|Based on||Rodan (1956) |
by Toho Co., Ltd
Warner Bros. Pictures
|Release date(s)||United States:|
|Preceded by||Godzilla vs. Kong|
|Followed by||Gamera (2022)|
Rodan (空の大怪獣 ラドン Sora no Daikaijū Radon, lit. Giant Monster of the Sky Rodan) is a 2021 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Legendary Pictures. The film was released to Japanese theaters on April, 2021, and to American theaters on May, 2021.
Goro and Yoshizo, two miners in the village of Kitamatsu, come to blows, then fail to return after a mine shaft floods. Mine engineer Shigeru Kawamura leads a group to look for them, only to find Yoshizo's body floating in the water. A doctor determines he was murdered by a knife to the head. As some of the miners comfort Yoshizo's wailing wife, the others speculate that Goro killed him. Shigeru warns them not to speak of this until the police investigation begins. Outside, Shigeru meets with his fiance Kiyo, who is also Goro's sister. He comforts her, telling her that he is sure of Goro's innocence. Inside the mine, two miners and a policeman stand guard at the edge of the water, knowing if Goro tries to escape, he will surely come that way as it is the only exit. Suddenly, they hear a splash in the flooded mine, and venture into the water. As they wade deeper into the shaft, they get more and more nervous. All of a sudden, one of the miners begins to scream and then disappears under the water. As the men are tied together, it is not too long before the policeman is pulled under by something beneath the surface. The last miner quickly unties himself and flees. However, before he can escape, he is cornered and attacked as well. Soon after, his body, along with the bodies of the policeman and another miner, are brought up and examined. The doctor concludes that their cause of death was the same as Goro's.
Later that night, the wife of one of the murdered men runs to Kiyo's house and screams threats at her through the door. Shigeru soon arrives and comforts her, telling her that the miners that were killed were Goro's friends, so he had no reason to kill them. As the two sit together, a gigantic insect bursts into the house, and both Kiyo and Shigeru flee. The police enter the home, but the giant insect forces them to flee. When they regroup, they chase the creature to the top of a hill and open fire. The monster launches itself down the hillside and grabs two officers, clutching them in its pincers as it flees. It soon drops them and escapes back into the mine. When the police and Shigeru reach the injured officers, they discover that their wounds match those of the murdered policemen and Yoshizo. They have found the killer. Soon after, Shigeru and a group of officers head back into the mine to confront the insect monster and attempt to locate Goro, dead or alive. As they enter the deepest part of the mine shaft, they find his corpse, but as they approach it, the giant insect emerges and pursues them back up the mine shaft. Shigeru pushes mine carts towards the creature, which crush and kill it on impact. He and the others then venture back into the shaft and remove Goro's body. They discover a large hole in the wall that opens up into a large cave. They realize that this is the hole through which the water and the giant insect emerged. As they peek through, they are noticed by not just one, but several more giant insects. However, before the monsters can attack, the ground begins to shake, and the mine begins to cave in. Another insect is killed as Shigeru is trapped in the cave, while the police flee.
The next day, the police investigate the recent happenings. Dr. Kyuichiro Kashiwagi, a paleontologist, explains that the giant insect is a Meganulon, a type of dragonfly larva that lived on the Earth millions of years ago. As he speaks, an earthquake rocks the town: the prelude, some fear, to nearby Mt. Aso's eruption. The police assess the damage at the base of the volcano and discover Shigeru wandering aimlessly. Suffering from amnesia, he is unable to even recognize Kiyo.
In Kyushu, a Monarch fighter jet pilot reports a UFO breaking the sound barrier. He is ordered to give chase, only for the UFO to suddenly swing towards him, destroying his plane in the slipstream. The same object is sighted over China, the Philippines, and Okinawa, and rumors of a secret military weapon begin to circulate. Back in Japan, a pair of newlyweds vanish near Mt. Aso, followed by herds of cattle. Once the film in their camera is developed, it appears to reveal an enormous wingtip. Kashiwagi's colleagues note its similarity to the extinct winged reptile Pteranodon, but he notes the creature was too small to perform such deadly deeds.
In the hospital, Kiyo presents Shigeru with eggs laid by her birds. One begins to hatch, and he suddenly remembers everything. Following the cave-in, he regained consciousness to find himself in a chamber surrounded by hundreds of Wasps, along with an even more colossal egg. It quickly hatched into a creature very much like a Pteranodon, who fed on the Meganulon. As he recovers from his horrifying memories, Kiyo weeps with joy.
Shigeru leads a group to recover a fragment of the monster’s eggshell before a rock slide forces them to flee back to the surface. Dr. Kashiwagi determines that the sample is 200 million years old. He calls a meeting with members of the town, along with members of Monarch, to announce that the UFO sighted around the globe is a massive pterosaur he has named Rodan. He remains baffled at how reports of Rodan are pouring in from multiple locations at the same time. He theorizes that nuclear bomb testing, which loosened the Earth and opened cavities to long buried crevices and caves, might be the reason the creature has hatched now.
Rodan bursts out of the ground near Mt. Aso and takes to the skies. A squadron of fighter jets pursue him over the city of Sasebo, and eventually succeed in forcing him into Harioseto Strait. The flying reptile soon emerges and destroys the Saikai Bridge, but his flight speed has been cut by half. Rodan flies over the buildings of Fukuoka, and the sonic wave created in its wake literally tear the structures apart. The flying monster lands in the city and continues to devastate it with gale-force winds. The JSDF dispatches tanks and rocket cars, but their assault has no effect. A second Rodan arrives and adds to the destruction, explaining how the monster could have been spotted in two places at the same time. They leave the city in flames, then fly away to ravage nearby Yahata, killing thousands more.
Monarch tracks the Rodans back to their nest at the base of Mt. Aso, and makes plans to shell the volcano and trigger an eruption that will trap the monsters under the lava and rock. However, Kitamatsu will be completely destroyed in the process, and the town is forced to evacuate. Just moments before the strike is to begin, Shigeru looks out the window to see Kiyo climbing up the hill. He runs out to meet her, and she tells him that she has come to be with him. Rather than evacuate, she has risked her life to face the danger with the man she loves. The two watch from a distance as the military begins its attack with tanks and Honest John rockets. Soon the volcano begins to spew smoke and lava into the sky. One of the Rodans emerges, but is overcome by the fumes. As the second Rodan arrives on the scene, the first loses altitude and finally falls into the stream of lava flowing down the side of the volcano. The ancient reptile begins to scream in pain as it burns alive in the lava. Suddenly, the second Rodan descends and lands with the first in the lava, and it too begins to burn. Rather than live on alone, the creature will die with its companion. Kiyo buries her head in Shigeru's shoulder as the erupting volcano consumes the two monsters.
Main article: Rodan (Soundtrack).