Revisiting Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack – A Return to Form
In 2001, director Shusuke Kaneko breathed new life into the classic Godzilla franchise with Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. This film marked a return to form for the King of Monsters after the disappointing 1998 American reboot.
Godzilla Reclaims His Crown
The American Godzilla film reimagined the iconic kaiju as a mere animal rather than a destructive force of nature. But Kaneko restores Godzilla’s rightful place as a terrifying allegory for nuclear destruction and human folly, as in the classic Showa era films.
This time, Godzilla’s origin receives a twist – he is embodied by the restless souls of Pacific War victims rather than atomic radiation. Now zombified with ghostly white eyes, Godzilla embarks on a new rampage across Japan. The violent destruction left in his wake emphasizes the unstoppable wrath within.
Baragon, Mothra, and King Ghidorah unite as guardians to finally stop Godzilla’s carnage. But even their combined efforts can barely restrain the vengeful spirits’ fury unleashed through Godzilla’s earth-shaking might.
Updates Balance Reverence and Innovation
While recapturing Godzilla’s symbolic legacy, Kaneko also injects new perspective into the formula. King Ghidorah sheds his traditional villain status to become a defender alongside Mothra. The kaiju showcase intriguing new abilities and battle strategies.
The special effects and cinematography integrate the latest technology while retaining a classic tone. Many cityscape sets even ended up featured in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1. Godzilla once again destroys scale model cities with gleeful abandon.
A Satisfying Return to Form
After the disastrous 1998 film tried reinventing the wheel, Giant Monsters All-Out Attack proved the original Godzilla formula still offered boundless potential. Kaneko strikes the perfect balance between innovation and faithfulness to tradition.
Godzilla reemerges as a walking natural disaster reflecting Japan’s psyche. The kaiju battles recapture the sheer fun of watching goliaths pummel each other amid urban devastation. For Godzilla’s reputation, this comeback story represented sweet redemption.
Is the first film where King Ghidorah is a “hero” character.
Originally scheduled for a March 2002 release, upon the request of director Shûsuke Kaneko, Toho pushed it ahead for the usual release date for Godzilla films (December of 2001) because March already belongs to their Doraemon anime films (According to Toho, they take a seasonal formula for their films: Spring is for Doraemon, Summer is for Pokemon, and Winter is for Godzilla, so they didn’t want any schedule conflict with their films).
Some of the miniature city sets from this film were used in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Vol. 1. They were supplied for him by art director Toshio Miike.