Humanity, their alien allies, and Godzilla all enter their endgame as the powerful destructive entity known as Ghidorah arrives on Earth.
Directed by: Hiroyuki Seshita
, Kôbun Shizuno
. Starring: Mamoru Miyano
, Takahiro Sakurai
, Kana Hanazawa
, Tomokazu Sugita
, Yûki Kaji
, Reina Ueda
, Ari Ozawa
, Daisuke Ono
, Ken'yû Horiuchi
, Kazuya Nakai
, Kazuhiro Yamaji
, Saori Hayami
, Ken'ichi Suzumura
. Music by: Takayuki Hattori
Ever wondered what a Cosmic horror styled Godzilla movie would be like? This comes complete with fanatical cult, a charismatic religious leader, human sacrifices, and an extradimensional dark deity that defies all laws of physics. In this story, Ghidorah has evolved beyond being just a three headed space dragon. He is now a living time space anomaly, existing in our reality on the combined beliefs of fearful fanatical followers. The ultimate pinnacle of extraterrestrial evolution; a dark mirror to how Godzilla had been portrayed as the pinnacle of earth's evolutionary development.
That being said it is important to approach this movie with the right expectations and in this case it is not for giant rubber suit wrestling matches. The battle between Godzilla and Ghidorah, both representing the evolutionary peak of their respective natures, is the the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object. That's it. A force meeting an object, and the fight is exactly as it sounds.
Instead, GODZILLA THE PLANET EATER is a feature length clash of metaphors and philosophical concepts, each one building on the last. Drawing heavily from the likes of Nietzsche and other perspectives on nihilism, this movie is a biting critique of human nature, motivations and actions; of our flawed sense of superiority and self righteousness.
The nebulous comforts humanity cling to in times of desperation such as seemingly advanced technology or the faint solace of false religions are harshly deconstructed. Deconstructed too is the nature of the messianic narrative as it is being twisted into crafting a figurehead for advancing a hidden agenda.
At its core, it is a cautionary tale against single minded obsession to the point of sacrificing the qualities that make us uniquely human. This has been portrayed in a deeply metaphorical sense, through the Godzilla destruction Mission in the first movie, the nanometal in the second movie, and now the Exif's dark god in this third movie.
But it's themes are not all darkness storm and stress. In our main character of Haruo, we are given a tragic tale espousing the virtue of letting go and moving on from past emotional baggage; hatred, anger, fear arising from past trauma and failures. On a greater scope, the state of humanity and Haruo can be seen as a commentary about Japan itself; a country still paying for its misdeeds of the past (given form as Godzilla), who's traditional ways of life are being replaced by "alien" (western) norms, beliefs and mindsets (the Exif religion and Bilusaludo technology), all the while asking the question "how far do we go until we lose who we are?".
Visually, the style of this movie fits the narrative. Desolate post apocalyptic landscapes complete with perpetual overcast skies and creatures that come in varying shades of grey. This all contributes to the serious, bleak and often tragic tone of the story. There seem to be some improvements in the animation, with characters having more dynamic range of expressions compared to the first movie. And all this is complemented with a fine cast, both for the Japanese and English dubs.
GODZILLA: THE PLANET EATER is easily one of the darkest entries in the Godzilla franchise and one of the deepest with tone and themes hearkening back to the original 1954 classic. Like the original GOJIRA (1954) this movie thrives on atmosphere and suspense. It is relatively light on traditional "blasts and beatdowns" kind of action, but if one was expecting that all the time, a Michael Bay movie might be a more suitable alternative. For those of us who like stories that get you thinking, this one has tons to unpack.
It is highly recommended that one watches all 3 of the GODZILLA anime movies back to back. Some of the revelations in the third lend themselves to having a deeper appreciation of certain events in PLANET OF MONSTERS and CITY ON THE EDGE OF BATTLE as well as clarifying some initially vague plot points. On a whole, the trilogy of GODZILLA ANIME movies might have had a slow start and is not flawless. It is however "true Godzilla" in spirit and a respectable addition to the franchise.
Review by xamtaro from the Internet Movie Database.