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A highly enjoyable rampage
on 11 May 2012
2003's Godzilla Tokyo SOS, part of the third wave of Godzilla flicks, returns the Big Guy to his mean city stomping roots (no sappy protector of Japan stuff here) in a surprisingly well directed number with some superb visuals, is much more successful and one of the most exciting in the series. The film hits the ground running with a great opening that sees a jet chasing an unidentified flying object hidden in the clouds, with only a giant beating wing dimly visible, before setting out its stall as a direct if somewhat belated sequel to both the original Mothra and Mothra Vs. Godzilla. The attempt to impose a moral dilemma on the narrative doesn't really work because it's so confused: unless Godzilla's bones, used to build the giant MechaGodzilla robot to defend Japan, are returned to the sea, Mothra will attack Japan. If they are, Mothra will defend Japan from Godzilla. Naturally they don't listen, only for Mothra to end up defending Tokyo anyway when Godzilla attacks... Go figure.
There are plenty of nice touches, including having the showdown in a part of Tokyo that still hasn't been rebuilt after Godzilla's last rampage, the first full appearance of Mothra amid falling peony blossoms is a strikingly beautiful piece of imagery, and best of all, not only is Godzilla back to his old badass self but the singing Japanese fairy girls are back. With particularly good special effects and action sequences, it's a highly enjoyable addition to the canon.
Sony's Region 1 DVD has the brief Japanese teaser trailer and 21-minutes of behind the scenes footage, and offers a good 2.35:1 transfers with either the original subtitled Japanese soundtrack or a dubbed English-language version.