Monday, 30 March 2015

Godzilla vs Biollante (1989)

When Toho returned to the Godzilla franchise on its 30th anniversary, they more or less did a reboot of the series.  Acknowledging only the original 1954 film, Return of Godzilla (known as Godzilla 1985 in the US) scrapped everything else that had come since and returned Big G to his city-smashing roots.

Due to legal malarkey, that film is not currently available on DVD, so we turn instead to 1989's Godzilla vs Biollante, which is widely regarded as one of the better entries in the series.

I'm afraid I have to disagree.

I mean, yes, Biollante's final battle form looks pretty cool.

But we see it for maybe five minutes of a 100+ minute film, and before that Big G rips through Biollante's original (much less interesting) incarnation in about 14 seconds.  The near absence of Godzilla vs Biollante action in a movie called Godzilla vs Bilollante is frankly rather baffling.

What we get a lot of instead is humans running around and fighting over samples of Godzilla's cells from his previous rampage.  Among other things, these cells can be used to produce "Anti-Nuclear Energy Bacteria", which consume nuclear energy and waste.  They'd also potentially consume every nuclear weapon on the planet, vastly changing the balance of power.

The cells can also be used to create new, hyper-resilient strains of plants - that's what gives us Biollante, of course - but the film's going to spend an inordinate amount of time on the bacteria angle, with shootings and chasings and inexplicably comedic fistfights over them occupying way, way too much of the run time.

Thankfully Big G eventually makes an appearance.  This livens things up a little, at least, though again way, way to much time is devoted to the tedious activity of the tiresome human characters.  Tip to filmmakers: when Godzilla drops a building on one of your 'heroes', I should probably not be cheering.

Ultimately, this is dull stuff.

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