Starring: Nicholas Tse, Jung Yong Hwa, Tiffany Tang, Michelle Bai Ge You, Michelle Wai
Accidental comedy masterpiece
My first thoughts were “sacrilege!” borrowing so heavily from God of Cookery and Chicken and Duck Talk but I forgot those movies were also Chinese New Year hits. Maybe I have been burnt out by too many Wong Jing and lame movies but weirdly all the jokes not working made this movie one of the funniest I have seen for quite a while.
It is strange. I am not sure they did it on purpose or it just worked out that way like it does sometimes. It is funny but not for the reasons they were expecting. Just as Good of Cookery predicted many of the food trends around now in the 90s this movie takes all the clichés and supercharges them to turbo levels of stupid.
Also every scene that is trying to be serious is funnier than the actual jokes. Maybe it is due to being friends with a lot of people who work in hospitality and chefs but a lot of the story beats rang true such as them partying hard (throwing bottles of hard liquor at a poster of his dad), not putting up with bullshit, buggering off for a while when they were sick of it, head butting someone, having your partner shack up with your best friend et cetera.
There are characters but that is hardly that important since it is the story that you end up following. Anthony Wong puts on a sterling performance as himself wearing a beanie and leather jacket and crying while eating a bowl of noodles in one scene. His performance is so great it dwarfs the others around it.
As a Chinese New Year movie it is a success but it may be a bit too weird for some people. If you are a fan of Chinese cooking or cooking shows I would recommend it as you would get a lot more out of the jokes.
I still thought Anthony Wong as God of Cookery was bullshit but he did look cool on that giant banner. I would buy one of those if it was available.
I did end up yelling out one of the God of Cookery lines during one scene and “bullshit!” several times. I could not restrain myself due to some things being so stupid.
NB: This was originally written as a pitch
for a comedy site and abandoned.
I recently had the chance to see the
recording of the FAQ show for Ozflix with
Bruce Spence. We could only ask one question so mine was 300 words long.
I ended up having to cut it so I asked if the people making the movie
knew that if it was something that could happen in the near future and
not just a movie. He used the word prescient in his answer and said that
George Miller was “a bit of genius”. The first movies were about the
fuel crisis of the 1970s. Fury Road was about water.
So this happened
and then this
Despite there being many Australians
involved in the Hollywood film industry, the country does not have many
iconic film characters apart from Skippy, Crocodile Dundee and Mad Max
that are world famous. Wolverine does not count unfortunately.
The original Mad Max film was based
on Dr George Miller’s experience from dealing with a parade of carnage
through his emergency room in a time when cars were much more powerful
than today and more poorly regulated and more importantly, when drink
driving laws were lax.
In the city where the original film
was made there were vast suburbs stretching out in all directions with
lots of well made, straight, flat roads that helped the production. It
also led to many imitators both in Australia and overseas but Mad Max is
still the most iconic.
When the film was made in the late
1970s the gas crisis was a recent memory so the plot about the world
running out of fuel for cars seemed like a real possibility. There are
also a lot of other things that contributed to the movie being what it
is that will become apparent as we go on.
Despite what some fans are saying
about the new movie, it is an Australian production as a crew of 800
people went over from Australia to South Africa and Nambia to shoot the
film and many of the extras were Australian actors.
What I want to talk about in this
article is how the original film could not have been made in any other
country than Australia (an alternate reality of Mad Max being made in
Hollywood could be dealt with in another article.)
1. The political environment
Australia does not have the law that
its Prime Minister can only have two terms so at the start of the 1970s
after two decades of the one political party being in power, people were
ready for a change https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jykIqQxEOw
Gough Whitlam tried to institute
real change, but that went about as well as could be expected, he is
famous for being the only Prime Minister to be fired by the Governor
While he was in the Whitlam
government did pass a lot of reforms that led to a lot more creative
things going on including kicking into gear the local film industry due
to free university degrees and a lot more people going into creative
industries as a result.
The Australian Film Commission was
created on July 7, 1975 and began making substantial grants to feature
film, documentary, television and short film projects.182
It significantly extended on the support for the Australian film
industry that began with the Gorton Government. This support contributed
to the renaissance of Australian cinema that took place in the 1970s and
1980s, reviving an industry that had stagnated for decades. This support
allowed the expression of a new confident cultural identity through
film. Iconic and critically acclaimed films such as Picnic at
Hanging Rock, Gallipoli and The Last Wave
were produced with funding from the new Australian Film Commission.
2. The Australian film industry in the 70s
At the start of the decade the
Australian film industry had “had a bit of a lie down” for about 20
years and even some of the more famous Australian films such as
They’re a Weird Mob
Wake in Fright
were not even directed by
Australians as while there were still people working in TV and film it
was thought no one would see Australian movies if they made them.
The subject is covered in depth in
the documentary “Not Quite Hollywood” about the “boom” time of
Australian cinema from the introduction of the R-rating (NC-17) and the
10BA scheme through to the slump in the 1980s due to over-investment in
When first introduced in June 1981,
10BA allowed investors to claim a 150 per cent tax concession and to pay
tax on only half of any income earned from the investment. Government
concern about the cost of 10BA over the years meant that concessions
were progressively reduced to 100 per cent. Division 10BA was
closed to new applicants in July 2007 with the introduction of the new
Producer Offset. The concessional status for investment in productions
holding a valid 10BA certificate remained available until 30 June 2009.
3. Actors available
While Mad Max was famously one of
Mel Gibson’s first movies that he only got the role for after turning up
for casting with a black eye after getting into a fight, there were also
many other cast members who had been in many other films in the previous
decade that directly contributed to making the film what it was.
No, I was not named after the movie
“Tim” it was the BOOK
Several of the actors had already
been in movies together, namely the movie Stone which is as much the
spiritual successor to Mad Max as any other movie
According to Stone’s producer Sandy
Harbutt Roger Ward went over to the pub that the Hells Angels who were
playing the extras were drinking at and yelled out “All Hells Angels are
poofters!”. Some of the fights in that movie were pretty real.
There were a lot of young directors
at the time due to the film industry having a revival in the 1970s
people like Brian Trenchard-Smith, Peter Weir, Phillip Noyce, Gillian
Armstrong, Fred Schepisi amongst others who started off small and then
went off to work in Hollywood or overseas due to the Australian film
industry not being big enough to sustain them all.
During the 1970s , following the
confluence of numerous different factors, t ere was an extraordinary
revival of Australian film. The graduation of the first group of
students from the newly-created Australian Film, Television and Radio
School(AFTRS), was one factor; students like Gillian Armstrong and
Philip Noyce left their studies and began to work in the industry, and
settled alongside filmmakers like Fred Schepisi, Bruce Beresford and
Peter Weir, who had entered the industry in other ways. The other
factors ushering in the revival are also significant: in 1970, Philip
Adams and Barry Jones (working with the blessing of then Australian
Prime Minister Gorton) travelled around the world researching
Government-funded film industries, with the brief to prepare a detailed
report recommending ways in which an Australian Film Industry might be
literally “established”. After much wrangling and two changes of Prime
Minister, the new Australian film industry was brought into being.
Even though they were both USA car
brands, Holden vs. Ford rivalry was the source of many playground fights
growing up, sadly there are not going to be any car manufacturers left
in Australia after 2016 when the last of them shuts down as the current
government has decided to pull the plug.
The peak of car manufacturing in
Australia was in the 1970s where a car manufacturer’s race the Bathurst
1000 was held once per year by cars actually in production. If you go to
see the museum at the track you can see all they did was weld roll bars
into a real production car that still had its back seats installed and
souped-up the engine http://www.motoring.com.au/news/2012/sports/bathurst-1000—the-superstar-70s-32315
While not as money-rich as the
Formula One or having a big a following as NASCAR, the V8 touring cars
still do a series of races around Australia and the Formula 1 race in
Melbourne is the only one where they actually have another class of cars
racing on the track before the big race or nobody would come to it
Australian cars in the 1970s were
big an boxy, if you got into the crash the car would be fine, it was you
would be smashed up. There was famously a car that was deemed “too
dangerous” to release after an incautious motoring journalist took it
for a test drive one Sunday morning.
With the popularity of cars in
Australia and the number of road accidents, drastic measures had to be
taken and the Traffic Accident Commission started airing graphic road
accident commercials on network television as part of various campaigns
mirroring the violence in the Mad Max movies but showing the real
A 20 year retrospective of all the TAC campaigns
from the past 20 years.
To commemorate this 20 year anniversary, a five minute
retrospective of TAC campaigns from the past 20 years has been
compiled. This montage features iconic scenes and images from
commercials that have helped change the way we drive, all edited to
REM’s moving song ‘Everybody Hurts’.
As an aside I did once borrow a VHS tape from the
Australian Centre for the Moving Image called “The Road Worrier” that
was totally based on Mad Max but had a golden driving instructor robot
and advised students to “DON’T BE A NERD! TAKE YOUR TIME”
Examines driving hazards encountered by young
they start to drive: inexperience on roads; traps to avoid when
dealing with car dealers. Also looks at how to acquire good
driving skills. Prod Co
This meant a very flat road with
good looking locations such as the bridge where they took the railings
off to do the stunt where the motorcyclists went into the river. Also on
the same bridge one of the stuntmen actually got hit in the head by the
You can actually go see where they
filmed parts of the first movie fairly easily if you are living or
traveling to Melboure. Due to hoons messing up the place in their cars
the author has left some locations off the list
“Note: Some locations I have
discovered are privately owned, and for that reason are not listed.
Additionally, I have noticed evidence at some other locations that
people have been hooning around in their cars. DON’T let this be you.
It’s rather childish, and spoils it for everyone else when I’m forced to
remove locations from the list as a result. Thanks.”
The second and third films were
filmed a lot further out near Broken Hill and do not have the same feel
to them. The outer suburban malaise where all you can do is drive around
and yelling out at people before wrapping it around a power poll at
100mph is a popular thing for younger drivers to do still, the Victorian
government had to change the laws to restrict the number of passengers
probationary drivers could have due to so many accidents.
Australian band TISM also covered
this topic in their song “Greg! The Stop Sign”
There is also the song “Maltby
Bypass” which I cannot find online that is about the region around
Weribee telling the story of Johnny Cash having is photo taken on the
side of the road and a family car breakdown a decade earlier
Chung Bik-ha as Blackie in The Blade who doesn’t take any shit from nobody, even the bullies who cut the sole of her foot.
Brigitte Lin as Lien Ni-Chang and it goes without saying when she becomes the White Witch she is unmatched.
Michelle Yeoh as Sister Ko in Butterfly and Sword.
Maggie Cheung as Qiao Li in Comrades, Almost a Love Story in one of my top 10 favourite Hong Kong movies.
Maggie Cheung as Lingyu Ruan in Centre Stage.
Joey Wong as the ghost in a Chinese Ghost Story.
Karen Mok as Bak Jing-jing and Athena Chu as Zixia in A Chinese Odyssey Part 1 – Pandora’s Box, I like the scene where they keep setting Stephen Chow’s crotch on fire.
Xu Jiao as Dicky in CJ7, yes another role where a young girl plays a young boy but she is good at it.
Michelle Yeoh as Yu Shu Lien, Ziyi Zhang as Jen and Cheng Pei-Pei as Jade Fox in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Kei Gwong Hung as little Ding Dong (girl playing a boy again), Kara Hui Ying-Hung as Rainbow Sword in Demon of the Lute.
Bingbing Li as Shangguan Jing’er in Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame.
Brigitte Lin playing twins in Dragon Chronicles: Maidens of Heavenly Mountain.
Cheng Pei-pei as Chin-erh in Dragon Swamp.
Brigitte Lin as Mo-Yan and Maggie Cheung as Jade King in Dragon Inn.
Joyce Godenzi as the Cambodian guerrilla leader in Eastern Condors especially the vicious stabbing she gives to one of the baddies during the ammo cache fight scene.
Brigitte Lin as Master Asia Invincible in East is Red. She even manages to overshadow the ninja submarine in this movie and also has a bald albino ninja wearing a nappy who has carrier pigeons in his mouth.
Pop duo Twins playing the Chopstick Sisters in the movie Fantasia. You would think it would just be stupid but it is quite fun.
Zhou Xun as Ling Yanqiu and Gwei Lun-mei as Zhang Xiao Wen in Flying Swords of Dragon Gate. I liked the bandit leader more than the main hero, they wore like Ancient Chinese punks.
Josephine Siao as Miu Chui-fa in Fong Sai Yuk. “It’s shit to be chased by the dogs!” is still my favourite line from this movie.
Carina Lau as Kar ling in Forbidden City Cop, the best on-screen wife for Stephen Chow in any of his movies.
Karen Mok as Sister Turkey in God of Cookery, her character manages to bring humour and pathos to the role and she has a big heart.
Anita Mui as Wonder Woman, Maggie Cheung as Thief-Catcher Chat, Michelle Yeoh as Invisble Girl. The top of the heap for good roles for women in Hong Kong movies. There has been no better trio.
Anita Yuen as Wing in He’s a Woman, She’s a Man. A sex-change comedy but it is very sweet and honest.
Maggie Cheung as Mrs Chan in In the Mood for Love do I really need to say why?
Lily Ho as Ainu has delicious revenge against brothel madame Lady Chu played by Betty Pei Ti in the movie Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan, I have not seen a more satisfying revenge movie in a long time.
Sandra Ng as Sophie Yam the triad boss’ wife in her “hungry tigress” stage and the line “My baby has no anus” not even the most weird thing in Jiang hu: The Triad Zone which also includes Anthony Wong as a life sized household god statue.
Shu Qi as Bai Gu Jing with a dirty face in Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons. Yes, I know Stephen Chow told her to “not look so pretty” in the role, but I like her roles more where she does not get naked. I did an entire page of her making funny faces http://hkmovies.timchuma.com/jttwctd_funnyface.htm
Anita Mui as Madam Sung in Justice, My Foot! where she plays the wife of Stephen Chow’s character. She has to rescue him at one point.
I love Ai Kago and Shum Ying in Kung Fu Chefs so much even though the movie is a bit bleh, she kicks arse! She reminds me of a friend who is a professional dancer and is tiny.
“Women are cunning!” is one of the main things to take away from Kung Fu Cult Master, Sharla Cheung as Chao Min, Gigi Lai as Chow Chi-yu and Chingmy Yau as Tsu Chu all do well.
Yuen Qui as the Landlady in Kung Fu Hustle steals the show, my favourite scene is when she non-verbally threatens the gang boss in the back of his car.
Yuen Qui somehow ended up in Kung Fu Mahjong by Wong Jing after the success of Kung Fu Hustle, pretty much playing the same role but in the modern day.
Hui Ying-hung as Mei-ling in the movie the Lady is the Boss takes over a kung fu school and introduces “gay dancing” and fights baddies while riding a BMX “I like it!”.
Maggie Cheung as Maggie Cheung in the movie Irma Vep is great, especially since I can’t tell what parts were made up and which were real. Her reaction when someone asks her if she is a lesbian seems pretty geunine.
Anita Mui as Yuet and Maggie Cheung as Hsien in the movie Moon Warriors that also includes the main character riding a killer whale.
Anita Mui in Yang Luming in Mr Canton and Lady Rose as she is very classy.
Karen Mok does an excellent piss take of Natalie Portman’s character from Leon the Professional in Out of the Dark. The movie is a bit dark for a comedy.
Maggie Cheung being the butt of many jokes in the Police Story movies and also getting injured by explosives in Police Story 2 🙁
Michelle Yeoh jumping a real motorbike onto a real moving train in Police Story 3.
Michelle Yeoh’s performance in general in the movie Project S.
Michelle Yeoh as Michelle in Royal Warriors.
Maggie Cheung as single mum Ellen in the movie Sausalito, yes I used to watch everything that screened at my local Chinatown Cinema.
Chen Jiajia as Kualo in the movie Seven Swords. She’s Kualo! Do I even need to say a reason? If I made a movie it would be her backstory.
Cheng Pei-pei as Miss Yang who ends up being a whipping avenger in the movie the Shadow Whip. I am sure I saw her use someone’s leg to hit himself in one scene using the whip.
Shu Qi as Lyn, Zhao Wei as Sue, Karen Mok as Officer Hung in the film So Close and “almost, but not quite” movie but it is still fun in parts. They only hint at a possible lesbian relationship which is an opportunity wasted.
Terry Lau Wai-Yue as Demon Mom in the movie Super Inframan chowing down on scenery.
Brigitte Lin as Invincible Asia in Swordsman II.
Michelle Yeoh as Inspector Ng and Cynthia Rothrock in Yes Madam. I do not need a reason.
Sylvia Chang as Superintendent Nancy Ho in Aces Go Places.
Kara Hui as Dai-Nan in My Young Auntie who seems to hate fun.
Anita Mui as Fleur in Rouge, this movie was very sad.
Sunday, 10th December 2006
hosted by Frederica 100% Negro and Janelle down the Pint
featuring performances by Alicia, Damian, Jack, Justine,Mrs Mitchell, Lucy,
Mia, Margarine, Nick and Tiffany http://photos.timchuma.com/Dragaoke/index.html
2007 Karaoke Oscars
Sunday, 11th March 2007
Hosted by Fred Negro and Johnny Down the Pint
Singers: George E Bean, Deb & Peter, Ewan, Bongo Womble, Amanda, Carla,
Jeff the Butcher, Melinda, Frank Lee Earnest, Dale http://photos.timchuma.com/KaraokeOscars/index.html
I was going to write a whole long screed about the Greyhound Hotel
finally closing (again) but going through my photos and other reports of
gigs I had already written I thought I would just quote from them as it
would be better.
The Starliners & Cabana Smoothie Karaoke
Fred Negro and Steve Prictor were
hosting, which was great as Fred
is probably one of the most entertaining musicians I’ve seen perform
(it has nothing to do do with his singing I can tell you.) Steve had a
few good tricks also, like trying to do a trombone solo during one
of the acts and stuffing himself.
(First record of a gig I can find at this establishment)
The first time I had seen the Twits, they were banned from the venue for
three years after the gig.
Sticks a 100 year old cantankerous old fart
who gets around with two walking sticks – having his sticks taken off
him and Fred using them to have
a wank, then Fred and Steve setting them on fire and losing them, which
led to them trying to replace them with a horsey on a stick and a
retractable light saber.
Sunday, 10th December 2006
hosted by Frederica 100% Negro and Janelle down the Pint
featuring performances by Alicia, Damian, Jack, Justine,Mrs Mitchell,
Lucy, Mia, Margarine, Nick and Tiffany http://photos.timchuma.com/Dragaoke/index.html
For some reason I thought the Dragaoke was
going to be the last karaoke of the year, but a message from Johnny
asking me to come as he had waxed his balls especially for the occasion.
As I was leaving the X gig at the
Greyhound on Friday night, I ran into Jesse Bates who invited me to his
birthday that Sunday. I have seen him in quite a few bands around the
place so I decided to go after the Karaoke Oscars.There were heaps of people there by the time I arrived and Jesse and co
were playing up a storm in the lounge room. People from several of the
bands that he drummed in played and other people joined in as they felt
like it.Steve Prictor kissed my cheek, yuk! It was very hot in the main room so
I went out to the back yard occasionally and talked to one of the bar
staff from my local and his friends.I left a bit after 1am, but I am sure the party went on late until the
night or at least until the police came. It was great to get the chance
to go and I will try to get to more of Jesse’s gigs in the future.
Kamikaze…BY CHRIST! I’ve photographed
over 600 bands and other performers in my five years of going to see
bands. Kamikaze, while not the worst band I have seen, are getting
pretty close. Far too much fucking around for my liking including two of
the members asking for drugs from the audience while they were meant to
be playing. I did see them in Adelaide and they were a lot better then.
Far too loud as I was sick the next day just from the noise. I had to
bugger off outside during the middle of the set.
On walking outside “YEP!
They are definitely banned!”
“Are you going to ban
What a debacle! I CANNOT ABIDE band’s trashing other people’s
SKREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! And that was my
introduction to Imperial Leatherman during their sound check, better get
drunk I thought. Thankfully they turned out to be fairly good and
something I wouldn’t go to see normally. Certainly not a band you would
expect at the Greyhound as they hardly ever have instrumental bands play
in the front bar.
Jamieson’s and whisky’s lined up for Joel. People just kept giving them to
Supposedly the karaoke was meant to go
until 1am, but the licence application hadn’t been approved so they had
to cut it off and kick everyone out at 12am. “Free Beer at the Prince!”
was the cry and everyone went outside. The last I saw of Johnny Kicks
was his arse hanging out the cab window.
Director: Kim Jee-woon
Starring: Song Kang-Ho, Gong Yoo, Han Ji-Min, Um Tae-Goo, Shingo Tsurumi, Shin Sung-Rok, Seo Young-Joo, Kim Dong-Young, Park Hee-Soon, Lee Byung-Hun
I do like a movie that has the audacity to start you off in the middle of action, something this movie does in spades before it even tells you who the main characters are with a crazy chase across the rooftops with people firing and a resistance fighter being cornered and trying to be talked into surrendering by Captain of the Japanese police in Korea Lee Jung-Chool (Sang Kang Ho).
While his character’s motives may seem murky at the start, it gradually becomes clear he is actually trying to help the resistance while still appearing to do his job. This is made much harder when his superiors decide to give him a Japanese partner Hashimoto (Um Tae-Goo) who goes full attack dog and scares off the group.
The resistance fighters are a varied group and it is difficult to follow all the names at times. I do recognise some of them from other Korean movies though and they do play off each other well as some of them are working on their own agendas.
The differences in Lee Jung-Chool and Hashimoto’s approaches are most apparent when they are ordered to pursue the group to Shanghai and stop whatever they are up to. Hashimoto rushes around like a mad dog and Jung-Chool decides to go right up and meet the head of the resistance at his cover pottery factory.
As with several recent Korean movies there is a significant portion of the movie set on a train with the best scenes in the movie taking place in this scene. I particularly liked the breaking of tension in one scene with a baby’s shitty bum. Considering the torture scenes that happen later in the movie it is a welcome relief. Also I have heard that in the slapping scene where Hashimoto is admonishing his agents for letting people get aware there were 28 slaps in one scene, meant to be more than Takeshi Katano’s Violent Cop.
Once the group gets back to Korea the action ramps up considerably with them having to fight their way through the train station and Jung-Chool coming to their aid even though he has been told to do so and appears to be on the side of the Japanese.
As has been said in at least one other review it does feel strange to cheer for an act of terrorism in a film but the scene perfectly manipulates you into doing it with Bolero playing and the pacing and even having a character toast another just before the climax.
I have enjoyed this director’s other work in the past including the Quiet Family, the Foul King, A Bittersweet Life and the Good, the bad and the weird. I have not seen a Tale of Two Sisters and I Saw the Devil.
As Park Chan-Wook and Bong Joon-Ho tend to do he uses a lot of the same cast in his movies such as Song Kang-Ho so you know they will put in a good performance and I am a sucker for movies with that particular actor in them ever since Joint Security Area.
What I also enjoyed is the story being set in a World War II area of operations that has not been covered as much as Europe. There are many more European war stories it seems but not as many ones told from the perspective of non-western countries. Also it is a break from Korean war films as they always seem to do good business in South Korea but there is a quite a lot of them.
This movie is getting a bit more of a wider release and I would recommend it people who like war movies and also spy thrillers.
Yes, Godzilla has returned. No, it is not like any other Godzilla movie up until now. After producing Final Wars for Godzilla’s 50th anniversary Toho decided to rest the franchise for 10 years and even destroyed some sets to ensure this.
This movie can be considered Toho’s reboot of their franchise and marks the beginning of a new era of movies from the studio with a separate continuity to the Showa, Heisei and Millennium series. Even more confusing the recent US remake is also separate and is going to continue off on its own storyline.
How this movie is different is that it mainly concentrates on Godzilla as if it is a natural disaster being managed by various Japanese government agencies so you see everything from their point of view as they react to it and manage disaster recovery and trying to counteract the monster.
There are a lot of different ministers introduced, but the closest to main characters would be Rando Yaguchi (Hiroki Hasegawa) a junior advisor who ends up leading the anti-Godzilla taskforce and sassy US ambassador Kayoko Ann Patterson (Satomi Ishihara). In any other movie there would be a love story between the two but it is barely even considered here.
While there are a lot of meetings in the movie you at least get to see Godzilla earlier than the 2014 movie. He looks nothing like you would remember but to give away what it looks like when you first see the monster would ruin the surprise. It sure does look goofy looking.
Goofy-looking or not upon coming ashore the monster leaves a trail of destruction and causes many deaths, there is an attempt made to attack the monster, but it has to be stopped at the last minute due to civilians. The monster then returns to the sea.
The USA ends up getting involved but many in the Japanese government do not think they have their best interests at heart and the sassy Japanese ambassador has trouble getting her point across with the government officials. The leader of the ant-Godzilla taskforce is a lot more receptive to her and they end up working together.
There is a lot of planning and meetings and these culminate when Godzilla reappears having grown in size and the self-defence force tries to stop it from advancing on Tokyo and fails. Not like they did not try as they attack it with three waves of forces including helicopters, tanks and jets. In the movie they use footage of real vehicles for the scenes which is great along with the models for when some of them get wrecked.
The USA sends over its B2 bombers which seem to be doing well at first, but Godzilla evolves and destroys them easily with powers that it had not had before and are new even in the history of the Godzilla movies. Having used up its reserves it goes into hibernation leaving Tokyo in a sea of flames and many thousands of people dead.
Leaning on the UN council the USA it is going to make a nuclear strike when Godzilla starts moving again. Most of the Japanese government is understandably upset at this but agrees to start evacuating Tokyo. Yaguchi disagrees and wants to try his team’s plan of making a blood coagulant to try and freeze Godzilla. At this point it is a race against time for the teams’ plan to be carried out before Tokyo is destroyed for good. I am not going to reveal which plan succeeds or fails as that is half the fun.
This is not a movie for those people who complain “when are they going to get to the fireworks factory” you have to have a high tolerance of people in meetings and a lot of ancillary characters being introduced and discarded.
I did like the anti-Godzilla task force as Yaguchi himself says they are a bunch of “freaks and rejects” and he wants people with strong opinions and who have no qualms of expressing them. The group ends up working so hard that the cleaning staff feels sorry for them and brings them food and the other staff start complaining that Yaguchi smells.
The senior government ministers are a bunch of senior Japanese actors who I mostly did not recognise apart from Jun Kunimura as Chief of Staff who was recently in the Korean movie the Wailing. The older actors did have a lot of gravitas especially the Prime Minister Ren Ohsugi.
The monster effects seemed to be a combination of suit work and CGI and you could not really tell the difference between the two as they were so well integrated. I did like seeing actual models be destroyed like in the old days and there was some clever use of infrastructure with trains being used as weapons in one sequence.
The original music for the series also makes a cameo during some scenes, but if you want to hear the full tunes wait for the end credits where they play in full.
While the Neon Genesis Evangelion fans will soon be online posting comparisons in shots and so forth, there are quite a few here. In the NGE TV show the EVA units could only operate for five minutes due to their internal battery and the rest of the episode was spent building up to it. The same is the case here. The evolving state of Godzilla does remind me of the Angels in some ways as they were different each time as they changed after each one was defeated.
The previous short by the two directors the Giant God Warrior Appears in Tokyo is the direct predecessor to this movie and well worth watching.
While there was space left in the resolution of the movie for sequels it may not be by the same directors or even with the same set of characters. It was great to see Godzilla back in Japan but if you prefer more action in your Godzilla movies then I would recommend an earlier film in the series.