Polygon Pictures' GODZILLA: PLANET OF THE MONSTERS
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
This first of three Japanese anime features involving Godzilla offers great promise but founders from excessive plotting, backstory, technobabble, and indistinguishable characters.
Aside from these glaring deficiencies, we are treated to rousing but too-infrequent action sequences that show off sophisticated animation, vehicles, and weapons. Plus, when Godzilla finally appears, he/she/it is suitably impressive.
The story: a starship full of humans and near human species returns to Earth after having been chased away by fearsome Godzilla hundreds of years ago, ship time. Thousands of years have passed on Earth. As (bad) luck would have it, Godzilla still rules a much-changed planet. Desperate to escape their prison in space the travelers decide to re-take the planet from Godzilla via a massive ground assault.
All this sounds quite promising. Unfortunately, Godzilla and good technical animation are not enough to rescue most of this movie from tedium. As sophisticated as the computer animation is, the character design, reminiscent of what we saw in Polygon Pictures’ AJIN: DEMI-HUMAN, is underwhelming. It is almost impossible to tell characters apart either from facial expression or body language. Facial features as animated are minimal and share the blandness already apparent in Ajin. It also doesn’t help that uniforms and clothing are indistinguishable.
There is so much exposition, backstory, and technobabble that it almost seems as if the producers are deliberately restricting character development. What I’m hoping for in the next two movies in this series is pretty simple:
- Fewer and better characters.
- Less exposition.
- More Godzilla.
You have been warned!
Review copyright © 2018 by Dennis D. McDonald