**Warning: There will be minor spoilers**
I will be the first to say that I am not deep into Godzilla and kaiju culture like a few of my friends and in some ways, Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters on Netflix may be a bit dense for the uninitiated. If you needed a reason to watch Part One: Episode One, let me try to offer you at least three reasons why you should at least give it a look.
The Arrogance of Man…errrrrrrmmmm…The Story
In my opinion, the battles that mankind have had against Godzilla – as well as other kaiju – can be best summed up as man fighting the unstoppable forces of nature. The story of this new anime is that for once, Godzilla won. He beat humanity to the point where humanity was, for all intents and purposes, kicked off of the planet. After trying to find a new planet (for us to go f*** up…yeah I said it) and finding it already uninhabitable, humans try to come BACK to Earth for one last ditch effort to reclaim the planet for ourselves. The catch is that, even though in human years, they were only gone for maybe a generation or two, the earth aged nearly 20,000 years (due to time dilation – because science is a thing) and Godzilla is still the apex predator. But of course there is that one singular human who wants revenge, and that drives him and his comrades to fight for the planet that they love!
Polygon Pictures’ work on this movie to me, is breathtaking. You also may want to check out Blame! (also on Netflix), Fist of the Blue Sky, and Lost in Oz, to see how versatile their work is. I can only imagine how this would look in a 3D environment, but the detail and color palate was dark and moody, as it should have been. Whether it’s the emptiness of space, or the dangerous forests of Earth, the colors and details leave viewers in a certain mood in each scene. Even when the creatures have been revealed, while they have a properly eastern look to them, you can feel the ‘mass’ that they have and it makes you wonder if it’s even possible for mankind to overwhelm them. It feels like an impossible task to say the least, and the CG is done well enough to bring that feeling to you.
And of course, Godzilla!!!
It should almost be a film school lesson that students should learn from Jaws. If you are going to make a movie about a scary creature, take your time in revealing the monster until close to the end to give audiences a sense of fear. One of the things I loved about this, was how, as people recounted how they were driven to the stars, Godzilla was shown from a good distance away for a good bit of the story. Unlike some modern day films, he was never ‘right on top’ of you, but just knowing what kind of destructive force he was inspired fear; even from a few miles away. Even in this story, once you see the twist in what has happened, it’s enough to make your jaw drop in disbelief knowing that humanity has their work cut out for them once things have been revealed because what you think you are seeing isn’t it at all.
Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters is a Netflix Original and exclusive. Check it out now!