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Somehow, the warship Atragon (a ship that can swim over & under
water as well as fly & drill its way through solid matter, as seen in
1963's movie Atragon) manages to defeat Godzilla at the South Pole,
bury him under tons of ice & contain him in some forcefield ...
But with Godzilla gone, Atragon has rendered itself useless, & its
elite crew, consisting solely of mutants, is consigned to other tasks. So
first mate Ozaki (Masahiro Matsuoka) suddenly has the non-challenging (or
so he thinks) task to be bodyguard to molecular scientist Miyuki Otonashi
(Rei Kikukawa), who is a real good looker, but at first spurns all his
avances, being more interested in the giant petrified (?) monster
her team has just found ...
But with Godzilla gone, earth's other monsters - Rodan, Gimantis,
Spigas, Anguilus, King Sheesar, Ebirah, even something looking like the
crappy American CGI-Godzilla, ... - have a field day, & destroy cities
around the globe as only giant Japanese monsters can ...
& all of a sudden, all the monsters disappear, instead an UFO from
planet X appears, & the X-ian controller (Kazuki Kitamura) assures
earth the X-ians have come in peace. & the UN secretary general (Akira
Takarada) & the commander of earth's armed forces (Kumi Mizuno), who
curiously have been saved from an airplanecrash by the X-ians, agree with
the X-ians all too hastily.
Only a small group - Ozaki, Miyuki & Miyuki's sister Anna (Maki
Mizuno) among them - notice there's something wrong, & soon enough
come to the conclusion that
a) the secretary general & the commander are really X-ians in
b) the only one who can save the earth now is ... Godzilla of course !
So they persuade Atragon's captain Gordon (Don Frye) & his crew to
go to the South Pole & free Godzilla, then lure him back to Japan to
take care of the X-ians (like all proper invaders, the X-ians have picked
Japan as their main target).
The X-ian soon throws monster after monster at Godzilla, but Godzilla
has little problems disposing of them, even if they sometimes go
three-on-one, & eventually, even Mothra - always on the side of good -
shows up to help him. Soon of course, Godzilla has arrived at his
destination, & Tokyo is laid to waste, when the X-ians throw their
ultimate monster, Monster X at him. & Monster X proves to be a tough
Meanwhile, Atragon has somehow made it inside the X-ian UFO, but the
whole crew is taken prisoner ... which is when mutant Ozaki learns his
origin (& probably his destiny ? ): All the mutants are in fact a
result of X-ian gene manipulation, to bring some earthlings to X-ian level
to help the X-ians harvest on the earthlings. But Ozaki is something more,
a Kaiser, some sort of extra-superbeing, & there are very few Kaisers
even among the X-ians. Needless to say, the controller is a Kaiser, &
he offers Ozaki to rule the earthlings with him. Naturally, Ozaki refuses,
& the 2 fight it out violently. Only eventually can Ozaki defeat the
Controller, & he & the Atragon crew can not only fight their way
through hordes of X-ians back to the ship, but also free the real UN
secretary general & the real commander of earth's armed forces.
Upon leaving, the Atragon destroys the UFO.
At the same time, down on terry firma, Godzilla finally defeats Monster
X ... or so he thinks, because Monster X suddenly transforms into King
Gidorah, & as usual King Gidorah puts up quite a fight before being
finally defeated. Then Godzilla wants to destroy the Atragon too, but his
cute little son can stop his dad & calm him down just in time, &
the 2 take to the water & leave.
To Monster Island ?, one is left wondering.
To celebrate their 20th monster film in 1968, production company Toho
made the silly bu enjoyable Destroy
All Monsters, where almost all of Toho's monsters were
trown into one single film. In 2004, to celebrate Godzilla's
50th birthday, someone at Toho must have remembered that film &
thought "it did work once, there's no reason it shouldn't work
The result is somewhat ambiguous: It's of course great to see al the
monsters (especially the crappy ones like King Sheesar or Gigan) turn up
again, destroy cities like nobody's business & fight each other, &
even the decidedly badly made, cheesy son of Godzilla does work in the
context of the film. Furthermore most of the battlescenes are really
imaginatively done, & ever so often self-conscious irony takes over.
On the other hand though, the human subplot is working less well
(admittedly, always a weak spot with Godzilla movies), on
one hand the story about the aliens & the mutants is rather clichéd,
on the other hand it is not given enough room to develop, & finally,
who cares about mutants & aliens when there are giant monsters about ?
Probably the whole subplot would have made a good seperate film (& the
human on human fightsce4nes the film features are excellent), but it makes
little sense in the context of a monstermovie.
Still of course, if you are into giant monster battles &
meaningless destruction, this is your film.