We are officially on film number 2 of 31 in my Godzilla journey. Godzilla Raids Again directed by Motoyoshi Oda is the second film in the Godzilla franchise. I found it quite interesting that Ishiro Honda gave up directing Godzilla by the second film. You can definitely tell that this film was not directed by Honda.
Though Godzilla Raids Again is only the second Godzilla film, it already loses all aspects of social commentary. Already at this point in the franchise its completely a monster flick. In my opinion this movie does the prototypical “monster film” completely wrong. Before I dive in further on why they did the “monster film” wrong, I should probably give some more background on the film.
In this film, two pilots crash land on an island were they find Godzilla battling a new monster later identified as Anguirus. My biggest gripe with this film is that Anguirus is not treated like an actual villain. Now I get that in later films hes allies with Godzilla but here, there is some true hatred between the two. The final time we see these two fight is midway through the movie. The two monsters destroy Osaka as Godzilla defeats and possibly kills Anguirus. The rest of the film follows the two pilots and one of their love interests trying to track down and kill Godzilla. Honestly, its hard to tell if the Battle in Osaka is the climax or if the climax is the pilots killing Godzilla.
Already at this point in the franchise we lose most if not all of the A-list cast. Takashi Shimura makes a brief appearance at the beginning of the film. This is the last we see of him for the rest of the movie. Godzilla Raids Again throws out almost all of the character development of Shimura’s character we see in the previous movie. The once pacifist now wants to stop Godzilla with an iron fist.
It seems like I’m only talking about the bad of this film so, what was good. Honestly, the battle between Anguirus and Godzilla is truly magnificent. At the beginning of Godzilla’s appearance in Osaka, you really believe that his attack on Tokyo cannot be topped. When Anguirus appears, this impression completely changes as the two level the city. From a distance, Osaka looks to be completely engulfed in flames.
So with all of that being said, where does Godzilla Raids Again rank among the rest. Honestly, I was not to impressed with the film. Overall, on my normal movie scale, this film gets a 5 out of 10. On my Godzilla scale though, I give it a 6 out of 10. The movie is clearly rushed and has a much lower budget than the first. The film also does not have the directed prowess of Ishiro Honda behind it.
So that’s my review on Godzilla Raids Again. I have decided on holding off on reviewing with reviewing Rodan, The Mysterians, Varan, The Three Treasures, and Mothra as though these films are in the Godzilla universe, they are not actually direct sequels to the original. With all that being said, up next is the grand daddy of them all, King Kong Vs. Godzilla.