Depending on what you look for in a Japanese kaiju movie, Godzilla: The Planet Eater could across as wonderfully philosophical or hopelessly baffling.
Godzilla: The Planet Eater (GODZILLA 星を喰う者) Synopsis
With the destruction of Mechagodzilla City at the end of part 2, the Bilusaludo faction of the expeditionary force is completely wiped out. Seizing this opportunity, Metphies whips up fevour for the Exif religion, going to the extent of stating the Exif faith saved the humans from the Bilusaludo’s Nanometal. As the humans succumb to his machinations, it becomes increasingly the case that Metphies might have anticipated all tragic outcomes to date. Eventually, it is revealed that while he also strives for the defeat of Godzilla, Metphies’ desired conclusion is of a much darker nature. The alien priest prays for none other than the arrival of a far deadlier threat.
I love creative rewriting/retelling of classic stories.
Since my first encounter with “politically correct” fairy tales in the mid-1990s, I developed a deep love for audacious re-imaginations of renowned tales, modern or ancient. (In fact, for me, it’s always a case of the bolder, the better) Because of this, I rather enjoyed the previous two episodes of this first-ever Godzilla Anime trilogy. The story was often annoyingly plodding, but I thought the new philosophical and spiritual spin was, in its own way, refreshing and imaginative.
Godzilla: The Planet Eater continues this, erm, academic and introspective mien. All else aside, I found Metphies’ scathing commentary on the nature of human religion to be nothing short of brilliant. What seriously didn’t work for me, on the other hand, was the priest’s convoluted scheme. I’m not saying it’s beyond comprehension. It just feels completely unnecessary. As in he could have accomplished everything right at the start i.e. part one without all that scheming.
Making it worse is the sudden mix of the arcane with science, which the movie conveniently dismisses as technology so advanced it seems like magic. Here’s the question. If the Exif possess technology that would bewilder even the Bilusaludo, why the need for such a protracted plot? Why the need to even descend to Earth to face Godzilla? Or to stay that long on a dying ship?
Not to mention, all the explanations and rationalizations i.e. TALKING resulted in there barely being any action in this finale. I’m not a big sucker for monster bashes. But for the concluding episode, I would have preferred a little more action.
Less TALK, more FIGHTING!