Godzilla Vs. Biollante is a hard film to review. On one hand, it is kind of a bad movie with a confusing plot, some bad acting, and bad editing. On the other hand, the filmmakers tried to keep things interesting even when Godzilla wasn't rampaging all over the place. In the end, I enjoyed the movie even if I didn't always understand what the hell was going on.
It starts right after Godzilla's attack from the previous movie. Japanese soldiers are doing a clean-up job. They come across some Godzilla tissue. However, some Americans working for the Bio-Major corporation attack the soldiers and steal the tissue. They are in turn attacked by an assassin named SSS9 who is working for a Saradian company. He takes the tissues back to Saradia where a Japanese scientist is going to use the tissue to create plants that can grow in the desert. However, the lab containing the Godzilla samples is blown up (I'm guessing by Bio-Major) and the scientist's daughter is killed.
Years later, the scientist, Dr. Shiragami, is back in Japan and for some reason believe roses have thoughts or a soul or something. I don't know. He has young psychic Miki try and detect life in his roses but she doesn't. Miki's teacher or fellow worker or I don't know what Asuka also works at the psychic institute. She is dating Kirishima, a scientist who is thinking about moving to America. Asuka's father runs a major corporation that isn't entirely on the up and up and are creating Anti-Nuclear Energy Bacteria. Asuka's father wants Kirishima to work for them. At the same time it seems like Godzilla might be waking up. Lt. Goro Gondo who is part of a Godzilla unti has Miki fly over the volcano and she says that yes Godzilla is waking up. Asuka's father has Godzilla tissue and needs it to make the ANEB work. He wants Shirigami to do the work. The scientist agrees, but only if he gets access to the Godzilla cells at his home for a week. For whatever reason, he has decided to combine the Godzilla cells with that of his daughter's DNA and a rose. I honestly have no idea why.
Two Bio-Major operatives are staking out the mad doctor, and SSS9 is staking them out. They all converge one night on Shirigami's lab and are attacked by plant vines. One Bio-Major guy is killed but the other gets away, as does SSS9. Later, Bio-Major plants explosives in the volcano and threatens to unleash Godzilla unless the Japanese give them ANEB. The government relents, and trades ANEB to the surviving Bio-Major operative. However, SSS9 shows up, kills the operative, and steals the ANEB. The explosives go off, and Godzilla is free to go on a rampage. For some reason, the young Major Kuroki is put in charge of the operation to stop Godzilla, which includes the new Super X-2. At the same time, the new creature Biollante emerges and Godzilla is drawn to it because it was created with his DNA. Oh, and Miki tries to use her psychic powers to stop Godzilla.
Whew. Okay, I put in that long summary just to show how all over the place this movie is. There are two different terrorist groups(though at least three or four different names are used to describe them), a mad scientist who creates a giant monster with his daughter's DNA just because, a young psychic girl who is attuned to Godzilla, at least two different anti-Godzilla units, and a giant rose monster.
Honestly though, Biollante is a pretty cool monster. She is different, that's for sure. The first fight between Godzilla and Biollante is quite well done. The night setting, in a mist covered lake, lends the affair a horror movie vibe. Biollante's second form is also well done, and it was a very cool effect when it actually charge Godzilla with all of its tentacles waving.
The Super X-2 is a good follow up to the first. This time it's remote controlled so no one gets hurt. It has a mirror reflector that shoots Godzilla's blasts back at him. I liked the sequence where it first engages Godzilla in the ocean. There were some good shots as the X-2 sweeps all around Godzilla. I do have to ask what is with the Japanese making these awesome weapons that, once damaged, can never be repaired again? Once the mirror gets melted they say it's impossible to fix it. Same with MechaGodzilla's Zero-G weapon from Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla. Once it was damaged they couldn't replace it. What's the point of having cool toys if you don't know have to fix them?
I give the film credit for at least making the non-kaiju scenes interesting. There is just so much going on it's hard to get bored. It also helps that I liked the characters. Goro is a pretty cool dude and goes out in style. While it makes no sense that someone as young as Kuroki is in charge of defeating Godzilla he's actually pretty good at it. Miki isn't annoying, and her psychic powers are useful. Plus she becomes a recurring character, something of an oddity for the Godzilla movies.
From what I can gather Godzilla Vs. Biollante isn't a popular Godzilla movie and I can understand why. However, I enjoyed it despite its flaws.
Actually, there is a DVD Release with the Japanese version of that film (Return of Gozilla
, IIRC) ... albeit, we lose Bambi Meets Godzilla
short as a lead in to the film
Really? I looked on Amazon and eBay and all I can find are copies that aren't playable in Region 1. Also, that Bambi short was strange but funny.
For myself, I liked the touch that there were these giant copepods(rw?) that seemingly ride on Godzilla's hide and occasionally fall off, but this was an idea that was quickly abandoned save for Cloverfield where they felt it necessary for the humans to face an immediate personal terror rather than simply have to workaround a rampaging giant monster.
I liked that idea too, and it made for a good opening sequence. I was confused at first as to why the humans were dead but the boat was intact. Godzilla usually isn't into the subtle approach. Then of course it's revealed to be that smaller creature. I liked the small Clovers in Cloverfield. They did add more suspense to the movie.
One thing I'm very unclear on about the Heisei continuity is whether the Godzilla featured there is a second member of the species, separate from the one killed in 1954 (as in the original continuity or the Kiryu films), or the original one, somehow regenerated from his seemingly quite final fate (as in Megaguirus and GMK). The origin story offered in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah treats Godzilla as a singular, unique creation, but there's a reference in Destoroyah to the Oxygen Destroyer killing the original Godzilla, implying that the Heisei Godzilla is a new one. I'm wondering what The Return of Godzilla has to say about that, although I don't trust the 1985 dub to be accurate.
Huh. Weird that they would treat it as the original Godzilla and then apparently retcon it later as a newer one. I always just assumed it was the original Godzilla from the first film.
Edited by Virgil Vox, 26 April 2013 - 10:52 PM.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman