Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)

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Godzilla Films
Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.
Godzilla: Final Wars
Godzilla (2014)
Toho Company, Limited Monster Movie
The Japanese poster for Godzilla: Final Wars
Godzilla: Final Wars
Directed by Ryuhei Kitamura
Produced by Shogo Tomiyama
Written by Isao Kiriyama, Ryuhei Kitamura, Wataru Mimura, Shogo Tomiyama
Music by Keith Emerson, Daisuke Yano, Nobuhiko Morino, Sum 41
Distributor TohoJP
TriStar PicturesUS
Rating PG-13
Budget ¥2,000,000,000
Box Office ¥1,260,000,000
Running Time 125 minutes
(2 hours, 5 minutes)
Aspect Ratio 2.39:1
Rate this film!
4.12
(69 votes)

Farewell, Godzilla. (さらば、ゴジラ。) „ 

— Tagline

Godzilla: Final Wars (ゴジラ FINAL WARS,   Gojira: Fainaru Wōzu?) is a 2004 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho, and the twenty-eighth installment in the Godzilla series, as well as the sixth and final in the Millennium series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on December 4, 2004.[1]

Plot

Extensive warfare, nuclear testing and careless science had mutated or awakened great beasts of all sorts.[2] During that period, the frequent occurrence of enormous monsters had become commonplace, and thus, the Earth Defense Force (known in short as the EDF) was established by the nations of the world. The sole purpose of the force was to combat the monsters and hopefully restore peace to the world. During the worldwide wave of monsters, mutant humans with superhuman strength and extraordinary physical capabilities were discovered whose origins or mutations were not yet understood. The EDF realized the potential and effectiveness of the mutants as super soldiers, and established a subdivision known as the M-Organization. Utilizing the mutants' handy physical feats and superior piloting skills, along with the military's best war machines, the threat was slowly subdued and the monsters were slowly, but surely, defeated.

In 1954, the greatest enemy that the EDF faced, Godzilla, first appeared and frequently menaced mankind over the years. While the EDF succeeded in defeating the other monsters, it could never overcome Godzilla. Eventually, the EDF engaged Godzilla in a final showdown in Antarctica, pitting its Maser Cannons and advanced warship Gotengo against the monster. Godzilla easily destroyed the Maser Cannons and downed the Gotengo with his atomic breath. It was only with the help of a large earthquake that the crew of the Gotengo was able to finally triumph against Godzilla. The earthquake had caused the ground to split and cave-in beneath Godzilla, causing him to fall into a seemingly bottomless pit. This was followed immediately by an avalanche of ice and rock caused by missiles fired from the Gotengo that buried Godzilla and imprisoned him in an icy tomb.

Decades later, in the year 20XX, peace had been recognized worldwide with the exception of very rare monster attacks. The EDF had easily defeated such threats, and the monster-scare had become a thing of the past. During this time a mysterious mummified monster was found off the coast of Hokkaido and was being suspended by large support cables in the EDF warehouse/hangar and being researched. It was calculated at being 12,000 years old and composed of organic and machine tissue, making it a cyborg. It was also discovered that the monster's D.N.A. contains M Base, which was also found in Earth's mutant soldiers. The two Shobijin fairies reveal the creature's name to be Gigan, an evil monster from space that was sent to wipe out life on Earth, but was subdued by Mothra. They give the mutant, Shinichi Ozaki, a small sword, saying he has an important destiny and that he must choose his fate.

Suddenly a large group of monsters appear simultaneously and attack major cities all over the world. The EDF is dispatched and valiantly attempts to defeat the monsters. Rodan attacks New York City, Zilla attacks Sydney, Anguirus attacks Shanghai, King Caesar attacks Okinawa, Kamacuras attacks Paris, Kumonga attacks Phoenix, Arizona, and Ebirah attacks Tokai.

During the international devastation, an alien race known as the Xiliens appears and captures the monsters. After which they proposed a peaceful union with mankind. They revealed that an asteroid called Gorath was going to collide with Earth unless all weapons were aimed at it. The Secretary, who was considered dead when Rodan attacked his plane, began to pursue a new future with the Xiliens, claiming that the United Nations would become the Space Nations. However, distrust of the Xiliens began to arise. When the Secretary was attacked during an attempted assassination, his blood was analyzed and soon found to not be human. Worse, the image of Gorath displayed by the Xiliens turned out to be nothing more than a hologram. Ozaki feared that the Xiliens were plotting a takeover of Earth, and that many of their leaders could have been compromised. He could only trust one man, Captain Gordon, the one who originally fired the missiles that contained Godzilla.

Doctor Miyuki Otanashi went looking through the files of the Secretary, but was caught by the EDF leader. However, Gordon came in at the last moment and shot the EDF leader, revealing the leader to be an impostor. They brought the corpse of the imposter to the broadcast studio, where the Xiliens were being interviewed on live television. The Secretary was shot, revealing him to also be an imposter. The second-in-command of the Xiliens, known as the Controller, shot his commander, tired of the slow plans of a peaceful takeover. Using his species' control over M-base, he takes control of the mutants, excluding Ozaki, and releases the monsters to resume their attacks on the cities. He also sent out an army of small fighter ships to assist in leveling and decimating human civilization. M-Unit commander Muasaka held off his former command while the others escaped. However, their escape is hindered by Kazama, a fellow mutant, who Ozaki is able to subdue.

In a secret hanger, the Gotengo crew set out on a risky, last resort plan to defeat the Xiliens by releasing Godzilla from Area G. The Controller unleashes Gigan to follow them. They succeed in releasing Godzilla, who battles with Gigan and defeats him by decapitation. Godzilla, thinking he was still battling with the Gotengo, chases after the ship. Godzilla is first led to Sydney, where he defeats Zilla. He then proceeds to defeat Kumonga, in New Guinea, Kamacuras in Manazuru, Anguirus, King Caesar and Rodan next to Mount Fuji, and finally Ebirah and Hedorah in Tokyo Bay. He is finally brought to the Xilien mother-ship. The Gotengo attempts to destroy the mother-ship, but its shields are too strong and the Gotengo is soon kept busy with fighter ships. Kazama takes a fighter and manages to enter the mother-ship, destroying the generator, which allows the Gotengo to drill through to the core of the ship and attempt to fire the Maser. However, the Xiliens teleport on board and kill all of the non-essential crew-members, bringing Shinchi, Miyuki, Gordon and pilot Akiko Namikawa to the Controller. The Controller reveals that the Xilians want the mitochondria in human cells to survive and were simply demolishing civilization to show humanity its place as "cattle." He also reveals that he and Ozaki are Kaiser, a fusion of mutant and human DNA, which is what allowed Ozaki to avoid his control. However, the Controller manages to control Ozaki until he is stopped by Miyuki, who uses the Shobijiin's sword to free him. The Secretary of Defense and the EDF leader are revealed to be alive, having somehow escaped imprisonment. As the humans make their escape, Ozaki battles the Controller, ultimately winning. Going insane, the Controller self-destructs the mother-ship, intent on taking everyone down with him. Ozaki is able to board the Gotengo just as the mother-ship is destroyed.

Godzilla battles a new, final foe known as Monster X, while Mothra battles a rebuilt Gigan. Gigan perishes as Mothra turns the cyborg's own power against him, just as the remaining crew are victorious. Godzilla is still fighting Monster X, who soon transforms into his true form, Keizer Ghidorah, who defeats Godzilla and starts to drain his life force. Ozaki transfers his "Kaiser energy" to Godzilla and restores his strength and empowers him. Godzilla destroys two of Keizer Ghidorah's heads and throws him around the ruins of Tokyo. Finally, Godzilla hurls Keizer Ghidorah into the air and fires his red spiral atomic breath, which pushes Keizer Ghidorah into outer space, where he explodes. Godzilla then continues his battle against the Gotengo, using his atomic breath against the ship, forcing it to crash. Godzilla is about to attack the survivors of the Gotengo, but his son, Minilla, manages to calm Godzilla down and convinces him to leave and forgive mankind for their sins. Together, Godzilla and Minilla leave a ruined Tokyo and Godzilla lets out one final roar to commemorate 50 years of destruction.

Staff

Main article: Godzilla: Final Wars/Credits.

Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.

Cast

Main article: Godzilla: Final Wars/Credits.

Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.

  • Masahiro Matsuoka   as   Shinichi Ozaki
  • Rei Kikukawa   as   Miyuki Otonashi
  • Kazuki Kitamura   as   Controller of Planet X
  • Don Frye   as   Douglas Gordon
  • Akira Takarada   as   UN Secretary-General Naotaro Daigo
  • Kane Kosugi   as   Kazama
  • Maki Mizuno   as   Anna Otonashi
  • Masakatsu Funaki   as   EDF Instructor
  • Masami Nagasawa and Chihiro Otsuka   as   Shobijin
  • Kenji Sahara   as   Hachiro Jinguji
  • Kumi Mizuno   as   Akiko Namikawa
  • Koh Takasugi   as   Earth Defense Force Captain
  • Masatō Ibu   as   Xilien Commander
  • Mick Preston   as   New York Cop
  • Shinji Suzuki   as   Earth Defense Force Soldier
  • Yasuhiro Takeuchi   as   Gotengo Crew Member
  • Akira Nakao   as   Captain of the first Gotengo
  • Koichi Ueda   as   Crew Member on the first Gotengo
  • Takeshi Obayashi   as   Man who assaults Naotaro Daigo
  • Ray Sefo   as   Glenn
  • Gary Goodridge   as   Nick
  • Darren Dupree Washington   as   New York Gangster Pimp
  • Michael-Anthony Taylor   as   New York Gangster Pimp
  • Michael Croaker   as   Punk
  • Brad McMurray   as   Punk
  • Joe Fenech   as   Fat Man
  • Jordan Fleming   as   Canadian Child
  • Shiro Sano   as   Assassin
  • Tsutomu Kitagawa   as   Godzilla
  • Naoko Kamio   as   Rodan and Minilla
  • Toshihiro Ogura   as   Anguirus and Ebirah
  • Motokuni Nakagawa   as   King Caesar and Monster X
  • Kazuhiro Yoshida   as   Gigan and Hedorah

Appearances

Monsters

Weapons, Vehicles, and Races

Gallery

Main article: Godzilla: Final Wars/Gallery.

Soundtrack

Main article: Godzilla: Final Wars (Soundtrack).

Theatrical Releases

View all posters for the film here.

  • Japan - December 4, 2004[1]
  • China - July 22, 2005
  • France - August 31, 2005

Foreign Releases

American Godzilla: Final Wars DVD cover
Godzilla: Final Wars actually had its world premiere in Los Angeles, despite not receiving theatrical release in the United States. In the majority of countries Godzilla: Final Wars was released straight to DVD. The film was released on DVD and video in Japan on July 22, 2005, and in the United States, via Sony Pictures Entertainment, on DVD on December 13, 2005. Thailand was the first country to release the film on DVD and VCD in April of 2005. It did get a theatrical release in France on August 31, 2005, with a DVD release almost a year later on August 26, 2006, and a theatrical release in China on July 22, 2005. In October of 2005, Godzilla: Final Wars had a straight to television release on Halloween in Russia with a DVD release soon after.


Box Office

Godzilla: Final Wars had the largest budget ever used in a Japanese Godzilla film, at around ¥2,000,000,000 ($20,000,000). Any hopes Toho had of Godzilla: Final Wars ending the series with a box office bang were crushed when the film opened in Japan on December 4, 2004. In its opening weekend, it came in third at the box office, with a mild $1,874,559 gross. It was crushed at the box office by Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle and Disney/Pixar's The Incredibles. The film ended its theatrical run with an unprofitable $12 million.

Reception

Godzilla: Final Wars received mixed reviews from fans. It was intended to be a "monster mash" to celebrate Godzilla's long history, but due to the large cast of monsters, each was only allowed limited screen time. Furthermore, the movie departed from previous films in the series by introducing elements of human-focused action — an addition that was variously praised and condemned. The film made a number of obvious homages to The Matrix, Independence Day, X-Men, and Star Wars, which attracted some criticism from audiences. The monster fights in Final Wars were unusually short for the series. This was done to make Godzilla appear far more powerful than he had in the past, and to solve the problem of having 14 monsters jammed into one film.

Despite these criticisms, other fans praised the action, the numerous monster appearances, and the cameos of many actors from previous Godzilla films, as well as the appearance of popular former MMA fighter Don Frye as Captain Douglas Gordon.

Video Releases

Sony DVD (2005)[3]

  • Region: 1
  • Discs: 1
  • Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Special Features: Behind-the-scenes featurette (18 minutes), trailers

Sony Blu-ray (2014)[4]

  • Region: A/1
  • Discs: 2
  • Audio: Japanese (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
  • Special Features: Behind-the-scenes featurette (22 minutes) and teaser for Godzilla: Tokyo SOS, behind-the-scenes featurette (18 minutes) and three trailers for Godzilla: Final Wars
  • Notes: Packaged with Godzilla: Tokyo SOS.

Videos

Trailers

Godzilla: Final Wars Japanese trailer
Godzilla: Final Wars German trailer

Trivia

  • Godzilla: Final Wars was the final Godzilla film until the 2014 American Godzilla film, because Toho wanted to renew interest in the series. Toho didn't produce another Godzilla film until Shin Godzilla in 2016.
  • The opening of Godzilla: Final Wars features stock footage from various other Toho kaiju names, including most of the Godzilla films. However, no specific events from those films are referenced, aside from Godzilla first appearing in 1954, and the wording of that sentence suggests there is only one Godzilla in this continuity.
  • As a 50th anniversary celebratory film, a large group of actors from previous Godzilla films, both classic and recent, made appearances as main characters or cameo appearances. This goes for the monsters as well, as most of the monsters in the film had not been in a film for over 30 years.
  • The character played by Kenji Sahara in the film is named Hachiro Jinguji, which was the name of the character played by Jun Tazaki in Atragon.
  • Kumi Mizuno's character, Akiko Namikawa, shares her surname with the character Miss Namikawa from Invasion of Astro-Monster, who was also portrayed by Mizuno.
  • After Zilla is hurled into the Sydney Opera House by Godzilla, the Controller of Planet X throws a tantrum and shouts, "I knew that tuna-eating lizard was useless!" referencing the TriStar Godzilla's diet of fish in the 1998 American film. In the English dub, Zilla instead is called a "tuna-head."
    • Patrick Tatopoulos, who designed the TriStar Godzilla for the 1998 film, was present at Godzilla: Final Wars' world premiere in Los Angeles. Despite the monster's portrayal, Tatopoulos said he was honored to have his monster appear in an official Toho Godzilla film.
  • The Canadian child played by Jordan Fleming owns a huge number of toys of various Toho kaiju, with the exception of a nondescript blue turtle which he throws into the fireplace with a cry of "You loser!" This may have been a jab at Gamera.
  • The use of We're All To Blame by Sum 41 during the fight with Zilla could be a reference to the fact that he is the only monster in the film to not be made in Japan. The lyrics of the song could also be a jab at TriStar and how they "took the 'God' out of 'Godzilla.'"
  • Godzilla: Final Wars is the first film to have a western composer write most of the music.
  • Mothra is the only returning kaiju, other than ones appearing in stock footage, not to have a new design, appearing exactly as she did in Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S..
  • King Ghidorah, Gorosaurus and Kiryu were originally planned to appear in the movie instead of Monster X/Keizer Ghidorah, Zilla and the Gotengo.[5]
  • Concept art of the Giant Octopus exists for this film, showing that it was meant to appear but was scrapped.
  • This was the last Godzilla film to have a poster illustrated by artist Noriyoshi Ohrai, who had illustrated posters for most of the films since The Return of Godzilla. Ohrai passed away in 2015.
  • This was the first Godzilla film shot entirely with digital equipment.
  • Godzilla: Final Wars was the first Toho Godzilla film to receive a PG-13 rating from the MPAA.

External Links

References

This is a list of references for Godzilla: Final Wars. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

Era Icon - Toho.png
Era Icon - Millennium.png
Movie
Era Icon - Godzilla.png
Era Icon - Minilla.png
Era Icon - Anguirus.png
Era Icon - Rodan.png
Era Icon - King Caesar.png
Era Icon - Manda.png
Era Icon - Zilla.png
Era Icon - Mothra.png
Era Icon - Gigan.png
Era Icon - Ebirah.png
Era Icon - Hedorah.png
Era Icon - Kamacuras.png
Era Icon - Kumonga.png
Era Icon - Monster X.png
Era Icon - Keizer Ghidorah.png
Era Icon - Gotengo.png



Comments

Showing 11 comments. Remember to follow the civility guidelines when commenting.

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avatar

Toa Hydros

2 months ago
Score 0

My Thoughts: Godzilla: Final Wars

Wow. This is probably the most flat-out insane installment in the series since "Godzilla vs Hedorah".

The tone and themes of the film are nuts: You have kaiju battles, mutants, aliens, Minilla (ugh...), bouncing-off-the-wall martial arts, references to Star Wars, acting that is beyond over the top... It's like an episode of Ultraman on crack.

Granted, it's great to so many Showa-era monsters get a modern upgrade, and the monster battles are pretty cool. Godzilla is pretty badass here, and his design is one of my favorites.

I guess the filmmakers were trying to invoke the goofy, over the top feel of the Showa series, but the already contrived alien invasion plot, combined with a draggy second act and the aforementioned acting just make it somewhat tedious to sit through.

Judging it as a standalone film, a cinematic send off and as a celebration of Godzilla's 50th anniversary, I view this as a mostly entertaining, but ultimately misguided film.
avatar

Titanollante

4 months ago
Score 0
This movie being released at the same time as Howl's Moving Castle and The Incredibles was incredibly idiotic.
avatar

Godzilla vs Gipsy Danger

7 months ago
Score 0
The article says this film shares no continuity, is there a source for that? Also, is there a source saying that Gotengo froze Godzilla in the 60's?
avatar

Deathrock9

7 months ago
Score 0
There are no references to events from past films in this movie and therefore cannot safely be assumed that it shares no continuity with other films.
avatar

Garfzilla

12 months ago
Score 0
My opinion: This film is a masterpiece. It includes many cool monsters, designs, and a great plot.
avatar

Deathrock9

12 months ago
Score 0
While I wouldn't call it a masterpiece (it's got too many flaws), it's still one of my favourite Godzilla films of all time! It's very entertaining and I usually put it on if I need to cheer myself up.
avatar

Garfzilla

12 months ago
Score 0
I have an idea. Gamera: Final Wars.
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Ryanhussain14

12 months ago
Score 0
Honestly, I thought this was the most disappointing movie in the Millennium series. It may be my fault since I over-hyped it, but I feel that they could have done so much more but got dragged down by a lazy script. Still good fun though.
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Titanollante

13 months ago
Score 0
I love this movie, just because it's so entertaining. Very very fun! The soundtrack is also amazing, perhaps my favorite from the Millennium era behind GMK.
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Garfzilla

12 months ago
Score 1
I'm not a fan of GMK, but i agree with you about the Entertainment and Soundtrack. And it also featured my all-time favourite song: All To Blame
avatar

Deathrock9

14 months ago
Score 0
Everyone has that one thing they can go to so they can cheer themselves up when they're sad. For me, this movie is that. Even though I love this film, I accept there are flaws with it. For example, the scene where Mr. Secretary is revealed to be alive has always bugged me. He just turns up out of the blue on board of the Xiliens spaceship and doesn't even explain how he is alive! Instead, all he says is "I managed to escape somehow"! That scene has always annoyed me.