Film / Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack!

"Good luck everyone, you're going to die!"
~ Unnamed female bystander in the international dub, who is mostly correct.
The 25th entry in the Godzilla franchise and the third in the Millenium series; as well as the first (and so far only) Godzilla film to be directed by Shusuke Kaneko. Known as Gojira, Mosura, Kingu Gidora: Daikaijū Sōkōgeki in Japan.

After the lukewarm responses of the previous two films, Shusuke Kaneko (creator of the well-lauded Heisei trilogy of Gamera films) was brought in. He wanted to emphasis Godzilla's immense power, so his original choice for opponents were ordinary monsters like Anguirus, Varan, and Baragon. However, Toho considered the former two not able to bring in enough money, so Mothra and King Ghidorah were brought in instead. Baragon, who was popular in Japan, stayed on. In order to keep that immense power plot point, Kaneko depowered King Ghidorah and Mothra. The themes were more mystical in tone, with Godzilla being possessed by the souls of WWII soldiers and the origins of the Guardians monsters. The film was well received at the box office. It became a favorite to the fanbase for reasons that include its Darker and Edgier tone.

In 2002, Commander Taizo Tachibana comments on the Godzilla attack 50 years ago and the monsters that have come since. A nuclear submarine is downed, and an investigation reveals some very familiar spinal plates. Meanwhile, the Commander's reporter daughter, Yuri investigates the appearance of monsters near Mt. Myoko and Lake Ikeda. She interviews a mysterious old man called Isayama, who tells the legendary guardians of Japan must be awakened before Godzilla returns. Japan has forgotten the sacrifices of the soldiers of WWII and Godzilla will take vengeance for them. An attack on the Bonin Islands and other attacks precede Godzilla's destructive return. He engages with the guardian monster Baragon in Hakone. Despite Baragon's bravery, he is brutally slaughtered and Yuri is injured in the process. As Godzilla moves unrelentingly forward, Mothra and King Ghidorah awaken. A battle shall soon take place in Yokohama, where the guardian monsters and the military must work together to take down the ruthless King of the Monsters...

"Giant Tropes All Out Attack":

  • Adaptational Heroism: King Ghidorah is usually a villainous monster, but here he's one of the good guys.
  • Adaptational Villainy: However, Godzilla here is a being of pure evil.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Ghidorah. Although he is still the strongest of the guardian monsters he is hardly the unstoppable arch nemesis of the Showa series, and even his strongest attack causes only a small wound on Godzilla's shoulder.
  • The Assimilator: While regenerating, Godzilla has absorbed the souls of all those killed in the Pacific War. Not just military causalities either, he's powered by some 36 million poor lost tormented souls. Godzilla is full of anger, and seeks to avenge those dead on a Japan that has forgotten its past, and the horrors of war.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Godzilla's shoulder wound created by the Spirit Bomb later becomes his achilles heel.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Admiral Tachibana
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Played with. The three Guardian monsters have been soundly defeated, and Godzilla been supposedly defeated too, but his heart is still beating, and for a Revenant Zombie with regenerative abilities it's only a matter of time before he recovers...
  • Big Bad: Godzilla himself. Resurrected by the souls of the dead and out to carry their vengeance. This Godzilla is actually notable for being truly evil and malevolent. Unlike the other incarnations who were territorial destructive forces of nature, or anti-heroic, this Godzilla possesses a sadistic streak and seeks nothing but the destruction of the world and everything in it.
  • Captain Obvious: "They're dead... the two men in the helicopter... they're dead..." -Yuri Tachibana, right after Baragon landed on a helicopter blowing it up
  • Chekhov's Gun: The drill missiles shown to help clear out one of Baragon's tunnels. Subverted when a barrage of them fail to even scratch Godzilla's hide. Double Subverted when shot directly into an open wound inflicted by Ghidorah.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: King Ghidorah would have grown into an eight headed dragon however they could not wait. In a meta sense this was done to King Ghidorah's character.
  • Combined Energy Attack: After their bodies are destroyed, the three Guardian Monsters' spirits combine their power to attack Godzilla and drag him down into Tokyo Bay, setting up his defeat.
  • Colonel Badass: Admiral Tachibana. He drives a sub into Godzilla's mouth, enters his stomach, and fires a missile with dead accuracy through a wound on his shoulder.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Godzilla against all of the Guardian Monsters. King Ghidorah manages to put up much more of a fight after being powered up.
  • Darker and Edgier: The tone of the movie is perhaps the darkest since the original, with Godzilla as a merciless engine of evil and destruction as opposed to the neutral Anti-Hero and Anti-Villain he had come to be portrayed as over the decades. The themes of supernatural retribution and a nation forgetting its sacrifices also aid in establishing this.
  • Dead All Along: Professor Isayama, who actually perished in the first Godzilla attack.
  • Deader Than Dead: Ghidorah is repeatedly killed, but is twice resurrected. The third time Godzilla kills him, he disintegrates him completely.
  • Deadline News: The people in the newschopper after Godzilla throws Baragon at them.
  • Death Glare: Godzilla gives a nasty one to Yuri and Takeda after a drill missile explodes in his shoulder wound.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: What does Godzilla in—Admiral Tachibana steers his sub into Godzilla's mouth and inspired by a vision of Yuri after getting swallowed, he fires the D-03 from the inside.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Godzilla finally surfaces, there's a photo of the Daigo Fukuryū Maru (Lucky Dragon 5), the Japanese fishing boat that got caught in the Castle Bravo test in March 1st, 1954.
  • Fusion Dance: After her body is destroyed, Mothra's soul and power merges with King Ghidorah in a power booster variety.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Godzilla's been defeated! Hooray!! Wait, he's still alive from just his heart!?
  • Implacable Monster: This Godzilla isn't just a lumbering, unstoppable juggernaut, he's Death itself, and like death, cannot be overcome or reasoned with, only avoided for as long as possible.
  • Hope Spot:
    • A survivor of one of Godzilla's earlier rampages lies in traction in a hospital, sobbing hysterically at being unable to escape as Godzilla heads straight for her...only for him to apparently pass right by without so much as scratching the building. Just as she's breathing a sigh of relief, his tail levels the place.
    • Ghidorah is powered up by Mothra's energy into King Ghidorah and manages to finally gain the upper hand on Godzilla...until the military accidentally hits him trying to hit Godzilla, allowing Godzilla to regain the upper hand and knock him out. After this, Ghidorah gets super charged again and is able to rain lightning down on Godzilla...but Godzilla just absorbs it and blows him to bits.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Yuri Tachibana.
  • Irony: Godzilla is nearly unstoppable. Taking on three giant monsters on his own and destroying them all, but what ultimately defeats him? The humans, after being completely unsuccessful in stopping him for several movies now, actually succeed in doing so.
  • Karmic Death: Early in the movie, if one is an asshole in any manner, you will get killed or severely traumatized by a monster.
  • Kick the Dog: A couple of violent youths near Lake Ikeda decide to drown a barking dog because it would give them away. A quarter way into the lake, they and those on shore are killed by Mothra. The dog remains unharmed. This Godzilla is also a noticable bully to all the weaker monsters. Twice he uses his ray to hit stuff to cause greater pain to Baragon and King Ghidorah before attempting to hit them head on. Successfully with the former, not so much the latter due to Mothra taking the hit.
  • Later Installment Weirdness: GMK is a big break from Godzilla film tradition. It doesn't follow up from the previous two Millenium movies and is in fact a sequel to the 1954 movie. Godzilla himself is the Big Bad killer monster, a Revenant Zombie resurrected by the angry souls of millions of people from the past. The Earth has three "Guardian Monsters" in Mothra, Baragon, and King Ghidorah. Speaking of King Ghidorah. He isn't the Big Bad at all. In fact, Ghidorah is actually heroic, while Godzilla is the villain in a total role reversal. And finally The humans actually succeed in stopping Godzilla.
  • Leitmotif: "Godzilla's Rage" for Godzilla himself.
  • Long Title: The title is quite the mouthful, so much so most people just refer to it as 'GMK'.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • At one point when Mothra flies through a city, two similar-looking women are seen watching it in awe in a nod to the Shobijin.
    • Godzilla's face appearing over the hillside is lifted almost shot-for-shot from the original 1954 movie.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The military tries to fire on Godzilla, but Godzilla moves and they hit King Ghidorah instead, giving Godzilla the opening to knock him out. What's worse about this is it was one of the few times in the fight one of the Guardian Monsters actually had the advantage on Godzilla during the fight.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Godzilla caused his own radioactive energies to run so rampant, that when next he sought to employ his atomic breath, it caused him to explode. However, even this was not enough to destroy the monster, as his disembodied heart continued to beat at the bottom of Tokyo Bay, slowly regenerating a new body.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Giant mutated radioactive resurrected dinosaur that's now possessed by the souls of all the victims of World War Two's Pacific theater.
  • Orochi: Ghidorah in this film is a juvenile Orochi that just hasn't grown back all his heads yet.
  • Revenant Zombie: Godzilla in this film is explicitly the 1954 version resurrected and driven by the vengeful spirits of the forgotten dead of World War 2.
  • Sadist: This Godzilla absolutely enjoys toying with his enemies and makes certain that they die very brutally such as when he spots a crowd of people flee from him he immediately smiles before unleashing his atomic breath at them or when Ghidorah hurls a barrage of thunderbolts (which the latter absorbs) he gives the dragon a malicious chuckle before finishing him off.
  • Slasher Smile: He is prone to giving these off when he knows he is about to slaughter his enemies.
  • Shout-Out: Godzilla's disembodied but still living heart in the ocean is a reference to the ending of Reptilicus.
    • Yuri's TV Show is called UltraQ
  • Take That!: The events of Godzilla (1998) apparently happened in this film's universe... but those Americans were wrong in labeling that creature "Godzilla".
  • Taking the Bullet: Mothra takes a full blast to save the knocked out King Ghidorah. She is actually quite fine since the monsters do have some durability. But by the second and point blank blast is what finishes her.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Ghidorah dies three times.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The couple decided it was good idea to take a picture of Baragon with the girl in it simply because she thought it was cute. Never mind the possibility that he was going towards where Godzilla might be, and he is.