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Godzilla Raids Again|
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, May 4, 2011 Share
This intended sequel to the far superior Godzilla (1954,) is better viewed with the original Japanese audio track and in the original Japanese version. This review is of the American release.
Godzilla Raids Again starts out with a long sequence of shots showing the US military conducting bomb tests and what possible harm to the environment such testing could cause.
These scenes gone on and on and could have been edited down to quicken the overall pacing.
Also, Godzilla is not called Godzilla but has the name Gigantis that only adds confusion for the viewer. Obviously Gigantis looks exactly like Godzilla and the later name should have been used.
The first Godzilla was set in Tokyo so it stands to reason that Godzilla Raids Again should be set in that other great Japanese city, Osaka. Having lived for 3-years in Osaka, it was interesting to me because I had been to many of the locations. However, this was the first time for me to see how Osaka looked in the 50's with shots of Osaka Castle and the entertainment districts of Namba and Shinsaibashi. I chuckled at a scene near Shinsaibashi that was pre-Gilco Man. The Gilco Man is a big iconic image in Osaka today.
Later on when Godzilla sets out to destroy Osaka, he battles against another monster called Anguirus and they both run into Osaka Castle and reduce it to rumble. I can only image what a Japanese audience thought of seeing such a historic landmark get trashed.
One of the worst crimes of the US version is the altered Godzilla roar which does not sound like Godzilla at all but some type of weaker monster. For Godzilla's size and power he should not have a wimpy voice that reduces his impact to a cartoon stock character.
Along with the stupid overly extended prologue with added footaage is Dr. Yamane who is at a meeting showing a film that is suppose to be of Godzilla destroying Tokyo but instead the filmmakers added footage from educational films, those boring filmstrips that American Children had to endure years ago and scenes of dinosaurs from some US movie called Unknown Island. All this added footage cheapens the whole movie and brought everything down several notches.
Even the original score was replaced with stock music.
Several factors combined to make this an unsatisfying movie. Ishiro Honda did not return to direct. Also, Akira Ifukube didn't compose the music either.
Keye Luke was one of the voice actors used and his voice doesn't work at all. Images of the Kung Fu TV series were in my head and I couldn't take watching the English dub. George Takei also provided some voice work that was more tolerable.
Godzilla Raids Again could have been a even greater disappointment if Eiji Tsuburaya did not return to create the special effects. The one bright spot of the entire movie is Tsuburaya's work.
The American version should be burned and forgotten.
This is a case where the Kaiju fan should seek out the Classic Media DVD and watch the Japanese Version.
I really need to see the Japanese Version before I give a final verdict for Godzilla Raids Again.
This rating is for the US version.
1 and half out of 5 stars for bad added footage, terrible voice work, and a rework plot that is awful.
"The Asian Aperture" is ©2011 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2011 by Nolan B. Canova.