In 1954, a short Japanese film, directed by Ishirō Honda paved the way for the kaiju genre that has since permeated pop culture, and even seen spin-offs and remakes around the world. The kaiju, or giant monster, usually wreaks havoc on a city and humanity more often than not must fight, defeat, or help the giant monster – depending on the movie – and it’s all thanks to Godzillathe filmmaking and ancestor of the kaiju creatures that became a metaphor symbolizing the fear of nuclear weapons, which is particularly poignant given the horrific aftermath after Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan were bombed with the first atomic bombs.
As audiences around the world flocked to theaters to see monsters like King Kong, Mothra, King Ghidorah, and Gamera attack major cities, crush military personnel, or simply face off in an epic showdown, What to do with the dead Kaiju?directed by Satoshi Miki, asks a simple question to a premise that has gone largely unanswered for over six decades – what happens when a gigantic monster loses a fight and drops dead in the middle of a city?
While there is every reason to celebrate the brutal death of the monstrous cause of destruction, the daunting task for the authorities is to figure out how to clean up the mess. The kaiju’s carcass makes for a wonderful photo op, but it’s also starting to rot and swell, like corpses tend to do, and things won’t end well if the massive carcass isn’t disposed of properly, and he It’s obvious that the hopeless prime minister (Toshiyuki Nishida) and his useless politicians need outside help.
Cue the heroic entrance of Arata Obinata (Ryosuke Yamada, who played Edward Elric in the 2017 film adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist) fictitious Japanese special forces, given the responsibility of saving the country. Our protagonist has a romantic past with Yukino Amane (Tao Tsuchiya), now secretary to the Minister of the Environment (Eri Fuse). The crew also includes Yukino’s husband (Gaku Hamada sporting a dodgy mustache), who is also the Prime Minister’s right-hand man; and a demolitions expert (Joe Odagiri sporting amazing dreadlocks), who can’t wait to blow things up.
Looks like we’re all set for an action-packed adventure to get rid of the dead kaiju? Unfortunately, the 115-minute film doesn’t live up to its potential. What we get instead is a mix of slapstick humor, a political statement of government bureaucracy and hypocrisy, and a CGI showcase of special effects. We can’t say if the filmmakers intended the film to be a comedy, a satire, or a serious drama.
We enjoyed the performances of the ensemble cast, however, especially Hamada who seems to have had the best time of his life portraying a man who has to deal with his own ulterior motives and the return of a love rival. He’s the kind of character we love to hate in movies, and it would have been fun to see more of his unscrupulous personality.
The film’s ending seems to reference another beloved character from Japanese pop culture, and kaiju movie fans may have seen it coming with the various clues that were dropped throughout the film. While it’s an interesting concept to incorporate for the conclusion, it feels like a half-baked attempt to round things off.
We would have liked the movie more if there had been simpler kaiju vs kaiju action so maybe someone can help us answer this question – What do we do with half-baked movies that don’t make it not to deliver.
GEEK REVIEW NOTE
Although the movie has an interesting premise, we would have loved to see the dead kaiju come back to life to cause a disaster of epic proportions.
- Story – 6.5/10
- Direction – 6/10
- Characterization – 6/10
- Satisfaction of geeks – 6.5/10
John thinks another world awaits us. A better world with Blu-ray discs, CDs, fast food, beer and Happy Meal toys. And he will be waiting for you there.
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