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Godzilla Final Wars: Less Talking! More Fighting! More Monsters! (Released)

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 (Edited)

Synopsis: When an alien invasion force releases all of Earth’s monsters, Godzilla must battle his way through a high-octane gauntlet of his greatest foes - with the help of a few unexpected friends.

Godzilla: Final Wars is the third in the series of Godzilla edits I’ve done for my six-year-old son, albeit the second I actually completed. I’ve sat on it for a while because I worried it might still be a bit too intense, or even too heavily edited down, but after rewatching it with some distance, I’m actually quite proud of this edit.

As always, the aim is to create a film that’s suitable for a child to watch - and Godzilla: Final Wars was not intended to be a family-friendly movie like the Showa Era movies I’ve previously edited. There’s a lot of sleazy content suitable only for adults in this one, and it’s on purpose, not just a result of being the product of its time. Despite having my favourite monster costumes of any Godzilla movie, and some of the best fight choreography, I actually firmly dislike the theatrical cut of this movie; it’s supposed to be a celebration of the Godzilla franchise, but instead, it feels almost disdainful towards it at many times. I wanted to change that, and make an edit that was a love letter to the whole lot of them. The movie is cut down to a frenetic 45 minutes of excitement, thrills, explosions and delightfully campy performances.

Project goals:

  • Greater focus on the monsters.
  • Minimise the humans’ screentime while keeping the story intact.
  • Minimise filler.
  • Create a family-friendly movie suitable for children.
  • Streamline and simplify the plot and dialogue.

Overall changes to accomplish these goals:

  • Remove references to Mutants, Keizers, M-base DNA, and the Earth Defence Force being an anti-Godzilla military. Now it’s just humans, monsters, and Xiliens.
  • Remove gratuitous human violence and sleazy sexual humour.
  • Remove the deception by the Xiliens and Gorath not being real. Now the Xiliens are telling the truth about coming to Earth to help with the rogue planet Gorath, and X betrays them in a coup.
  • Remove parts of the human story that drag, are irrelevant to the monsters, or are boring.
  • Completely recut the climax to create a new story. Now, Ozaki doesn’t turn on his friends, Gorath arrives bringing Monster X with it, X deploys Gigan to help Monster X fight Godzilla, and Dr Otonashi summons Mothra to help Godzilla fight against them both when it looks like he might lose.

Changelog:

  • Gave myself a vocal cameo in the movie… somewhere.
  • Trimmed down the scene of Godzilla being buried in the Antarctic.
  • Cut the narration explaining mutants and the Earth Defence Force.
  • Cut the Gotengo Vs Manda fight. Sorry, Manda.
  • Rescored the opening credits with the classic Godzilla theme music.
  • Cut the human fight scene and the scene of pseudophilosophical rambling that follows.
  • Because of the cut scenes, the movie now goes Godzilla in the ice -> opening credits -> Ozaki being given his bodyguard assignment.
  • Cut the weirdly sexist introduction to Dr Otonashi.
  • Cut the technobabble about M-base DNA.
  • Cut the interview with the UN Secretary General.
  • Cut the Shobijin’s references to mutant blood.
  • Cut the scene of the Secretary General’s plane exploding.
  • Cut the questionable intro to New York City with the black man and the cop. Used stock footage of the Empire State Building to smooth the scene transition.
  • Cut the people being hit by broken glass and the random people in the building when Rodan flies off.
  • Truncated the scene of the EDF detecting the monster attacks.
  • Cut the closeups of terrified screaming people in Sydney, Shanghai, and Okinawa.
  • Cut the scene of the Sydneysiders being eaten by Zilla.
  • Cut Kumonga stepping on a single trailer in Arizona, and the scene of the guy in the trailer that precedes it.
  • Trimmed the kid playing with toys in Vancouver to make him less repugnant.
  • Made Grandpa Taguchi quicker to lower his rifle when he meets Minilla.
  • Trimmed the crew of the ship fighting Kamakuras.
  • Cut the cars driving all over the place and the footsoldiers scrambling around when Ebirah attacks the refinery.
  • Sped up the sequence of the EDF soldiers arming up, and simplified the general’s orders to them.
  • Tightened the pacing on the fight between the EDF and Ebirah.
  • Cut the rooftop scene, so the UFO immediately beams up the main characters.
  • Simplified the explanation about the rogue planet Gorath hitting Earth.
  • Cut the Secretary General’s speech to the UN, the radio interview with X, and the panel discussion about whether the Xiliens are real.
  • Cut the entire subplot about the Secretary General being replaced with a Xilian.
  • Cut the scenes of the Xiliens discussing their evil plans and trickery.
  • Cut the discussion about Gorath being a hologram to simplify the plot, since it shows up later in the movie for real anyway.
  • Cut the scenes of Ozaki and co. contacting Captain Gordon. Now he’s just there as one of the main characters.
  • Cut Dr Otonashi’s sister being discovered by the Xilien Body-Snatchers and subsequent fight scene.
  • Extensively trimmed down the interview with the Xilien leaders, including removing the Body Snatchers stuff and framing/rotoscoping out the Secretary General’s body. Now, the interview starts and X immediately shoots the Xilien commander and takes control.
  • Tamed down the Xilien leader getting shot, including replacing the gunshot with a Star Wars stun blaster sound effect.
  • Simplified X’s speech about why he wants to take over Earth.
  • Cut all the EDF soldiers arriving and getting mind-controlled. Instead, X uses his powers against the protagonists, briefly fights Ozaki, then vanishes, thanks to a new line I sentence-mixed for X.
  • Cut the fight scene with all the EDF soldiers.
  • Cut the dull as dishwater motorbike chase scene.
  • Trimmed X’s speech before and after releasing the monsters.
  • Cut the scene inside the EDF ship that Anguirus destroys.
  • Trimmed Ozaki and co.'s entrance to the Gotengo, including cutting Gordon’s speech and Ozaki’s conversation.
  • Simplified Gordon’s plan to wake Godzilla, including cutting the flashback. The flashback is actually a nice bit of storytelling in the theatrical cut but it sadly doesn’t gel with the rest of this edit.
  • Cut the farewell scene before the Gotengo powers up.
  • Trimmed the Gotengo launch sequence, to pick up the pace and remove the soldier screaming.
  • Slightly trimmed the two guys talking at the South Pole, retaining their fun comedy dynamic, and cut Godzilla destroying the building they’re in so that they’re not killed off.
  • Added a shot of Godzilla firing his Atomic Breath Blast at Gigan to make sense of some confusing cinematography, using a shot cut from earlier in the scene, and added the correct sound effect.
  • Trimmed Gigan’s death to make it a little less graphic that he got his head blown to smithereens, including dubbing in Gigan roaring in defeat as he falls down.
  • Trimmed X’s reaction to Godzilla, including cutting Gordon’s Skype call.
  • Trimmed the Gotengo leaving the South Pole.
  • Trimmed the Zilla fight and completely rescored it with a track from the Tristar Godzilla movie.
  • Cut the Kumonga fight scene. Sorry, Kumonga.
  • Cut the monsters being beamed down each time; we know they were beamed down, we don’t need to see it happen. Similarly, trimmed down X’s pointless commentary before and after each fight, so we just see his entertaining reactions.
  • Trimmed the intro to the Kamacuras fight.
  • Added electricity crackling sound effect to Kamacuras’ death, and cut shot of him being stabbed through the midsection.
  • Trimmed down the conversation between Taguchi and his grandfather about why Godzilla is destroying the city.
  • Trimmed down the conversation between Ozaki and Dr Otonashi, and reordered some dialogue to set up Otonashi summoning Mothra in the new ending.
  • Cut a single shot of King Caesar writhing in pain after falling on Anguirus’ spikes.
  • Cut scene of the Gotengo shooting the UFO’s drone things and the Independence Day kamikaze run to get its shields down. Now they just crash into it and disembark.
  • Cut the Xiliens killing the Gotengo’s crewmembers.
  • Cut insert shot of Hedorah’s eye getting impaled.
  • Cut X’s monologue about why the Xiliens need the humans for food. We can just assume it’s because, y’know, they’re hungry, needing food doesn’t require that much of an explanation.
  • Rescored the Godzilla vs Monster X fight with the track “Genesis” by Justice, which samples the original Godzilla theme.
  • Reordered scenes and shots to create a new story for the climax and ending, to imply Dr Otonashi summons Mothra to help Godzilla when he becomes overwhelmed by fighting both Monster X and Gigan.
  • Cut X’s monologue about mutants and M-base etc.
  • Cut X’s Emperor Palpatine moment and Ozaki turning into a “kaizer” to fight his friends.
  • Trimmed Gigan being decapitated by his own blades; now their impact just irritates him and he turns around.
  • Cut the fight between Ozaki and X, as well as cutting the other human characters shooting their way out of the spaceship. Now, Godzilla fires his atomic breath blast at the ship, and in the confusion the humans escape, while Ozaki defeats X with a single impressive jump-kick.
  • Removed the Gotengo pilot being injured; Dr Otonashi immediately pilots the ship during the escape.
  • Truncated Ozaki’s arrival to the Gotengo bridge.
  • Cut the entire transformation of Monster X into King Ghidorah and the Godzilla vs Ghidora fight. I know, right? I’m surprised too. But by this point in the movie the villain is defeated and the story is over, and this scene is just an unnecessary second climax after the actual climax. It does nothing but detract from the narrative, plus, it’s frankly quite a boring drudgery to sit through, especially compared to the exciting fight that precedes it. In an ideal world, Godzilla would fight Ghidora at the end instead of Monster X, but that’s not how they made the movie, so Monster X is what we’ve got. Now, Godzilla destroys Monster X using the ending to the Ghidora fight.
  • Added the original Godzilla theme when Godzilla watches Monster X (nee King Ghidora) explode.
  • Truncated everyone disembarking the Gotengo.
  • Removed the Secretary General from the scenes after the climax.
  • Cut Gordon rushing over to greet Dr Otonashi’s sister.
  • Cut the end credits. Apologies to everyone who made the movie; to me, cutting the credits is a sin, but my five-year-old doesn’t want to sit through four and a half minutes of scrolling text.

“It’s like rhymetry. They poem.” - Leorge Gucas

TROS Novelisation: The Faraday Edit, TLJ: Stoic Edition, ROTS: The Faraday Nudge, ROTS Ultracut: Order 66, Godzilla Vs Megalon, Godzilla Vs Gigan, Godzilla: Final Wars, The Light Rises, Faraday Jr.'s Star Wars