Friday, 12 July 2013

Destroy All Monsters

Ishiro Honda returns to the Godzilla fold with Destroy All Monsters, a wonderful plastic pulp adventure in the vein of Invasion of Astro-Monster. It is the year 1999, mankind enjoys daily rocket missions to the Moon safe in the knowledge that Earth's monsters have been confined to an archipelago named Monsterland. When communications with the island's control centre are suddenly severed, intergalactic badass Captain Katsuo Yamabe (Akira Kubo) is sent to investigate. He soon discovers that Monsterland's science team has been brainwashed and the kaiju are now under alien control.

Unlike the sustained monster mash the title would seem to suggest, Destroy All Monsters revolves around Captain Yamabe's efforts to put a hurt on the silicon based dicks who covet Earth. He jets around the cosmos in the Moonlight SY-3, a chromed space rocket that'd get the Thunderbirds hard. Yamabe is all action - when he discovers his girlfriend has been mind zapped he immediately attacks her in front of a crowd of UN delegates, tearing a pair of hypnotic metal studs out of her face.

This no-nonsense approach is everywhere in the film. Contrary to the previous two Jun Fukuda films these creatures are not capering merchandise titans. Honda, it seems, prefers to continue presenting them as amoral Old Gods, blind to humanity's suffering. In the all-action finale Godzilla and pals don't turn against the alien Kilaaks to make amends for their unbridled destruction of Earth's cities. They do it because mankind has simply managed to seize the alien control devices that directed them. Honda clearly doesn't see the Big G as the pop culture hero that Toho were trying to push. The King of Monsters will always be the living embodiment of atomic indifference to him.

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