Godzilla: Final Wars (ゴジラ ファイナルウォーズ?, Gojira: Fainaru Wōzu) is a 2004 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Company Ltd., and the twenty-eighth installment in the Godzilla series, as well as the sixth in the Millennium series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on December 4, 2004.
In the early 21st century, extensive warfare and careless science had mutated or awakened great beasts of all sorts. 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 Japanese government. 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.
However, many years earlier in 1954, the greatest enemy that the EDF faced first appeared and died from that point on but had returned somehow and frequently attacked Japan in the 1960s during the great monster wars. This monster was the King of the Monsters, Godzilla. While they succeeded in defeating all the other monsters, Godzilla was the only one remaining and continually threatened mankind. One year, the EDF's best battleship—the Gotengo—was battling Godzilla deep in Antarctica. 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 which was followed by an avalanche of ice and rock caused by missiles fired from the Gotengo that buried Godzilla and imprisoned him in an eternal icy tomb.
Decades later in the near future of the mid 21st century, peace has been recognized worldwide with the exception of very rare, but occasional monster attacks. The EDF has easily defeated such threats, and the monster-scare has become a thing of the past. During this time a mysterious mummified monster is found off the coast of Hokkaido and is 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 is also discovered that the monster's D.N.A. contains M Base, which is 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 a important destiny coming up and that he must choose his fate.
Suddenly the largest group of monsters appear at one time simultaneously and attack major cities of the world. The EDF is dispatched and valiantly attempts to defeat the monsters. Rodan attacks New York City, New York, United States, Zilla attacks Sydney, Australia, Anguirus attacks Shanghai, China, King Caesar attacks Okinawa, Japan, Kamacuras attacks Paris, France, Kumonga attacks Phoenix, Arizona, United States, and Ebirah attacks Tokai, Japan, a petrochemical complex gets smashed by the giant crimson lobster, Ebirah.
During the international devastation, an alien race known as the Xiliens appears and captures the monsters, and proposes a peaceful union with mankind. They reveal that an asteroid named Gorath was going to collide with Earth unless all weapons are pointed at it. The missing Secretary, who was considered dead when Rodan attacked his plane, began to pursue a new future with the Xiliens, claiming that humanity will become the Space Nations. But distrust of the Xiliens begin to fume. When the Secretary was attacked by a distrustful man, his blood was analyzed and soon to be found out to be not human. Worse, the image of Gorath was nothing more than a hologram. Shinichi 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, who fired the missiles that sealed Godzilla.
Doctor Miyuki Otanashi went looking through the files of the Secretary but is caught by the EDF leader. But Gordon came in at the last moment and shot her, revealing the leader to be an impostor. They bring the corpse of the clone to the broadcast studio where the Xiliens were on live television, also revealing the Secretary as a fake. The second-in command of the Xiliens, known as the Controller, shot his commander, tired of his plans to peacefully takeover. Using his species' control over M-base, he takes control of the mutants, except Shinichi, and releases the monsters to resume their attacks on the cities and send out an army of small fighter ships to assist in leveling and decimating the human civilization. M-Unit commander Muasaka held off his former command while the others escaped. But their escape is partially hindered by Kazama, a fellow mutant, who Shinichi 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. But the only risk is that Godzilla may be controlled by the Xiliens. Unfortunately, the Controller unleashes Gigan to follow them. They succeed in unfreezing Godzilla, who battles with Gigan and wins, though it is later revealed that he does not actually kill him, despite that the cyborg was completely decapitated by Godzilla's atomic ray. Godzilla, thinking he was still battling with the Gotengo, chases after it, as the crew leads him to Sydney, where he defeats Zilla. He then proceeds to defeat Kumonga, in New Guinea, Kamacuras in Manazuru, Japan, Anguirus, King Caesar and Rodan next to Mount Fuji, Japan, and finally Ebirah and Hedorah in Tokyo Bay, Japan, before he is finally brought to the Xilien mother-ship. The Gotengo attempts to destroy the mother-ship but its shield are too strong and has to be busy with fighters. Kazama takes a fighter right through, destroying the generator, allowing the Gotengo to drill through to the core and attempted to fire the Maser, only for Xiliens to beam on-board and kill the non-essential crew-members, bringing the four most important ones, Shinchi, Miyuki, Gordon and pilot Akiko Namikawa to the Controller. He 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 Shinichi are Kaiser, a fusion of mutant and human DNA, which allowing Shinichi to escape his control. But the Controller attempts to turn Shinichi to his Xilien nature only for the process to be stopped by Miyuki, who uses the Shobijiin's sword to free him. Then the Secretary of Defense and the EDF leader are revealed to be alive, having escaped imprisonment. As the humans make their escape, Shinichi battles the Controller, ultimately winning. Going insane, the Controller self-destructs the mother-ship, intend on taking everyone down with him. Shinichi is able to get on 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 starts to drain the life force of Godzilla. Ozaki, one of the mutant super-soldiers, transfers his "Kaiser energy" to Godzilla and restores his strength and empowers him. Godzilla destroys two of his enemy's heads and tosses him around the ruins of Tokyo. Finally, he hurls Kaiser Ghidorah into the air and fires his over powered red atomic breath to destroy Keizer Ghidorah. Godzilla then tries to kill the crew of the Gotengo, but his son, Minilla, calms him down. Together, they leaved the ruined Tokyo and Godzilla lets out one final roar for 50 years of destruction.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
Weapons, Vehicles, and Races
In a majority of countries Godzilla: Final Wars went straight to DVD. The film was released on DVD and video in Japan on July 22, 2005, and in America on Columbia/TriStar 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.
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 Howl's Moving Castle and The Incredibles, and ended its run with an unprofitable $12 million.
Godzilla: Final Wars has 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 makes a number of obvious references to The Matrix, Independence Day, X-Men, and Star Wars, which attracted some criticism from audiences. The monster fights in Final Wars are 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.
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