How can anyone like the Millennium Series?5,005 Views24 RepliesAdd A Reply
For the last week I've sat down and watched Godzilla 2000 all the way to Final Wars; I for one thing haven't watched these films in a couple of years so I figured it was time to take a retake. I gotta say wow they're not good at all. I remember a discussion earlier on this site about the Hensei films being overrated or overhyped blah blah blah, and I've got to say is REALLY? Have you watched any of the millennium series? I have to say the only film I like from this series is Godzilla 2000. The suit design, plot, and monsters was interesting to me and was a fresh idea. I liked the fact of a alien race downloading internet files on Godzilla then attempting to clone it, then eventually becoming a "frankenstein" "experiment gone wrong" alien. After Godzilla 2000, I feel the series went downhill fast. G vs Megagurius was a complete snooze fest, nothing real exciting happens till the end, even then it's not that interesting. GMK is overrated imo, yes the Godzilla suit is ok (hate the second chin Godzilla has though), but I think I would've accepted the movie more if they had actually used Baragon, Varan, and Angurius, using Mothra/KG was just so cliche to me. GxMG, love MG's design and how he was structured around the original G but seriously the movie is horrible acting, G suit is terrible (narrow nose and dopey looking expression), and G acts like a mentally handicapped dinosaur through most of the film. GxMG SOS Y IS MOTHRA IN THIS!? Does mothra have to be thrown into every film? GFW is a cocaine hyped Godzilla smash fest, nice to see classic monsters redesigned but the movie is a crackhead paced explosion fest with no sense of direction or plot development. My last gripe about the films is the "We have to save ourselves, Earth, souls, and family" I know it's a "Japanese" thing to be worried about the Earth, think about dead relatives, think of the greater good, blah blah blah. I mean the girl with the plant as a pet thinking it's her mom in GxMG is just so cheesy and weird.
Seriously? Bad acting? Bad plot? 1: It's english dubbed so tthe acting can't possibly be oscar material. 2: Dude, nobody gives a **** about the people. It's a giant monster movie dammit, we wanna see some giant monsters. Mothra was pretty badass in GMK, and Final Wars was epic. We don't need plot movement. Nobody but you cares if the Godzilla movie is an emotional tear jerker. We watch the movies for Godzilla, and Godzilla only. The millenium series was damn good.
Well, they're not that bad. What really pisses me of is that they never created a continuous story and instead Toho decided to reebot Godzilla on every film (except for the MechaG films) and that didn't really allowed them to develop Godzilla and its foes, so, instead they kept dropping every new universe on every chance they got.
My two favorite films of the Millenium series were Final Wars and Godzilla 2000. In fact Final Wars was the first Godzilla film I ever saw and the one that made me a Godzilla fan.
I see many fans complaining that Final Wars didn't have enough Godzilla, but I don't think of Final Wars as being entirely a Godzilla film, I think more of it as a Toho film. Final Wars was fuc**ing epic and I absolutely loved it because it honors a lot of Toho Kaiju films (Gorath, Atragon, Destroy All Monsters...). It's more like a great celebration of what Toho Kaiju films are, and it just happens to have Godzilla as its protagonist monster. On a more critical side I would say that, because this film tries so many things at the same time it, at the end it becomes a clusterf*ck. Haha, If Godzilla movies were drugs Final Wars would be a really strong one xD
And I would ask. What's not to like about Final Wars? I have several reasons why this movie is so epic.
-You get to see so many of the classic monsters.
-Godzilla is so badass.
-Lot's of destruction.-And (by far the best reason), we get to see the real Gojira kick that iguana's ass. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIcExdpsEcQ
While I can't say I hate the films, I also find the Millenium the weakest of all the series. I don't think any movie from that would go in my top 10 Godzilla favorites.
Plot development is important. You can have both a good plot and mindless monster fighting. Even the showa series HAD A REASON for the monster battles, most of the millennium series has fighting because it's felt that it has to be there to keep from boring the audience. Hensei series actually had a sense of realism. Please go back and watch G vs Destroyah or G vs Biollante or even G vs KG, the monster battles seem to come off as real, then go watch GxMG and watch Godzilla being tossed cartoonishly across the sitting on his face. When MG grabs his tail and starts spinning in a circle, Godzilla is in a freeze frame position then cartoon throw, TERRIBLE.
I can sit through almost any Showa/Hensei film and be quite entertained and get my G fix, but going through the M series just pisses me off, it's just not good imo.
Not to mention the whole "hippie" ideology is really annoying and corny
I think the Heisei and Millennium series have an equal amount of problems, they're just different problems. At that point it comes down to what you're willing to forgive more in favor of other aspects.
It's funny Sparkzilla defends Godzilla 2000 so much since Takeo Okawara directed it-- It's practically just a heisei movie with better special effects, but the same exact flaws as Okawara's previous three Heisei movies: Characters that get to know each other too quickly, plodding pace, characters with nothing to do but watch the fight at the very end, goofy social scenerios...etc... But it is one of the best movies of the Millennium series.
Godzilla x Megaguirus is fairly boring. It works as long as Godzilla's onscreen, but the characters are pretty dislikable. Tezuka did a much better job with his characters in the Kiryu movies which included a much better Godzilla suit, an interesting MechaGodzilla story arc and some nice homages to the Showa series. The problem is those movies don't quite make use of all their potential and are directed in a fairly two-dimensional way. Tezuka just doesn't have the talent to take on the director's chair. It's a shame because I would've to loved have seen someone with more experience take on those stories.
GMK pretty much stands out from anything from the 80s-00s, but has a few pacing issues during the third act. Final Wars is an enjoyable romp with a very specific look to it, but it really is one mess of a movie. I love it, but have no illusion that it's a tonal nightmare with uneven effects and really weird character choices.
The best thing about this series is that they were stand alone stories. Toho had a hard time selling the Heisei movies overseas because they were so interconnected. That led to budget cuts for the latter Heisei movies and it shows. With the Millennium series, different directors were able to give their own unique take on Godzilla without being restricted to a storyline or aesthetic. I know that drives a lot of American fans nuts, but continuity isn't as big of a deal to eastern fans of any franchise. Even the Showa series wasn't very strict on continuity. I loved the fact there was no continuing storyline. Having a continueing story really didn't make the Heisei series any better anyway.
I also don't understand the complaint about the acting. It's no worse than the Heisei series and some of those actors are even veterans of the series: Shin Takuma, Akira Nakao, Akira Takarada, Kumi Mizuno and Noburo Kaneko. And Ryudo Uzaki is an A-list actor/superstar in Japan that was one of the best parts of GMK. I could almost argue that the acting was better, but then there's Miho Yoshioka, Don Fry and Masahiro Matsuoka... So... Ouch...
I understand the misgivings of the Millennium series, but I don't consider it any worse than the Heisei series. It has it's ups and downs, but, for me, it's easier to forgive the downs in the Millennium series than it is Heisei.
@Destroyer of Worlds
You can speak for yourself. There are a few Godzilla movies I watch almost soley for the characters. The original film and Monster Zero are two examples off the top of my head. It also doesn't hurt that the best moments in the series typically revolve around a connection between the monsters and the characters. For example: Shindo's final scene with Godzilla in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Akane and Yo****o's feelings for Kiryu, the Shobijin and Mothra in the early Showa flicks, Katsura and her unique connection with Titanosaurus...etc...
If these movies were simply as mindless as watching monsters stomp around, I don't think I'd watch them.
Not to mention I never watch these movies dubbed. ;)
I'm going to throw my hat in, because you know, why not.
I agree with most of the OP's points. I liked G2000, it's actually one of my favorites, and I haven't liked any of the mellenium movie I've watched since then (still have not seen all of S.O.S).
Final Wars, to me, is a desaster of a movie on par with SpaceGodzilla, and Godzilla's Revenge. It felt more like a (bad) episode of Power Rangers than an actual Godzilla movie. The special effects went downhill from the rest of the franchise (somewhat understandable concidering the amount of monsters in the film) and Godzilla doesn't even show up until the last few minutes. The human/alien villans are of a film-ruining caliber of terrible, and Monster X has one of the worst designs in all of Kaiju-nation (in my opinion).
I also was not a fan of GMK, and it was mostly due to the suit designs. The plot was fine (aside from the cheesy kid who is wise beyond her years thing), but the monsters (King Ghidorah most of all) just looked bad to me. However, Godzilla's atomic breath in this moive was my favorite out of any film. I love the shockwave effect.
Overall, it is my least favorite of the three series', it has it's moments, but overall I did not care for it.
2000 was great, megaguirus had awesome ideas but uninvolving charcters, gmk was great, I thought the two Kiryu movies were AWFUL, and despite the hate for the film enjoyed final wars. 4 of 6 films were good to me. I still stand by Hesei being my least favorite even though the first two films were amazing.
^The multitude of fallacies with this post are staggering in such great numbers that I don't think it's worth rebutting.
really i like the millenium series because it is more newer and as gman stated in lack of continuity, the millenium and showa series are great places for those who are new to the franchise or for someone you just want to show what a 'true' godzilla movie is like.
what is wrong with final wars, it is perhaps one of those rare movie after the showa where you see HUMANS fighting, absolute destruction of civilisation, alien invasion, godzilla at the height of his power, losts of monsters, lots of monster fights and one badass ghidorah. what isn't there to like. also i agree with gman on the heisei series.
m8 u sick
I never liked the psychic abilities in the Hensei films, that is one of the flaws of the Hensei films I will admit. But I think the hippie aspect and children are more intelligent than adults in the M series is a bigger flaw, it's so Japanese (Anime) cliche to the point of annoying. I tend to ignore the psychic scenes in the Hensei films as I'm watching them. I think suit designs were 10x better in the Hensei films as well, Godzilla has a square ended muzzle, stocky, and looked powerful, after the G2000 and GMK suits, the GxMG suit and FW suit look weird and Godzilla has a tiny muzzle and weird expression.
GMAN I understand your point of the Hensei films where humans just sit and watch G fight at the end, I kind of disagree though. The gun fight between the android/humans against the future humans in GvsKG was a point of the plot. As well as what's her face operating Mecha King Ghidorah. Also in GvsDestroy humans being directly involved with G's meltdown from being crucial. Mogera and MechaG operators as well. Humans are a lot more involved I think than in the M series where like in G2000 sit and watch the fight.
humans in millenium series
2000- mostly sitting and doing boring everyday sort of stuff oh and a human grabs a ride on godzilla
megagirus- mostly talk teasting and sitting
GMK- getting in the action, getting invlolved in the destruction, disscussing military tatics
GxMG and Tokyo SOS- piolets of mechagodzilla, disscusing the morals of kiryu sitting down, kid using school desks to summon mothra
G FW- humans fighting, pioleting, waking godzilla, helping godzilla, hand-to-hand comabt with aliens
really the humans do more things in the millenium series than post 91 heisei series, especially final wars.
Yeah, the Millennium series is better at giving more characters to do things. The characters in Godzilla 2000 pretty much do the exact same thing that the main characters in Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth do: Sit on a building and watch the final fight from afar. The rest watch from a control room. Okawara directed both movies, so it wasn't much of a shock.
Godzilla x Megaguirus was a little better, even though the characters were so bland in that movie. Kiriko is doing everything she can to target Godzilla with the Griffon while Kudo reprograms the Dimension Tide and the G-Graspers uncover the treating violating politicians involved with housing nuclear experiments. For characters that were less interesting than the ones in G2K, they sure do accomplish more...
GMK... All the main characters, even the minor characters, are in the very thick of the action during the final battle. But Kaneko directed it and the whole movie is better written than anything else in the Heisei and Millennium series so it's a whole different beast as far as screenwriting goes.
The Kiryu movies, revert a little bit. The Prime Minister is often holed up in a control room, but Akane is had to manuelly control Kiryu from within and, since it's really her movie, the climax makes a lot of sense. Tokyo S.O.S. actually handles things better as Yo****o has to repair Kiryu while in the thick of battle and later be rescued by his rival. It wraps it up pretty well.
And Final Wars has its characters doing more than the monsters. For better or for worse.
vs. Biollante they simply stand around and watch from a hillside. The movie would've really benefited had the Saradian agent killed Shirigami before Biollante showed up at the end. That way both Godzilla and Dr. Kirishima would've had their battles going on at once. It would've felt a lot more like a Showa movie.
vs. King Ghidorah: Emi pilots Mecha-King Ghidorah. That's it. Everyone else watches from a control room.
vs. MechaGodzilla does a whole lot better. Most of the characters are piloting something and Asuza is in need of being rescued with Baby. This is the first movie Kazuki Omori didn't write since Godzilla 1984 so that may have something to do with it...
vs. SpaceGodzilla, the characters were piloting machines, but who cares? The battle is a boring as it gets and the characters act like there's no urgency to it half the time. They have whole conversations as if they can finish an opera before SpaceGodzilla blasts them. It's ridiculous.
vs. Destroyah, most characters are sitting in the control room watching the fight. Miki is in need of rescue by Dr. ijuin, but it's rather forced. No one actually does anything that has a lot of weight to it and the rescue attempt seems very by-the-numbers.
I suppose more does happen in the Heisei series with some characters, but it's still mild compared to the screenwriting during the 1960s and, in most cases, the 00s.
I don't understand the "hippie" mentality being any more prevelant in the Millennium series than it is in the Heisei series though. Some of it is very cultural, yes, but even Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II has a life vs. artificial life theme rammed down our throats. Battle for Earth fists that message pretty hard as well. And Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla goes as far to make up an irrelevant issue by telling us "not to pollute space". (What? We don't even exist in space!) It's pretty standard 90s-00s theme spilling.
And, Sparkzilla why do you spell it the "Hensei" series? I'm curious.
Wait are we really comparing what the human characters do? Ok well let me show all the things human characters do in the heisei.
1985- too much to talk about, so won't even list them
vs Biollante- piloted super x II against godzilla. Miki put herself almost into a coma to divert godzilla, the soldiers attacking godzilla with ANEB, constantly battling for the secrets of the G-cells and keeping godzilla locked away in the volcano, just to name a few
Vs Ghidorah. Again an insane amount. Went back in time, sabotaged Ghidorah's controls while he was fighting Godzilla. Teleported the time machine to godzilla so they couldn't get away. True they all sat at a control room at the end but that was because they couldn't do anything else to stop him, so they were leaving it to emi.
Vs Mothra- Not much really they weren't necessarily bland, but they didn't do much in regards to Godzilla
I'm going to stop right there because listing it off every movie is a pain, but the fact the millenium's characters seemed to do more in the end was because their characters were largely military so they had something to do that involved the fight. The only military characters in the heisei were the mecha pilots and they did as much as any1 in the millenium did in regards to the end.
I'm referring more to the climax of each movie. The Heisei series has plenty going on with the characters for the first two acts of each film, but it's typically the climax that the screenplay sort of drops them or gives them nothing to do.
The only series to avoid this almost without fault is the Showa series and the majority of those characters weren't military. So I don't subscribe to the idea that only military characters have anything to do in the end of each film. It comes down to decent screenwriting which the Heisei and Millennium series tend to lack overall.
The Millenium Series was actually my favorite. I mentioned this in another thread, but still.
The Showa series has way too many movies where Godzilla is the Good Guy.Not that I mind Godzilla being the hero, but that's part of why the Showa movies were mainly marketed to children, and are regarded as the cheesiest of the group. The Heisei series finally found a consistent way for Godzilla to be the save the day but still be a villain or anti-hero, which is a much deeper and more realistic presentation in my opinion. However, the Heisei series really botched the monster battles. The bulky (albeit cool) suit design basically dictated that 85% of all the fights were the two opponents just shooting their beams/weapons at each other until one side would just arbitrarily win. It got old, repetitive, and killed suspense.
The Millenium series FINALLY blended the two elements together: Godzilla's anti-hero status, with varied and exciting monster battles that include a fair mix of ranged fighting and tooth n' claw action.
Yes, the Millenium series did have some bad movies. It wasn't perfect.
Godzilla vs Megaguirus was probably the lowpoint of the Millenium series and makes it on my top 10 worst Godzilla movies. However, let's not cherry pick here.
Heisei is home to Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla for christ's sake. Showa has some duds too. Each series has movies which were sub-par, to focus on one series bad films as if the other series were gold is just not being objective.
Weak characters has been a problem that has plagued over 75%-90% of all Godzilla films ever regardless of the series.
I dunno, long story short, I don't see a single complaint on your list which is exclusive to JUST Millenium films. If you're going to be that harsh on the Millenium movies, then you need to take off your rose colored glasses when watching the other two.
Now the Millenium series doesn't have to be your FAVORITE. A lot of this is subjective, and everyone is going to have their own personal preferences. But the Millenium series is not without merit, and your specific attacks on the series are unfair in my opinion. If you're going to give Godzilla vs King Ghidorah a pass on plot development, or Godzilla vs Gigan a pass on unrealistic character interaction, or Godzilla's Revenge a pass on being boring....then the Millenium films deserve that same pass. Anything else is devoid of justice.
I completely disagree with the first three films, G2K had its problems but I think it had some of the most likeable characters in any film and a refreshing new design which is my personal favorite. The Godzilla Prediction Network was a great original idea, I liked the fact that the military was a real military, no fancy fake weapons. Easily up there with anything done in the 90s.
GxMegaguirus had some great action sequences, the opening scene is probably my favorite from any G-film and I especially loved the ending with the Dimension Tide falling out of orbit and having to lock onto the Gryphon. The smaller larva version could have used some work but was a great idea, favorite scene being the one killing the teen in the alley. The characters are a bit weaker but the action makes up for it IMO.
I honestly don't know how anyone can't like GMK, the action sequences are amazing, the suit is amazing, the characters are extremely likeable. Just an all around great movie, the only thing I would have changed is the ending. I thought it would have been a stronger ending with Tachibana sacraficing his life to kill Godzilla.
This is where the Millenium series goes downhill for me, the MechaGozilla movies have a great concept with the bones of Godzilla and some flashy action sequences but I can't stand the characters. The including of old Toho films into its universe seemed odd and out of place as well, while we try to develope a story to go around this monster battle here's a random clip from War of the Gargantuas. While the new MechaG design is probably my favorite I just hate that they went in this direction when the first three films in the series were far superior. There were some very good ideas in the two films, they just could have been done so much better.
Final Wars... ugh. The design was the worst used in the series, I think the fast paced story could have worked better if they didn't make the aliens so obnoxious. "We are Xilians, we are here to harvest and eat you... and be hip and cool too!". While I loved seing so many Kaiju brought back from the dead: Gigan, Angilas, Manda and Gimantis most noteably as well as Godzilla fighting Zilla, the cons WAY out weighed the pros, I mean Minya? Really? King Caesar? He should have been left back in the 70s with Jet Jaguar. He worked in 1974, not so much in 2004. But what really rubbed me the wrong way was Hedorah!! My favorite! Lets give Hedorah two seconds on camera and give King Caesar a whole battle where he kicks Angilas like a soccer ball. WTF. And last but not least, you have all these kaiju in the film and what do you do? Give them all small roles and put (surprise, surprise) Ghidrah and Mothra in the final battle... cause that's never been done before. Atleast they put Gigan in at the end too
"Weak characters has been a problem that has plagued over 75%-90% of all Godzilla films ever regardless of the series."
Can't agree with this in the least. Even in the 1970s, the characters were fairly strong, even in a pulpy sort of Forbidden Planet kind of way. But that was the genre for any related movie in the 60s-70s. The fact that, circa 1950s, post-Godzilla, Honda and his team didn't really know what to do with characters during the third act really made an impression later on. (Which is odd sense the original film made very good use of them by then.) Rodan, Varan and Battle in Outer Space, all botched the third act with spectacular effects-- but it got boring since the characters had nothing to do. The 1960s rectified this and were typically given some great, rounding arcs, particularly in Mothra vs. Godzilla, Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster and especially Monster Zero.
I recently watched Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster and was astounded by how good that movie really is. Akira Takarada's character is absolutely sublime and he exits the Showa series with one hell of a performance. You could tell he was having fun playing a fugitive.
Even when Godzilla was a hero that didn't omit some great characters and dark movies. Terror of MechaGodzilla is about as drab as the Showa series got since the original movie. While the film features some classic telescoping, popular in the 1970s, the tragedy between Ichinose and Katsura is no less enriching.
Realism regarding the series is never and issue for me as that was very far from the point by the time the 60s rolled around.
As for the Millennium series, I by and large agree, but mostly in connection with the Heisei series. It has some fine merits to it, but no greater than the stuff that had come about a decade before it. vs. Megaguirus is pretty boring though... And the characters are just awful. Absolutely dislikable...
Well, since what character arcs one finds compelling is subjective, I'm not sure we will find agreement here.
I will concede that part of my disatisfaction with the characters is the language barrier. Whether watching dubbing or subtitles, it really does detach me from being able to really get emotionally invested in the movie. For me, this isn't just with Godzilla movies, but really any foreign film I've watched. It's just hard for me to get it past it. If you don't have a similar problem, then seriously, good for you (not meant to be sarcastic).
That being said, what I do think is worth mentioning, is just because they give the characters something to do, or create a characte arc doesn't mean that the arc itself has weight or resonance. It's kinda like when you have that friend who tells a lame joke...and you GET the joke, put the punchline just isn't funny.
Many Godzilla films don't even bother developing significant character arcs, and the only purpose the characters serve is to pilot a machine or observe from a boardroom (Heisei MechaGodzilla film and Final Wars are the two jumping to the forefront right now as egregious offenders of this, but there are many others)
There are Godzilla movies which attempt a little bit more, but the success is limited. Like the 1974 MechaGodzilla film and it's sequel, or GMK, in fairness DID give their characters relationships and things to do. They even gave them some sympathetic moral conundrums to work out. But in the end, it just didn't suck me in. They get props for trying, but the execution just wasn't there for me personally.
And even the movies which DO have character arcs that succeed in drawing me in, only achieve that success with a few of the main characters. They aren't hitting on all cylinders. Granted, there a lot non-Godzilla movies which do succeed on all character fronts, so I don't begrudge the Godzilla movies too strongly for this. Movies like the original 1954 film, Godzilla 2000, Heisei's King Ghidorah movie all had some character(s) who struck a chord with me, but then missed the mark with others.
So yeah, I understand we probably won't reach an agreement here, but yeah, the number of Godzilla movies with interesting characters for me personally, could probably be counted on one hand. The number of movies where they at least TRY would probably take may hands and my toes, but still.
That doesn't mean I dislike all those other Godzilla movies. I enjoy almost all of them on some level. Just at different levels of depth for different reasons depending on the film.
And that's part of why I'm so excited for Godzilla 2014. It might be the first Godzilla movie ever for me which really does hit on all cylinders for me. Best Godzilla movie ever incoming! It will hopefully be quite a treat :-)
Fair enough. I agree the language barrier can be a hard sell, but I typically don't have that issue when I'm watching a foreign film that's subtitled. Granted I've spent the past decade studying the different approaches to acting/language in each country and Japan does tend to have a more theatrical approach to on-screen performances than most.
And while I agree that even though a character is given an arc it doesn't mean it always works, there's plenty that still work in relation to the genre and the times. Could Glenn and Namikawa's romance have been fleshed out more in Monster Zero? Absolutely. But Glenn was a supporting character in a sci-fi epic where his romance was a mere subplot. The movie was Godzilla's first foray into pulp-science fiction and the character's off-beat romance fit in to that subgenre's mold. Namikawa's death may not have had a lot of weight to it, but Adams and Mizuno have such strong performances that their final scene bleeds off the screen with great importance. Sometimes it's not the weight or development of the characters, but the energy they promote.
Granted, both energy and arcs don't always work-- I find Destroy All Monsters' characters fairly stale and The Return of Godzilla's characters are about as boring as GINO's. But for every failed attempt there's that many more that offer something worth looking into.
I hope to God that the new film features strong characters with lively energy and I'm fairly certain it will, even if I'm not convinced they'll be as memorable as some that have come before.
dude i love the millinium series gmk godzilla 2000 all great