Bowie V. Ibarra
Listen to me, Godzilla: Final Wars was outstanding as it not only put together some of the greatest monsters to ever come out of Japan to fight Godzilla, but the one of the greatest monsters to come out of the good ol' US of A to fight Godzilla: Don Frye. Check this out.
So, Godzilla had been put down at the north pole by a young Don Frye, who was an airman in a giant fighting rocket. He was the one that pulled the trigger that buried Godzilla under a mountain of ice.
So a few decades later, Don is the captain of his own fighting rocket ship, who takes down kaiju with reckless abandon. He gets in trouble after a mission for the tactics he used to take down the flying fire serpent monster, Manda, and gets put in the brig.
Members of his team are mutants, who have elevated fighting ability to defend the earth. But the monster Gigan is discovered, and a scientist notes that Gigan has the same mutant DNA as the human mutants.
A race of aliens arrives to earth, the Xilians, and attempt to covertly take over the earth using the planet's most diabolical monsters that had gone on a rampage. When the plan is discovered, the monsters wreck shop on the earth. Don Frye is freed from prison, and with the remaining humans, is the earth's only hope against the invading aliens.
Their plan: Free Godzilla from his icy tomb to throw down with a huge lineup of monsters: Anguirus, Ebirah, Gigan (who is an absolute mecha-terror in this one), Rodan, Hedorah the Smog Monster, Kamacuras, King Caesar, Kumonga, Godzilla 2000, and the powerful Monster X (Monster XX II), who makes its first appearance here.
When I say 'the story is actually pretty good', remember we're talking about a Godzilla movie here. This isn't 'The English Patient', okay. Just to make that clear. It's a fun story of face/heels with high stakes and lots of monster action.
But what I appreciated the most, even over the monster action, was the cast. Don Frye in a featured role, playing a military leader and putting his MMA training to good use in some of the final human on mutant fight scenes.
But he's not the only martial arts action here in the movie with legit street cred. The legendary modern MMA fighter, Masakatsu Funaki is also featured in this movie. And the son of the old school Kung-Fu Theatre flicks, Kane Koshugi, son of Sho Koshugi is also featured. Hell, he's an action star in Japan. Gary Goodridge even makes an cameo, as well as Kasayuki Fujita.
Bottom line, if you like Godzilla movies, you got to check this out. You'll get an extra treat if you are familiar with some of the big names from MMA's early days.
Eat your heart out, Pacific Rim!
BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the 'Down the Road' Zombie horror series from Permuted Press. His latest novel, 'Alamo Rising' is a supernatural horror story about a curse unleashed in San Antonio, Texas, and is available in Kindle or paperback here.
Network with Bowie at his official website, ZombieBloodFights.com.