Friday, March 4, 2011

Second Age Reviews: Destroy All Monsters


Remember, about a month ago when I was reviewing Five Fingers of Death and I said that Martial Arts films are a genre where quality is a relative term? Well monster movies are even more of one, with this going double for the Godzilla vs. films. There are monster movies that a legitimate well made movies; The original Godzilla, the 1930's and 2005 versions of King Kong, Jaws, Jurassic Park. But for the most part the plots are incidental, the characters undeveloped and the screenplay grating. And Destroy All Monsters is no exception.

This doesn't mean that quality is completely irrelevant. There are Godzilla vs. movies that are bad, even by the standard set down by the others (Godzilla: King of Monsters for example). But fortunately, Destroy All Monsters is not one of them.

Oh sure, the plot is beyond saving. Something about aliens invading and using the monsters from the Godzilla series to wreck Earth into surrendering. Whatever, the plot in most Godzilla movies serves only to push the monsters around, as they can't talk. It's a shame that the movie spends so much fucking time on the plot, because the characters are so poorly defined that I can't remember a single one's defining characteristic (except for a random British dude, who I can only remember because everyone else is Japanese.)

The highlight of the movie is the promise of all the monsters showing up, and while the movie technically delivers, those of you hoping for big battle royal between all the monsters will be going home disappointed. They mostly wander around separately, wrecking different cities and occasionally attacking people or ships, until the big finale in which most of them team up to beat the shit out of King Chidora.

The movie as a whole is saddled with all the problems of imported Japanese monster movies; Forgettable characters, uninteresting and complicated story, poor dubbing, terrible screenplay. But if you're willing to look past all that and watch it with people who 'get' Godzilla vs. movies (IE, enjoy them ironically) then you'll have a good time watching the monster fights and snarking at the terrible dialogue. I guess that means this review is a bit shorter than usual. See you next time.

Next time on Second Age Reviews: Night Train to Terror

Elessar is a 21 year old Alaskan born cinephile and he had that Blue Oyster Cult song stuck in his head all night.

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