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

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"Good luck everyone, you're going to die!"
— Unnamed female bystander in the inaccurately translated international dub, who is mostly correct.

Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack is the 25th entry in the Godzilla franchise and the third in the Millennium 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. The film is written by Kaneko, Keiichi Hasegawa and Masahiro Yokotani. It was released on December 15, 2001.

After the lukewarm responses to the previous two films, Shusuke Kaneko (creator of the well-lauded Heisei trilogy of Gamera films) was brought in. He wanted to emphasize 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 of the fanbase for reasons that include its Darker and Edgier tone.

In 2002, Commander Taizo Tachibana (Ryudo Uzaki) 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 (Chiharu Niiyama) investigates the appearance of monsters near Mt. Myoko and Lake Ikeda. She interviews a mysterious old man called Hirotoshi Isayama (Hideyo Amamoto), who tells the legendary guardians of Japan must be awakened before Godzilla (Mizuho Yoshida) 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 (Rie Ota and Toshinori Sasaki) 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 (Akira Ohashi) 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...

The film also stars Masahiro Kobayashi as Teruaki Takeda, Shirō Sano as Haruki Kadokura, Takashi Nishina as Jun Maruo, Kaho Minami as Kumi Emori, Shinya Owada as Mikumo, Kunio Murai as Masato Hinogaki, Hiroyuki Watanabe as Yutaka Hirose, Shingo Katsurayama as Tokihiko Kobayakawa, Takeo Nakahara as Sakida, Toshikazu Fukawa as Miyashita and Masahiko Tsugawa as the chief Cabinet Secretary.

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: While Godzilla is always portrayed as ambiguously heroic even on his best days, his portrayal as a being of pure evil in this movie, albeit with a tragic backstory even worse than the one from his first movie, nonetheless makes for a jarring contrast.
  • 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.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Is the GMK incarnation of Godzilla indeed the same one that attacked Japan in 1954 or a completely different entity? The film offers evidence to support both arguments, and, seeing as how a sequel won't ever happen any time soon, there may be no final answers.
  • An Aesop: Never forget those who lost their lives because of your country's sins in the past.
  • The Assimilator: While regenerating, Godzilla has absorbed the souls of all those killed in the Pacific War. Not just military casualties 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 the war it unleashed on Southeast Asia.
  • 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:
    • Yuri Tachibana's comment right after Baragon landed on a helicopter, blowing it up: "They're dead... the two men in the helicopter... they're dead..."
    • Also the pilot of a rescue helicopter, immediately before Godzilla kills him: "Wait! That hill wasn't there before!"
  • 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.
    • An unnamed JGSDF officer (or possible NCO) is seen in a few scenes of the soldiers reacting to Godzilla and Mothra's battle. When the JGSDF intervene to distract Godzilla from finishing her and Ghidorah off, Godzilla responds by obliterating most of their forces in a matter of seconds. While several of his men panic and try to run, this one older soldier squares his shoulders and squints determinedly into the onrushing blue light of oblivion.
  • Creator Cameo: Koichi Kawakita, the special effects director for the Heisei series, and Masaaki Tezuka, the director for most of the Millenium series films, play JSDF officers.
  • 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.
    • In his fight with Baragon, Godzilla actually resorts to stomping the other monster at one point.
    • Having successfully taken down (but not yet killed) both Mothra and Ghidorah acting in unison, Godzilla is interrupted by the JGSDF, who fire a barrage of D-3 warheads, none of which manage to penetrate his hide before exploding. Apparently snorting in derision, Godzilla unleashes one of the most devastating rampages seen on screen at that point in the series, obliterating 90% of the JGSDF in the a matter of seconds.
  • 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.
  • Defiant to the End: The JSDF veteran soldier doesn't try to run after the drill missiles fail and Godzilla starts charging up for a nuclear breath attack, just gives him a resolute Death Glare as his fellows run.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Godzilla's been defeated! Hooray!! Wait, he's still alive from just his heart!?
  • "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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Internal Retcon: It's stated that the Japanese government covered up the use of the Oxygen Destroyer to kill the first Godzilla, to avoid embarrassing the Japanese military for being unable to kill him themselves.
  • 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.
  • It Can Think: Godzilla was always pretty smart, but his expressionism in this movie is arguably better than any Godzilla flick that came before it.
  • Karmic Death: Early in the movie, if one is an asshole in any manner, they 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 noticeable 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 on from the previous two Millennnium 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 most people just refer to it as 'GMK'.
  • Militaries Are Useless: Their tanks and guns do nothing but anger Godzilla further, and he ultimately blasts them all away with his atomic breath.
  • Monster in the Ice: After being defeated in ancient times, the Orochi was lain to rest in an ice cave near Mount Fuji to reincarnate as a good monster next time. When Godzilla threatens Japan in the present day, he's awakened prematurely as the three-headed monster Ghidorah to fight him.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • At one point when Mothra flies through a city, two similar-looking women are seen watching her 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.
    • The film opens with a lecture from Tachibana to a class of naval cadets, during which he mentions another giant monster having attacked the "East of America at New York City," a clear reference to Godzilla (1998). Listening to Tachibana's lecture in the official US cut, though contains a mention to the monster having since been "sighted at numerous times, in various countries," an apparent Shout-Out to Godzilla: The Series
  • 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 over 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.
  • Not Me This Time: Both Baragon and Mothra are mistaken for Godzilla when they first appear.
  • Oddball in the Series: The Kaiju are Gods and Guardians of the earth, Mothra is without her Shobijin, King Ghidorah is a good guy this time and Godzilla is the manifestation of the angered spirits of those killed by the Japanese during World War II.
  • Orochi: Ghidorah in this film is a juvenile Orochi that just hasn't grown back all his heads yet.
  • Redemption Demotion: This film's King Ghidorah is not just the only heroic version of the character, but also the weakest. Inverted by Godzilla; becoming the bad guy has made him stronger than ever. This is mostly because they've Swapped Roles, but that can't explain everything.
  • 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: Godzilla 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 Digital Q, a reference to Eiji Tsuburaya's Ultra Q.
    • Tachibana's opening lecture references the events of Godzilla (1998) and the US cut also alludes to the cartoon series it spawned.
  • Stock Ness Monster: Mothra's first appearance is in Lake Ikeda, said to be home to the lake monster Issie, the implication being that Mothra in her larval form is Issie. This is lampshaded by even showing a billboard in a news report after Mothra kills a group of teenagers containing Issie on it.
  • Story Reset: Set after the first film, disregarding previous movies.
  • Swapped Roles: In this film's continuity, for one time only in the entire franchise, Ghidorah is humanity's Destructive Saviour while Godzilla is the Omnicidal Maniac the other Kaiju must team up against to defeat.
  • Take That!:
    • The events of Godzilla (1998) apparently happened in this film's universe... but those Americans were wrong in labeling that creature "Godzilla".
    • The film may also be a stealthy one aimed at Japan itself. Godzilla is explicitly stated to have been revived by the lost souls of World War II, driven by anger towards Japan, whose people are trying to bury and ignore the losses of that conflict. This makes sense, considering how Japan, in recent years, has attracted fair amount of international criticism for trying to gloss over many of the atrocities inflicted by Japanese soldiers during the conflict.
  • Taking the Bullet: Mothra takes a full blast to save the knocked out King Ghidorah. She is actually fine since the monsters do have some durability. But the second blast at point blank is what finishes her.
  • Theme Music Withholding: The classic Akira Ifukube "Godzilla March" isn't heard until the final Wham Shot of the film.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Ghidorah dies three times.
  • Too Dumb to Live: A couple decides it's a good idea to take a selfie with Baragon in the background simply because the girl thinks the monster is cute. Never mind the possibility that he was going towards where Godzilla might be, and he is.


Video Example(s):


Hospital Girl

In the midst of his rampage through the city, Godzilla stomps toward a hospital where a survivor from one of his earlier attacks is resting. Laid up and unable to escape, the poor girl can only cry as Godzilla nears her window, expecting him to level the building. When Godzilla passes by the hospital without touching it, the girl breathes a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, she forgot about Godzilla's tail.

How well does it match the trope?

4.86 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / HopeSpot

Media sources: