Greetings my faithful intrepidarians!
Have any of you ever seen a movie that felt complete? You know, it had a satisfying end and it actually felt fulfilling? Such a movie always a deserve a re-watch eh?
I’m going to take a look at one of my favorite movies of all time and give you my honest thoughts. Enjoy!
The film begins with scenes from Godzilla 1985, Big G’s previous rampage, with the original Godzilla theme song in the background. We witness the terrific destruction concluding with Godzilla’s fall into the volcano.
We cut to Tokyo just after Godzilla’s rampage. The city is in ruins and scientists are busy collecting Godzilla cells. A team of scientists are actually revealed to be American saboteurs out to steal the cells for themselves. They blast their way out of the closed area only to be killed by a mysterious assassin who promptly steals the G cells.
The story transitions to a Japanese professor living in the Middle Eastern (?) country of Saradia. The professor is Dr. Shiragami who is experimenting on G cells for a Saradian company. Shiragami’s daughter is in a laboratory examining the cells when a bomb goes, off killing her immediately. Heartbroken, Dr. Shiragami returns to Japan where he nurtures his grief for five years, tending to a few red roses in honor of his daughter, Erika.
We then transition to a number of characters throughout the country: Miki Saegusa (a telepath), her friend Asuka Okochi, Asuka’s boyfriend Kazuhito Kirishima and Kazuhito’s friend Goro Gondo. Miki feels psychic energy from the roses and Asuka just hangs around her. Meanwhile Kazuhito and his friend Goro are busy thinking up ways to be prepared when Godzilla returns.
Mt Mihara, the volcano containing Godzilla, keeps churning out fantastic explosions, which surprises and shocks our heroes. Dr. Shiragami, having been given Godzilla cells to hold for the use of engineering a weapon against Big G, splices his roses with the giant creature’s cells. Lightning flashes to the sound of suspenseful music. Shiragami makes this scene reminiscent of the creation of Frankenstein.
After much dialog and philosophical ponderings on genetic manipulation Dr. Shiragami’s lab has broken into by members of an American bio-engineering company. They ransack the place searching for Godzilla cells but instead are attacked by monstrous vines. One of the saboteurs escapes but the other is killed.
Our heroes find the house in ruins along with the corpse and plenty of vines. Kazuhito is beside himself, not knowing what to think of what Shiragami has been doing. Before he can ponder much further our heroes are called away to nearby Lake Ashino. There, in the center of the lake lies a monstrous rose standing erect like some monolith. With mouths agape the gang is simply stunned. Dr. Shiragami informs the others that Biollante, his creation, has a human spirit. Infuriated at Shiragami’s manipulation of G cells, Kazuhito storms off.
Biollante simply stands there. Her cries sound like a siren; somewhat serene and yet sad. Her enormous body emits small vine like tentacles in the water, which undulate, and at one point destroy part of the pier. Miki, sensing Erika’s spirit within Biollante discerns that Biollante is calling to Godzilla.
Meanwhile one of the corporate saboteurs who ransacked Shiragami’s place threatens the Japanese government with releasing Godzilla unless his demands are met. The saboteur demands that they turn over the ANEB (Anti-Nuclear-Energy-Bacteria) over to him as a bargaining chip. Before the exchange can fully take place however the Saradian assassin returns and kills the saboteur. In the melee the saboteur’s truck is overturned triggering a detonator, which releases Godzilla.
The Big G returns, finally! At over one-third of the way in the movie Godzilla returns with a new look and an angry expression on his face. This Godzilla looks more feral and animal-like than the previous version. Godzilla still sports the half-roar which he used in both Godzilla 1985 and Godzilla King of the Monsters.
Shocked, afraid and even somewhat excited, our heroes set out to stop Godzilla using telepathy, a super flying machine Super X2, ANEB (which they recover) and the full might of the Japanese Special Defense Force but all of it seems to fail.
Before much more time passes Godzilla shows up at Lake Ashino and he faces his giant double. In the darkness, amidst spinning searchlights the two monsters battle. Biollante ropes Godzilla with her vines and even pulls him under. Godzilla, undeterred, blasts Biollante with his radiation breath and roars triumphantly as the colossal plant is incinerated. As our heroes sadly look up at the burning hybrid their faces contort with perplexity as the monster turns into glittering dust which ascends to the heavens. Before it fully disappears a faint image appears roaring. ‘He can’t die after all. He’s immortal.’ utters the professor. The people standing beside him gaze at Shiragami in shock.
Godzilla, on the other hand rampages through Osaka where Goro fires the ANEB into Godzilla’s mouth. Godzilla both kills him and destroys the Super X2, which had returned for round 2. The Big G continues his slow march towards a nuclear power plant. Our heroes decided that the only way the ANEB will work is to raise Godzilla’s temperature. This prompts a very memorable battle in the forest; Godzilla marches at night in the rain as huge tanks fire artificial lightning at Godzilla in conjunction with small pads that shock Godzilla with real lightning on impact. This has Godzilla reeling until he rebounds and burns everything in sight.
Miki, prompted by something unseen, emerges from the operations headquarters and stares at the sky. Soft sad music plays as the sky rains down glittering dust. This dust falls all over Godzilla and the ground around him. Godzilla continues marching until a violent rumbling occurs. The ground beneath the monster’s feet breaks open and huge tendrils emerge, which destroys the military’s remaining tanks. Like something from a horror movie; a large green figure emerges from the ground roaring and wailing. Godzilla, like the human characters, looks shocked out of his mind. It appears to be Biollante has evolved; she has eyes, teeth, bark-like skin and can move, and what’s more Biollante is supremely massive! Biollante towers over Godzilla. The King of the Monsters standing before Biollante looks like a toddler standing in front of a minivan!
Biollante quickly attacks Godzilla with his vines. Godzilla, undaunted fires his ray at the vines and begins to burn and fragment them like before. However, Biollante does the unthinkable: it moves! Biollante begins to charge toward Godzilla like a freight train shaking the whole earth! Godzilla meanwhile stands there looking befuddled. His hesitation allows Biollante to pierce his hand and his shoulder with acid-covered vines. Godzilla, roaring in pain, rebounds and burns the vines off. He blasts Biollante’s chest directly. Biollante, enraged but not deterred summons her strength and sprays glowing acid all over Big G. Godzilla stumbles forward weakened and woozy. Biollante opens his massive jaws and bites down Godzilla’s head! The King of the Monsters is helpless but begins to fire his ray at Biollante multiple times. Godzilla blasts Biollante directly in the mouth, which causes parts of the botanical monster’s head to fly off! Something is wrong however, as Biollante roars in pain it is Godzilla who begins to stumble. Groggy and weakened Godzilla sinks to the ground, head splashing in the cold water. At last the ANEB has taken effect.
Dr. Shiragami and a wealthy scientist discuss how Godzilla and Biollante ‘aren’t monsters, it’s the unscrupulous scientists who create them who are monsters.’ Miki alerts them to Biollante who begins moaning a soft croon as she did in her rose form. Within minutes the titanic monster fades to the same glittering dust as before. The dust soars up into the sky and flows away from them and behind a patch of clouds, showing an image of Erika in the night sky as it does. Miki delivers a message from Biollante wo the sound of a soft orchestra.
‘Erika!’ calls out Dr. Shiragami. Blam! The professor is shot point blank in front of the others. Kazuhito spots the same Saradian assassin standing in the distance. A car chase erupts with Kazuhito racing past the prone Godzilla to get his hands on the murderer. He catches up with the felon and the two struggle before the Saradian stands on a lightning pad. He is promptly vaporized. Kazuhito returns to Asuka who wipes his face and informs him that Shiragami didn’t make it. Before the two can embrace, however, Godzilla rises to his feet roaring behind them. The couple cling to each other in desperate fear. Their dread gives way to relief as Godzilla instead turns away from land to the deep sea. The military, proud, walk away and the credits roll to soft orchestral music.
I LOVED this movie!
I got this film as a gift on my tenth birthday from my big brother. My brother was the original G-fan and he got me into watching Godzilla movies. I had seen much of the Showa movies at this point but the Heisei were unfamiliar to me.
This film turned my concept of Godzilla upside-down. In Godzilla vs Biollante he is presented as a villain, but not necessarily a malevolent one. Godzilla is a huge animal and a destructive force of nature that needs to be stopped. While I liked the action and thrilling feel of adventure I simply could not root against the Big G. Especially not as a screaming ten year old.
Nonetheless, this film captivated me with its nonstop action, excellent pacing and adventurous music. The score in this film really makes you feel the excitement, danger or sadness within each scene. The story itself is paced brilliantly; there’s very few loll points in this film because almost every scene has significance and transitions to future scenes with consistency. In addition the special effects are some of the best in the entire Godzilla series; Godzilla’s face-off with Biollante in the lake seemed real, and the scenes where the military mobilize against Godzilla in the forest looks exceptionally convincing thanks to the rain and the dark. Conversely, while the human characters don’t have much dimension they serve their roles well: fight Godzilla and provide our human interaction with the King.
I rate this film 4.5 out of 5 stars.
If you’re a Godzilla fan and haven’t watched this film I highly encourage you to give this one a look.