What is it? – The sixth Godzilla feature finds our titular monster pitted against giant pterodactyl Rodan and the three-headed dragon King Ghidorah. Meanwhile, humanity faces off against an alien race bent on world domination.
Though my original exposure to them was through the classic cheese processing facility known as Mystery Science Theater 3000, I have developed an appreciation for Japan’s particular kaiju–or “strange beast”–genre. The first, most popular and most enduring of these is definitely Toho Studios’ Godzilla. Originally envisioned as a metaphor for the devastation of nuclear weaponry, Godzilla (or Gojira in his native land) soon became a mascot of sorts, owing to his portrayal as a powerful yet misunderstood creature. A 165 foot-tall nuclear Frankenstein’s Monster, a sympathetic beast that was roused to defend itself. Longtime franchise director Ishiro Honda had said at one point, “monsters are born too tall, too strong, too heavy—that is their tragedy”. The original Japanese Godzilla is a dark, spooky, and ominous film, but future iterations would find the monster’s menace diminished as he became more of a heroic figure in the films. Here in the sixth feature, Godzilla is in full-on sympathetic portrayal mode, even comedic at times.