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Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. and Godzilla: Final Wars Double Feature Blu-ray Review

Godzilla- Tokyo S.O.S. and Godzilla- Final Wars Double Feature Blu-ray

“Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.” and “Godzilla: Final Wars” are forgettable Godzilla flicks.

The review coverage for Sony’s Godzilla Blu-rays continues with the “Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.” and “Godzilla: Final Wars” double feature. So, how does these two fare? Sadly, not well.

In “Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.,” the story involves the human robot weapon Kiryu (AKA Mechagodzilla), Godzilla returning to Tokyo to fight Mechagodzilla, and Mothra (and its twin larva) trying to protect mankind alongside Mechagodzila.

As you can see, there is very little in the way of plot here as this kid friendly sequel to the excellent “Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla” (where’s THAT Blu-ray, Sony?) is mostly comprised of battles and some seriously boring character drama. Aside from the slightly interesting Godzilla bones subplot and a major character death (which should have been played up A LOT more), Massaaki Tezuka and Masahiro Yokotani’s screenplay mostly recycles ideas that were previously used. There’s simply nothing fresh or new here to reinvigorate the franchise.

“Godzilla: Final Wars,” which celebrates Godzilla’s 50th anniversary, is an absolutely chaotic installment that goes all out in its storytelling approach.  The story of this big budget, action packed 2004 film finds Earth Defence Force units and the mutant human M Organization combating hostile alien invaders (Xilliens) who are unleashing destructive monsters such as Gigan, Rodan, Ebirah, Anguirus, Kamacuras, Kumonga, King Caesar, Monster X, and Zilla in cities across the globe. Only Captain Gordon, a biologist (Mizuki), an M soldier named Ozaki, and yes, even Godzilla must try and stop the Xilliens from destroying Earth.

Clocking in at an excessively long 125 minutes, “Godzilla: Final Wars” is a glorified cameo fest that attempts to give fans what they want. Unfortunately, Toho’s goal didn’t quite pan out as ‘Final Wars’ received decidedly mixed reactions from fans. It’s not hard to see why as this bloated installment is a downright mess. Not only is director Ryuhei Kitamura’s flashy, quick cut style headache inducing, but the mankind vs. alien drama is flat out rubbish (not to mention overlong). Perhaps the film’s most disappointing aspect is that virtually all of the fights are anti-climactic. Yes, Mothra vs. Gigan, Godzilla vs. Monster X/King Ghidorah and Godzilla vs. King Caesar, Rodan, and Anguirus are entertaining enough, but most of the fights are all too brief. I don’t think it’s wrong to assume that many fans were looking forward to seeing Godzilla beating down Zilla, but alas, the battle lasts a mere minute (if that). In fact, many of the fights are rushed and short-lived which is frustrating to say the least. Had more screentime been given to these monster brawls instead of dull battles against the Xilliens or Minilla (why???), the film would have been much stronger overall.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: “Godzilla: Final Wars” in 2.40:1 1080p and “Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.” in 2.35:1 1080p. How do they look? ‘Final Wars’ contains a surprisingly lackluster and fuzzy print while ‘Tokyo’ boasts a MUCH clearer and crisper transfer overall.

Audio Tracks: English and Japanese 5.1 DTS-HD MA for both films. How do they sound? The Japanese track is nice and loud for ‘Final Wars’ and is far more impressive than the picture quality. The Japanese ‘Tokyo’ track is also worthy of an equal amount of praise. As for the English tracks, if you like the dubs you will like the dubs.

Extras include Digital HD copies of both films, 3 teasers and a theatrical trailer for “Godzilla: Final Wars,” “Godzilla: B-Roll To Film”(a nearly 18 minute collection of b-roll set footage), a “Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.” theatrical trailer, and a 22 minute “The Making of Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.” featurette which contains behind-the-scenes set footage and film clips.

Overall: “Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.” and “Godzilla: Final Wars” will primarily appeal to Godzilla completists. If you are looking to pick up a Godzilla Blu-ray, go with “Godzilla vs. Destroyah/Godzilla vs. Megaguirus” instead.

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May 13, 2014 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , ,

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