For any movie to merit a sequel, or 22 sequels for that matter, it has to be special. "Gojira" stands on the lofty summit with "Dracula"; "Frankenstein"; "Forbidden planet"; "War of the Worlds" and "2001: A Space Odyssey" as one of the great science fiction films of all time. What we have here is a synergy of a monster tale, a moral dilemma, and a powerful anti-war message. Together the film becomes a visionary tale of man trying to survive the fury of the Atom bomb made flesh. It examines the consequences of our sins, and asks directly if we have learned from our mistakes and what we are willing to do to prevent making those same mistakes again. "Gojira" is about the green big one, yes, but it also examines like no other film in the series the consequences of the monster's rampages. "Gojira" was made to be a drama first, a science fiction fantasy second. The film portrays real human suffering because of Godzilla's depredations. This draws the viewer wholeheartedly into the struggle of the Japanese people as they try to survive this catastrophe. As a drama, "Gojira" invests the time to develop characters who we can in turn invest in. Dr. Serizawa's dilemma at using his invention to save Japan at the possible cost of the world is brilliantly acted. As is Emiko Yamane's torment at having to betray her fiancée to a man she really loves in order to save Japan from Godzilla. The film doesn't shy away from messy solutions either. Like most science fiction films, the scientist uses an invention to destroy the monster at the end of the film. Unlike most science fiction films, the scientist chooses to die with his invention rather than let it be used for evil ends. It is this kind of daring and innovative filmmaking that lifted "Gojira" above the multitude of other 50's radioactive monster films onto a level all its own. The final testament to the power of "Gojira" is that it is the only old Godzilla film that is not diminished when adapted for an English speaking audience. Rather, the addition extra scenes with Raymond Burr as reporter Steve Martin, add a clever and worthwhile perspective to the action unfolding in the film. If you only watch one Godzilla film - make it this one.