King Kong vs. Godzilla, would adopt. It's just loose enough to have a little fun for a few scenes without going completely over the top. As it comes to pass, though, these parts are the picture's best, and you'll miss them when the remainder of the story tries in vain to start giving a damn. While the effects are still fairly crude (check out the motionless Godzilla toy used for an aerial shot), the movie actually gets you to kind of see beyond the rubber suits. There's no real reason why Godzilla and Anguirus are fighting; they just do, which is all I needed. It's better this way, to see the two massive monsters duke it out for the sake of duking it out instead of being served with some moronic motivation. The brawls really are a lot of fun, setting the stage for many more rumbles down the franchise's road.

Unfortunately, one thing that Godzilla Raids Again does share with its predecessor is a malaise that pops up whenever the story focuses on the humans. Stock, paper-thin characters are nothing new, but the bunch that's gathered here is beyond boring. Worse yet, the story expects you to care about them, which is hard to do when they've been awarded as much development as a protozoa. It's not so bad when their scenes are interspersed with those of Godzilla battling Anguirus, but there comes a point about halfway through when the action comes to a screeching halt. It's at this time that Godzilla Raids Again peruses the pathetic array of subplots before it, dabbling in each one before getting back to Godzilla. You might not think it matters much, but this section really slows the flick down to a crawl, to the point where you ponder taking a nap instead of going any further.

Like Gojira, Godzilla Raids Again isn't a bona fide classic, but it's a decent enough example of kaiju in its own right. Fans might enjoy it even more than the first movie, since there's less concentration on Hiroshima-inspired imagery and more on the main monster mash at hand. All in all, Godzilla Raids Again isn't a halfway bad way of carrying on the Big G's destructive legacy.

MY RATING: ** 1/2 (out of ****)

Check out part 1 of the GODZILLA retrospective here!


Last edited by A.J. Hakari; 11-02-2008 at 09:12 PM..
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:22 PM
Raids Again was so-so. It really does get boring when the people drama comes into play. Actually I got confused about who was who after awhile. The Godzilla/Anguirus stuff wasnt bad though. How they stop Godzilla was pretty good. They stop him but dont kill him this time around.

2/4 stars
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:45 PM
Nice review. I recently added a shitload of Godzilla flicks in my blockbuster queue. I've really got a bug up my ass about Godzilla lately and these reviews are hitting the spot.
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Old 11-01-2008, 06:04 PM
What's interesting about our marathon of Godzilla reviews is that you're getting two different perspectives. I'm a Godzilla fanboy, whereas Adam is introducing himself to the series. He has some bizarre opinions on these films. For instance, he's DEAD WRONG about the original. DEAD WRONG, Hakari.

I'll be back shortly with my first G-view.
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:59 AM
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:52 AM
I really liked this entry, almost as much as the original King of The Monsters, and I thought that the main characters' occupations as some ocean-observer was rather clever in that it ties them together with the Big G's stalking grounds in a unique way. I liked the main character, his girlfriend, and pretty much everybody except for the stock "best friend" charcter. It wasn't that the character was written poorly, but that the voice actor who dubbed him over sounded like a corss between Patrick Star and Yogi Bear, which made him hard to take serious at all.
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:04 PM
The problem with Godzilla Raids Again is that it's so BORING. I mean, the core cast is actually very interesting (I love the idea of the sequel having a view from the regular people instead of scientists) and the special effects are great. You just spend SO much time waiting for something, anything, to happen that I really thought Kobayashi had the best idea of kamakazeing out of the film.
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:18 PM

Originally Posted by Yummy Mummy View Post
I disagree, Tyler. In my opinion, Godzilla Raids Again kicks a considerable amount of ass. The kaiju battles are epic. I concede that the ending is a whimpering anticlimax, though.
Ditto! I really like this sequel and think that it's good times while Godzilla was still a formidable menace to Japan. I actually wish that more of the films would be like this one in terms of tone. I really liked how the American editions of the first two films were strung together with the narration, cheezy as it may have been. It gave it a good sense of structure IMO.

I kinda liked the ending, even if it was just covering Godzilla in ice.
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:55 PM
Oh, I think the kaiju battles are the best part. The special effects are incredibly inventive and the brutality of them is something I don't think the series has ever matched (Shushuke Kaneko's Gamera trilogy comes the closest). It's just that I don't feel the rest of the movie matches up to them.
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