Something has destroyed Birth Island, home of Godzilla and Little Godzilla and soon, it is discovered that Godzilla has developed a bright flaming glow, indicating that his nuclear energy is growing out of control. Fearing that Godzilla will soon explode, the G-Force tries to freeze him, thus cooling his temperature. But another problem arises as a horde of human sized creatures, formed from a combination of Godzilla cells, and the weapon that destroyed the original one, The Oxygen Destroyer. Now the military must try to stop these creatures and stop Godzilla from going through a nuclear meltdown that could destroy the world.
Directed by: Takao Okawara
. Starring: Takurô Tatsumi
, Yôko Ishino
, Yasufumi Hayashi
, Megumi Odaka
, Sayaka Osawa
, Saburô Shinoda
, Akira Nakao
, Masahiro Takashima
, Momoko Kôchi
, Shigeru Kôyama
, Ronald Hoerr
, Kôichi Ueda
, Takehiro Murata
. Music by: Akira Ifukube
On the surface, "Godzilla vs. Destroyer" may look like it's just your average 90s Godzilla flick, offering you nothing more than what you would see in "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah" or "Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla". Mediocre special effects, men in rubber suits, members of the cast who don't really know how to act, and an okay basic storyline. But once you actually sit down and look at the film and go deeper, you realize that it really is one of the better Godzilla films there is out there. And it's the second-best of the Heisei Godzilla movies. Not only does it offer great action sequences, but it also presents heart-breaking dramatic moments and you can feel part of you dying with the great monster himself.
"Godzilla vs. Destroyer" has this feeling to it that I really appreciate and find attractive. It has an atmosphere that really makes you think about the monsters and treat them as more than just men in rubber suits, which they are. But you almost see them as real characters. Godzilla's new enemy, and one of his most formidable, Destroyer, is a very creative and original design of monster and he is given development and traits that make him seem like a real, destructive and killer monster. A beast that destroys for the sheer enjoyment of killing. And he reflects the fears of Dr. Serizawa, who is indirectly responsible for Destroyer's creation. Dr. Serizawa feared that his weapon, the Oxygen Destroyer, would be used in reckless destruction and lead to the end of the world. And Destroyer seems to bring his fears to life. And Godzilla himself, while still an anti-hero, seems like he is really putting his life on the line to both save the world and destroy it. Even though he is on the verge of meeting his end.
As many people know, "Godzilla vs. Destroyer" is the first film in over forty years in which Godzilla is killed off. And to be honest, the death scene of the monster is one of the most moving and dramatic cinema deaths ever to grace the screen. About the last twenty minutes of the film is full of great drama and in the meantime, Godzilla is slowly losing his life. And you feel part of you dying with him, as you had seen and fallen in love with this monster in his previous movies. Even though he always had been an anti-hero and was a killer, you feel incredible sympathy for Godzilla and when he's at last gone forever, you're in tears. And as the monster dies, there is no celebration. There is very little response from the characters, who can only stand and watch in silence. Even the characters who for years had been wanting to see Godzilla dead, stand and look with expressions that clearly read "did it have to end this way?" Akira Ifukube's wonderful and somber music in the background really sets the theme. Ifukube had always been a masterful score composer and "Godzilla vs. Destroyer" features one of his best scores in years.
The special effects in "Godzilla vs. Destroyer" are also pretty good, maybe even a bit better than some of the other Heisei films. Of course, there are still some scenes where Godzilla and the others are more than obviously made of rubber, but the pyrotechnics, the blood used for the battles, and the colorful and creative death-rays are truly a treat.
There is one problem though and that revolves around the juvenile forms of Destroyer. These numerous creatures and their battle with the SWAT team was more than obviously ripped off from the classic science-fiction film "Aliens". Destroyer's second jaw, and the SWAT team's trackers and guns were definitely inspired from the Alien films. But I can get around that and just sit back and enjoy the movie, for it doesn't rip off anything else. Everything else is entirely original.
Performances by the cast were overall pretty good, although the actor who played Dr. Ijuin didn't seem to put enough effort behind his performance, mostly in the final death scene. But everybody else was fairly good, especially Megumi Odaka, who was always keen at her role as Miki Saegusa. The actors playing Kenichi Yamane and Dr. Fukuzawa were also favorable in their roles. The only thing wrong is that a lot of the cast don't get the development they need, unlike the monsters. But that's nothing unexpected in a Godzilla film.
Bottom line, "Godzilla vs. Destroyer" is one of the better Godzilla films in years and still remains to this day, twelve years later, as one of the best. It is one of the most moving, visually spectacular, and compelling entries in the Godzilla series. It's an action movie with soul-killing drama that can make you cry.
Review by TheUnknown837-1 from the Internet Movie Database.