Jan 12, 2019
Welcome back for the final entry into the Godzilla animated trilogy from Polygon Pictures and TOHO Animation. I’m a huge Godzilla fan, and this trilogy has been a delight to pass the time while waiting for “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” later this year. If you want to check out my reviews for the first two films, check out “Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters” (Episode #340) and “Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle” (Episode #341). It’s not the canon you are used to, but it is a wonderful reimagining that should not be missed. And if you have any Godzilla favorites, let us know at onemoviepunch.com or reach out over social media.
Oh yeah, I don’t talk much about my charity work, but I’ve recently started an important organization dedicated to preserving movie impressions by British podcasters. The organization is called the Marc’s Movie Impressions Preservation Society, and you can learn more about this important work by subscribing to the Moviedrone podcast at moviedrone.podbean.com.
Here’s a promo with more information.
Today’s movie is “Godzilla: The Planet Eater” (2018), the Netflix Original animated film directed by Hiroyuki Seshita and Kôbun Shizuno, and written for the screen by Gen Urobuchi. The film takes place in the aftermath of the epic battle between Godzilla and Mechagodzilla, where the remaining alien ally, known as the Exif, reveal themselves as a death cult to summon the object of their affection, the mighty King Ghidorah.
I’ve warned folks pretty consistently that if you’re looking for Godzilla smashing urban centers and fighting other kaiju, that this trilogy will deliver flashes of that action, but remains more focused on the humanoid alliance, and their individual intentions, in dealing with Godzilla. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, and many critics have found the films disappointing because of that. However, I have always primarily been interested in the philosophical and social implications of Godzilla, as a metaphor for the Atomic Age, and the self-destructive capability of civilizations in the pursuit of power. Without that symbolism, the films end up being just a bunch of hokey rubber suit monsters destroying scaled urban centers. The warning remains in effect for this final entry in the trilogy, equal parts philosophy, politics, action, and an epic kaiju battle for the fate of the entire world.
If nothing else, everyone should just watch the title sequence at the beginning of this film, because it is one of the most visually astounding things I’ve seen in quite some time. Even my spouse, who has no attachment at all to Godzilla, was enraptured by it. I must have watched it three or four times before watching the rest of the film. Even tweeted/posted about it if you are following along. It’s part of the great animation brought to life throughout this film, a combination of painted backgrounds, standard Japanese animation techniques, and visual effect overlays. “Godzilla: The Planet Eater” keeps the same visual aesthetic as the first two films, while also introducing a new version of King Ghidorah, delightfully reimagined in a brand-new way, in the same spirit as Mechagodzilla in the previous entry. It helps get away from the impossible to retcon origins of King Ghidorah from all the previous entries, and folks who don’t dig this version can always wait for his appearance in the live-action CGI fest later this year.
The voice cast turns in their above average performances, as in the previous two entries. Top animation and great messaging are combined with an excellent, if heady script that can read like a philosophical discussion more often than not. For folks who could care less about those portions, the film may seem a little slow at times, but I found myself enraptured as the team moves through the final act of a well-planned trilogy of films, offering a complete story and leaving enough little easter eggs along the way to promise more, if they want. Without spoiling anything, there is a rather large easter egg that plays a pivotal role. I could easily see new stories, or even better, a couple, stand-alone prequels that focus more on the initial exodus from Earth, or the mysterious connections between the Exif and humanity as a whole, in all its forms throughout the ages.
“Godzilla: The Planet Eater” (2018) is a stunning, heady conclusion to the re-imagined animated trilogy, endowed with great animation and strong messaging. It may not be for all Godzilla fans, but definitely for those who appreciate the direct messaging within the canon. Fans of Japanese animation, or Godzilla, should definitely check out this film, along with the other two. Everyone else, be ready for a thinker, and adjust expectations accordingly.
Rotten Tomatoes: NR
One Movie Punch: 9.2/10
“Godzilla: The Planet Eater” (2018) is rated TV-14 and is currently streaming on Netflix.