A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Godzilla: The Planet Eater is a 2018 anime that is the third in a trilogy. It's necessary to see the first two movies in the series to understand the story. This is a contemporary "noir" take on Godzilla, with little to nothing in common with the B movie versions of the '50s and the Saturday morning cartoons of the '80s. This is less of a typical "monster" movie -- Godzilla hardly moves for most of it -- and those expecting an action movie will be disappointed and annoyed by the film's slow pace and constant meditations on existence and spirituality. Sexual innuendo is present: An alien female removes her clothes (no nudity; her skin is covered in tattoos) and says that she "wants to connect life." Infrequent mild profanity includes "crap," "damn," and "hell." There's also some violence: a snake dragon that kills people, an exploding ship, and a death cult pleading for and welcoming their impending doom. It's a morbid movie, but the slow pace and confusing story will make this one hard to follow, even for the biggest fans of anime.
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What's the story?
In GODZILLA: THE PLANET EATER, the Earth Alliance is weakened in the aftermath of the destruction of Mechagodzilla City. Yuko is in a coma, kept alive only by nanometal. Metphies is organizing a kind of death cult in order to bring Exif's god to Earth to destroy Godzilla once and for all. The surviving Bilusaludo want Haruo captured, and take over Captain Sakaki and the Aratrum's spaceship. Meanwhile, Godzilla lies completely inert. Haruo tries to determine what to do next while spending time with a Houtua woman named Maina, who says that she wants to "connect life" with him. Meanwhile, Metphies and his cult have finally summoned Ghidorah from the skies. Ghidorah attacks Godzilla. Haruo must find a way to stop Godzilla once and for all, and somehow prove that humanity should survive and isn't fated to become extinct due to their technology and destructive impulses.
Is it any good?
With all its meditations on life and death, technology, and spirituality, this anime often feels more like a dorm-room discussion between college freshmen rather than a monster movie. Those expecting a Godzilla running amok in Tokyo will be sorely disappointed by Godzilla: The Planet Eater. In fact, for most of the movie, Godzilla is about as lively as a bored alligator. The story itself is a testament to everything wrong with anime at its worst: Throw in as many storylines (and side storylines) as possible, make at least one of the characters "sensitive" via melodramatic dialogue and overacting, and hope that beautiful/surreal artwork will carry the day.
The animation is, aside from some CGI, on par with the better anime out there. But the animation doesn't make up for the lack of action and just how morbid the movie is overall. Even without the death cult, there's a pervasive nihilism permeating the scenes. This would all be permissible if it served a higher story, but the story is so plodding and lost in intellectual musing, it's impossible to know or even care who to root for, and easy enough to find oneself like this version of Godzilla: put to sleep.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Godzilla movies. How does Godzilla: The Planet Eater compare to the other versions of Godzilla that have emerged over the years?
What are some other examples of monsters and superheroes who have appeared as different versions of themselves over the course of time?
What were some of the messages that the movie was trying to convey?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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