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Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)
Director: Masaaki Tezuka
review by Octavio Ramos Jr
The millennium series of Godzilla films has divided many fans of the big G. The most trying thing about these movies is accepting the new mythology, which seems to change from film to film. King Ghidorah is now a guardian dragon - not Monster Zero (a creature from outer space) - and Mechagodzilla is no longer a space robot, but rather one created by humanity to battle Godzilla, who is now the antithesis of everything crafted during the Heisei series of films.
As with previous entries in the millennium series, the writers and directors seem to be taking cues from the revitalised Gamera trilogy. In particular, there's a lot of spirituality in the storytelling, from the fact that Mechagodzilla was created around the original Godzilla's bones and that Godzilla's purpose while trampling through Japan is to retrieve those bones to Mothra's conflicting goals of:
(1) protecting humanity from Godzilla and
(2) making sure that no soul lives past its appointed time.
The movie even takes a pot shot at Gamera: at one point during the film, a giant turtle washes ashore. Referred to as Kamoebas, the turtle has a wound on its neck, apparently inflected by Godzilla.
One of the movie's nice touches is the return of Hiroshi Koizumi, who reprises the role he preformed 40 years ago in the original Mothra (1961). Koizumi and his grandson call upon Mothra and interact with the latest incarnation of the Elias, the fairies from Infant Island. And yes, the Elias take the opportunity to sing the 'Mothra' song to help hatch an egg containing twin larvae.
Film watchers who do not stick through the credits are likely to miss an important coda at the end of Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. The theme of the film is that no soul should live longer that nature intended, at the end of the movie, Godzilla and Mechagodzilla fall into the ocean, where both apparently die. As the credits role, Godzilla lets out one of its signature growls, implying that perhaps he is not dead after all. The coda shows a scientist or technician checking on a recently drawn batch of Godzilla DNA. As to its purpose, only the next film will tell, but it seems humanity once again fails to learn the lessons taught to it by nature.
Next up in the series: Godzilla Final Wars, which will feature Mothra, Monster X (King Ghidorah, I assume), Hedorah (the Smog Monster), Rodan, Anguirus (once Godzilla's best friend), Gigan, Manda, and King Seasar (another big G ally). Looks like the reputation of Destroy All Monsters is about to topple. I can't wait!
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