Movie Critique

I will be adding as I learn more, so look for the updates in this blue font

Note: Many of the following FAQ's involve "looking into" the movie. Throughout my site I've tried to avoid doing that, as I don't believe the movies were intended to be scrutinized with a fine-tooth comb. However, since they're all part of the movie, I've decided to use this section to address unconventional views and weaknesses of the movie.


What were some plot weaknesses?

My friend Mark noted that Godzilla movies are written using the same basic model: "A plodding story that may or may not go anywhere until the third act when the rest of the plot is put aside so the big rubber monsters take center stage to duke it out."

And I will be the first to admit that in many ways, the above describes vs Destoroyah. To wit:

"The ending was so powerful that it made me forget about many of the film's shortcomings, but it left me upset in other ways. For example - the way Miki agreed to join Meru and bring Jr. to Tokyo. Miki should've just said "Fine, you do it yourself. His blood will be on your hands." (Or maybe she should have gotten into a psychic battle with Meru to try to stop her?!) Bringing Jr. to Tokyo was a cruel sacrifice. This was the third movie in a row where she is asked to use her powers in a way she believes is wrong - but she does it anyway. I was appalled, and personally, I hope that we have seen the last of Miki Saegusa. The character has no more room for development - and I have no sympathy whatsoever for her. When she was crying over Jr.'s mortally wounded body, I felt like screaming at her 'Shut up! You have no right to mourn for him - you are the one who brought him to this!'"

However, my friend Mark rebuts: "I do, however, question the theory posted on your page that Miki is somehow at fault in GvsD. I'm going off of memory here, but Miki is blamed for her decision to assist in luring Junior to his doom. But, really, did she have a choice? Junior, Japan, and pretty much everything else was doomed from the moment Godzilla started to meltdown. The decision that Meru and Kenichi came to [lure Godzilla to Destoroyah by sacrificing Junior] was Machiavellian and heartless, but it was the only option available. Godzilla was now a world-wide threat and could go off at any time; more conventional methods of dealing with the situation [trying to find a cure for Godzilla's condition, building yet another giant robot] weren't feasible."

Personally, it didn't really click with me... until I realized Junior used to be Little G. Damn that psychic!

What do you mean by "throwaway"?

Most Heisei movies end with what I call a throwaway line. Usually after the people watch the monsters battle, they stand around looking relieved. Then one person blurts a preachy remark to remind us what the first half of the movie was about. Examples: artificial life vs real life in vs MechaGodzilla, genetic engineering in vs Biollante, taking care of the Earth in vs Mothra, and my favorite: polluting space in vs SpaceGodzilla.

What was some of the symbolism?

I saw it simply as a way to conclude the Godzilla series, paying homage to the original, and reminding us that nuclear weapons are dangerous and nuclear energy is still unpredictable. Little did I know how shallow I was until I read some of the allegories found in A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series (by David Kalat):

While it may be intriguing to explore these, I don't quite know what to make of them. If they don't make sense, that's okay, they didn't to me either. I suppose they might have some merit, but they weren't obvious while watching the movie, so a lot of his themes have to be taken in retrospect.

Personally, I take some of that hidden/subtle/unintentional symbolism with a grain of salt. From what I've noticed, Toho has never been subtle with its metaphors. For example, take the economic domination (or Japan's ego trip) theme in vs King Ghidorah, the environmental topics in vs Mothra and vs the Smog Monster. There was little doubt about the themes of those movies (the writers and dialogue made it all too clear). Even in Godzilla 1954, while well done, Dr. Yamane comes out and said Godzilla was an allegory for the unpredictability of nuclear weapons.

Case in point: does the last one about Mothra and the phallic symbol look new? I just made it up! Anyone got some ideas for Junior as a Christ-figure reference?

Do you think Toho ended the series because Japan no longer needed him?

Some have asserted that ending Godzilla was a way to show how much the political climates have changed since 1954. Since the end of the Cold War has supposedly diminished the threat of nuclear terror, the metaphor is less useful. Well, I disagree with that. The "end of nuclear terror" today is certainly debatable, but I look at it another way: Since Junior was essentially Godzilla at the end, Toho didn't really end him in this movie!

As for Japan's kaiju genre, since 1995 there have been three Mothra movies and two Gamera movies. Toho is letting TriStar make films and cartoons titled "Godzilla", and now we have Godzilla 2000, GxM, GMK, and another on they way. And you can bet that will have a sequel opening.

You seem awfully cynical toward parts of this movie, I thought you liked this movie

Hey! My entire page pays homage to Destoroyah and Godzilla! I cannot be a "GvD completist" without acknowledging the good with the bad.

Sure, there were plot holes and under-developed points, but aren't we expecting too much from a Godzilla movie? A majority of Toho's audience wants to see the monsters duke it out, and for better or for worse, that's what Godzilla movies give us. As my friend Jim says, "I see the movies first as entertainment and that they were meant to be enjoyed, even the first one."

Besides, this movie hardly had a monopoly on plot difficulties, underdeveloped points, and things that didn’t make sense.

In short, don't think too much. Sit back and enjoy them.

What were some of the things that set Godzilla vs Destoroyah apart?

As noteworthy as those were, there were two main themes which made Godzilla vs Destoroyah unique among Godzilla movies. Even though I may focus on Destoroyah and the battle between the two, there were two things that made this one of the most significant Godzilla movies ever. Each are covered in their own sections:

What are some of your ideas then?

I'm not the first fan to criticize parts of the movie. But I am perhaps the first to give my ideas on what I'd like to do!

I've never had too much interest in fan fiction or online novels, especially in writing them. So if my ideas contradict themselves or have more holes than swiss cheese, well, that's just me. As I have established earlier, I enjoy the monsters more than the plot, and my ideas will reflect this. In no particular order:

Now that I look at my final battle scenario, it isn't too much different than what happened in the final battle, with a bit of vs MechaGodzilla '74 and Gamera vs Legion thrown in. There is still room to fit in the battle with Junior, the Aggregates crawling on Godzilla, the meltdown scene, and Junior rising in the end (parts most fans loved).

Where to put all those extra monster scenes I want? Cut out parts of the first half. They were ignored in the second half anyway, so it wouldn't be a big loss.

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