Follow TV Tropes


Film / Godzilla: Final Wars

Go To
This "Godzilla" guy is one tough dude!
"Listen kid: There are two things you don't know about the earth. One, is me. And the other is... Godzilla."
Captain Gordon

The 28th Godzilla film and the sixth and final entry in the Millennium era. Due to the previous films not making enough yen, Toho decided to temporarily retire Godzilla with a bang. They brought back many Kaiju that haven't been seen in many decades, a music soundtrack different to previous movies, and a more action-oriented story. Unfortunately, it was the least-attended film of the Millennium series and reviews were mixed. Some criticized it for not developing the story and characters enough while others lauded it for being a fun celebration of the King of the Monsters.

In a world where warfare and pollution have created human mutants and giant monsters of destruction, the Earth Defense Force (EDF) deploys its greatest weapons to bury Godzilla in ice. Seventeen years later, the EDF discovers the body of Gigan, whose genetic composition matches the genes found in mutants. Then monsters begin attacking all over the world and the EDF is on the offensive when UFOs apparently destroy them. The Xilians claim to be of peaceful intention and warn of the coming of the destructive asteroid Gorath. But the EDF discovers the Xilians' true intention of taking over the Earth and, after one of the Xilians commits a coup d’état, all the monsters are unleashed and most of the mutants are controlled.


In an act of desperation, the remaining EDF members and their allies decide to free Godzilla. With their flying submarine battleship Gotengo, they guide him across the world, where he makes short work of the monsters; first trouncing Zilla in Sydney, then facing Kumonga in New Guinea. He duels Kamacuras in Osaka, Anguirus, Rodan and King Ceasar at Mount Fuji, Ebirah and Hedorah on the outskirts of Tokyo and finally arrives in Tokyo proper. As the mutants take their battle to the Xilians, though, Godzilla faces Monster X in Tokyo, who proves himself to be very powerful indeed, even mutating into a quadrapedal, golden beast known as Monster X-II, or Kaiser Ghidorah...


The film provides examples of:

  • Actionized Sequel: For better or worse, there's way more action, more monsters and especially more Godzilla in this film than all the previous films in the Millenium era.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The old controller is actually a bit more reasonable and an Anti-Villain, and before he can try and defuse the situation after the Xilian deception is revealed, he gets shot in the head by X.
  • Alien Invasion: The motive being to harvest mitochondria inside humans as a food source.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Xilians pretending to be humans can be identified by the fact that they don't blink. That may sound creepy, but, in reality, this would mean that their eyes would get dirty. But then again, they don't appear to have any eyes when they're out of their disguises. Unless they're those circular things on the sides of their squid heads...
  • Badass Normal: Captain Gordon, who unlike another character with the same moniker actually lives up to the "defender of Earth" title despite not claiming it. He faces down superpowered mutants, aliens and kaiju with no powers of his own whatsoever save a pair the size of Mt. Everest (and maybe just a bit of Charles Atlas Superpower). Not that he's particularly modest, though, considering his Badass Boast,note  Badass Longcoat, and Badass Mustache. He also carries a katana. It helps that he's played by Don Frye, a real-life MMA fighter.
  • Big Bad: X, though he's the second in command originally until he gets tired of taking orders and just shoots his boss in the head and takes over.
  • Brainwashed: Most human mutants, by the Xilians because their mutant DNA has the same origin as that of the monsters: Xilian tampering.
  • Boss Rush: Godzilla fights and defeats the Xilians' monsters in this fashion.
  • Broad Strokes: This film makes a number of references to Showa-era, Heisei-era, AND Millenium-era movies, all of which were set in different continuities from each other. (This is especially true for the Millennium era, in which all but two of the films are each set in their own disparate continuities. The only things they share in common is the original 1954 film as a point of origin.) Exactly where Final Wars fits into it all is unclear. The only returning actors are Masami Nagasawa and Chihiro Otsuka as the Shobijin, who also played them in Tokyo S.O.S..
  • Bullet Time: Ozaki and Kazama's training sequence.
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • Zilla uses Patrick Tatopoulos's creature design from the 1998 American Godzilla movie, making its first (and thus far only) appearance in the Godzilla film series - although the events of the 1998 film were mentioned in Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack.
    • To a lesser extent, both Anguirus and Gigan use attacks first developed for Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee and Godzilla Island, respectively.
  • Composite Character: Or composite race. The Xilians first hailed from Invasion of Astro-Monster, but were humanoid aliens. Here they have human disguises like the aliens from the black hole in the Showa films featuring Mechagodzilla.
  • Conspicuous CG:
    • Zilla is the only monster rendered in CG, and it shows, though considering that Zilla was among the least liked kaiju for a while, this may have been intentional.
      • Zilla was intentionally rendered badly as a Take That! towards Roland Emmerich.
    • Some of the scenes where Godzilla unleashes his atomic breath, as well as the final battle with Monster X also have plenty of this.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Godzilla defeats most of the monsters easily. Zilla especially goes down almost instantly, as does Gigan (the first time). This changes with Monster X.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Miyuki, whose dry wit might remind some of Elsie Chapman.
  • Dog Pileof Doom: The brainwashed mutants jumped on Kumasaka when they're trying to kill him.
  • The Dragon: X starts out as the Controller's Dragon; this doesn't last. Monster X/Kaiser Ghidorah and Gigan are X's Co-Dragons in turn.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Both Gigan and Monster X count as this. The latter especially after he transforms into Kaiser Ghidorah
  • Dragon Their Feet: Both the Xillians and Gigan are defeated, yet Kaiser Ghidorah keeps right at it, establishing himself as the film's True Final Boss.
  • End of an Age: Final Wars marks the final story in the Millenium era. As of 2018 (and possibly period), it's the last Godzilla film of any kind to use traditional suitimation, as Shin Godzilla and Godzilla (2014) use CG instead.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Godzilla spins right before he destroys Kaiser Ghidorah.
  • Eye Scream: After Ozaki gains his Heroic Second Wind and overpowers X, the (seemingly) young Xilien leader's eyelids (along with the areas around his eyes) start to turn an eerie black.
  • Fireball Eyeballs: After Godzilla is freed, the camera closes up on his eye, which is reflecting blazing fire.
  • Godzilla Threshold: The second half of the movie.
    Komuro: You're going to wake up Godzilla?...It's too dangerous. What if he destroys the world?
    Gordon: There is no world left to be destroyed.
  • Gratuitous English: Gordon speaks only in English, but he and the Japanese cast perfectly understand each other. Kazama speaks fluent English and Japanese (as can his actor, Kane Kosugi). In the Japanese release, however, Gordon was dubbed by none other than Tessho Genda!
    • X can also speak English, although he only does so during his first confrontation with the crew of the Gotengo.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ozaki goes through a brief one after Kazama commits a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Mothra, of course. Although, some fans believe she survived and flew away due to her being seen in a Post-Credits Scene.
    • Among the humans, Kazama flies the Dogfighter into the shield generator on the Xilian Mothership, breaking the barrier and allowing the humans in.
  • High-Speed Battle: Ozaki and Kazama on motorcycles. Ends with a swift bit of Car Fu.
  • I'm a Humanitarian / To Serve Man: The Xilians' goal is to make humans their food.
  • Hot Scientist: Miyuki, which Ozaki comments on. Miyuki isn't amused.
  • Hellbent For Leather: X's Xilian gang seem to have a taste for it. Miyuki wears a red leather jacket.
  • Human Outside, Alien Inside: The Xilians. When Gordon asks X to show them his real face, X responds to Gordon in (heavily accented) english
    X: Well, I kinda like this face.
  • Kaiju: There are 15 of them!
  • Large Ham: X, who even throws an epic temper tantrum at one point, and eats more scenery than he should be allowed in the English dub.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: A particularly egregious example happens after Captain Gordon unveils his plan.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Over a dozen monsters and an over equal number of humanoid characters to keep track of.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: The Xilien leader blows up the mothership as soon as Ozaki defeats him.
  • Monumental Damage: With this number of kaiju and locations, it's inevitable:
    • Sydney Opera House
    • Sydney Tower
    • Eiffel Tower (in the background of a shot in Paris, you can see a destroyed Eiffel Tower)
    • Oriental Pearl Tower
    • Arc de Triomphe (not really seen destroyed, but Kamacuras sitting on it must have damaged it in some way)
    • Statue of Liberty (you can't have New York destruction without a Statue of Liberty)
  • Mutual Kill: Mothra and Gigan slam into each other, resulting in a massive explosion. The end credits reveal (or at least hint) that she survived.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • When the Gotengo goes to wake up Godzilla they send a message to the base. The music the base was listening to? Mechagodzilla's theme from his debut film.
    • Godzilla's battle with King Caesar, Rodan and Anguirus ends with him just knocking them out, a reference to the fact these three monsters helped him fight MechaGodzilla.
    • Hedorah gets his eye damaged... again.
    • The first monster we see the upgraded Gotengo fighting is Manda, a reference to Atragon. They even defeat her in a similar fashion: freezing her.
    • Monster X/ Keizer Ghidorah's arrival is a reference to King Ghidorah's arrival by meteorite in his debut film.
    • This isn't the first time someone named Namikawa turned out to be an Xilian. She's even played by the same actress.
    • King Seesar is seen attacking Okinawa, ironically he was its protector in the Showa series.
    • Anguirus's Thunderball move is taken directly from the Atari video games.
    • This isn't the first time Godzilla was frozen.
  • Never Bring A Knife To A Gunfight: Double Inverted. Captain Gordon is cornered by two Xilians who draw laser pistols on him. He then proceeds to put away his katana and raise up his fists. In response, they toss their guns.
  • One-Letter Name: X, whose actual name humans wouldn't be able to understand.
  • One-Man Army: Godzilla, who basically singlehandedly plows through an entire gauntlet of kaiju that the Xilians throw at him, each of which has taken down everything Earth threw at them up to that point, even taking out Anguirus, Rodan and King Caesar at the same time. "Most destructive weapon on Earth", indeed.
  • One-Winged Angel: Monster X transforms into Kaiser Ghidorah.
  • Psycho for Hire: Gigan and Kaiser Ghidorah both.
  • Putting on the Reich: The Mutants dress in leather trench coats with red armbands. Subtle guys.
  • Slasher Smile: X wears it very well.
  • Super Mode: X and Ozaki are both Kaisers, granting them immense powers.
  • Rated M for Manly: Captain Gordon may be the most macho human being who has ever lived. Example: He faces down Godzilla personally, on foot, with a sword. He gives Chuck Norris a run for his money!
  • The Rest Shall Pass: Multiple examples.
    • Kumasaka holds off most of M-Force, and does a pretty good job considering he's a regular human.
    • Ozaki vs X
    • Gordon vs two Xilians
  • Retcon: Godzilla isn't killed by the Oxygen Destroyer in this timeline, just like Godzilla vs. Megaguirus.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The detractors of the movie see Gordon and his crew as this.
  • The Starscream: X, who isn't fond of the subtle plan. A successful one as well.
  • Stylistic Suck: Many of the effects are breathtaking, but many of the monsters are portrayed by People in Rubber Suits and look like it. This was deliberate, as homage, apparently.
  • Take That!:
    • Ryuhei Kitamura and Shogo Tomiyama wanted the Japanese Godzilla to fight the American Godzilla to show which was superior, resulting in one of the most brutal examples of this trope in action: Godzilla fights "Zilla" and effortlessly wins in less than 20 seconds. Just to rub it in further, the frustrated X then mutters: "I knew that tuna-eating lizard was useless!" (or, in the English dub, "I knew that tuna-head wasn't up to much!"). The name of the scene in question, "Pretender to the Throne", and the music used in the fight,note  serve to further highlight Toho's opinion of the American Godzilla (Well, the first one at least). It's very likely deliberate that Zilla is also the only kaiju who is rendered with intentionally-bad CG graphics, and faces off against a Godzilla depicted through old-school rubber suit effects.
    • Much like with Zilla, the very brief scene with Hedorah appearing and getting unintentionally stabbed in the eye by Ebirah can be interpreted as such, considering Tomoyuki Tanaka's reaction to Godzilla vs. Hedorah and the fact that he made sure that Yoshimitsu Banno, the director of vs. Hedorah, would never direct another Godzilla film.
    • A boy throws a Gamera action figure into his fireplace while screaming insults at it. This was a clear jab at the Gamera franchise, the Godzilla series' biggest rival.
  • Taking You with Me: The Xilien leader attempts to take Ozaki down with the base after he is defeated.
  • Token White: Captain Douglas Gordon is among the main cast who are predominantly Japanese.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Averted with Hedorah. In its first encounters with Godzilla, it was immune to his radiation breath, only killable via dehydration, half-blinded Godzilla, and indeed nearly killed him. Here it's killed in seconds.
  • True Final Boss: Kaiser Ghidorah, the last villain (Xilian or monster) standing.
  • The Unpronounceable: The species and individual names of the Xilians. They use code names instead.
  • Villainous Breakdown: X loses it every time one of his monsters is beaten by Godzilla. And also after his failed Taking You with Me moment, as he screams to the heavens while his base explodes around him.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Given the Broad Strokes approach to continuity, it seems likely that Anguirus, Rodan and King Caesar were once allies to Godzilla as they were in the Showa series, but he has to fight them since they're being controlled by the Xiliens, which explains why they're the only monsters Godzilla doesn't kill after defeating.
  • Whole Plot Reference: The movie is basically a rehash of the earlier Godzilla movie Destroy All Monsters.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Captain Gordon. At one point he fights two Xilians, one male, one female. He dispatches the male, then has a fight with the female. After he gets the upper hand, he has his fist pulled back ready to deck her, when she asks "you wouldn't hit a woman would you?". He then hesitates, opens his hand, smiles...then says "Yeah." and knocks her out with a karate chop to the neck!