So, what was the big deal about Godzilla vs Destoroyah? Hint: the tagline said Gojira shizu: Godzilla Dies! This was the only movie besides the 1954 original where he truly perished.
I'm not counting those times when he was dropped in the sea. Nor do I think he died vs MechaGodzilla, rather he was paralyzed until Rodan healed him.
It was apparent something was amiss when Godzilla rampaged through Hong Kong
Godzilla's temperature continued to rise, but it increased dramatically after he discovered
Junior had died. I had the impression that Junior died after Godzilla failed to revive him.
After battling and finally dispatching Destoroyah, Godzilla
reached meltdown temperature (1200° C).
Despite the efforts of the freeze laser cannons on the tanks and Super X3 to
freeze Godzilla, the runaway radiation could not be stopped.
With a final roar, his lifeforce burst out of him
With Godzilla's demise, the radiation levels reached immeasurable proportions.
Suddenly, the levels go down...
Junior! He had absorbed Godzilla's radiation and lifeforce, bringing him back to life
and mutating him to Godzilla's size.
Ha! Of course, Godzilla vs Destoroyah was going to be the last Godzilla movie...
My thoughts: Okay, so the above looked like a rehash of the Movie Synopsis section. What did I think of Godzilla's death? I'll admit I was a bit emotional after seeing Miki cry and the somber music. However, this quickly evaporated after I saw Junior revived to Godzilla's size. My first reaction, predictably, was happiness that Junior lived and the Godzilla legend would continue (not counting TriStar's effort, of course).
In retrospect, Godzilla's end may have been disappointing. Having Junior as the new Godzilla resembled the time-honored tradition of leaving a sequel opening. Did this take away from the impact of Godzilla's death? It could be said Junior's resurgence made Godzilla's death look like a publicity stunt. However, I had those cynical thoughts after I watched the movie, but I was still moved by Godzilla's death as I saw it.
The death contrasted greatly from his demise in G'54. Perhaps it was me, but I grew up with Godzilla as a good guy in his 60s and 70s movies played on TV. No matter how hard Toho tried to portray Godzilla as a bad guy in the Heisei series, I still felt Godzilla was the good guy and rooted for him in all his battles. My (and I imagine many viewers') sympathy clearly laid with Godzilla and the movie's tone seemed to reflect this. In G'54, humanity was trying to get rid of a menace. In vs Destoroyah, I felt we lost a character who had captured our imagination.
Akira Ifukube said "I didn't use the music from the scene in which Godzilla dies in GODZILLA - KING OF THE MONSTERS for the one in which he does actually meltdown because Godzilla was not what I was trying to focus on this time. Instead, I tried to focus on the dark side of humanity, which lead to the creation of atomic weapons, and Godzilla."
More meltdown pics can be seen in my Art Institute, which has DVD screen captures.
Godzilla wasn't the only one...
Jim Walsh used his video capture device to obtain the final picture of Junior. The other pics came from my Film Comic.
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