Monday, 6 April 2015
Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991)
I think I have pretty reasonable expectations when it comes to kaiju films. Give me monsters that don't look too goofy - preferably ones that actually look menacing, though that's what you might call a "stretch goal" - and a plot that (a) keeps moving at a decent pace and either (b) maintains some sense of verisimilitude within its own setting or (c) is bug nuts insane.
So I like Godzilla vs Hedorah, despite it being one of the most poorly received films in the series, because the monster (in it's final form at least) looks okay, and plot-wise it manages (a) and nails (c).
This film, alas, falls down hard on the plot-related requirements. I'm also, to be honest, not a huge fan of King Ghidorah as a monster design. I know he is something of an iconic bad guy for Big G, but he's never really done much for me. I hear he may be in the next American Godzilla film, but they'll have twenty times the budget that Toho ever did, so maybe he'll actually look cool.
Where was I? Oh yeah, the plot. So basically a UFO appears above Japan. It turns out to be a time machine from the 23rd century. The crew have come back to 1992 to warn the Japanese government of an impending disaster - caused by Godzilla - that will render the islands uninhabitable.
Naturally, your "con job" senses should be tingling right about now. The actual truth is that Japan is the only super-power of their time, due to its economic strength. It owns the whole of South America and Africa, for instance. These travellers are here to try and prevent that single power situation from eventuating, and keep all nations more or less equal. Sounds like a laudable enough goal, if only they didn't plan to do it by preventing Godzilla from ever being created and then using their own monster to flatten Japan.
Why do these time travellers bother to tell the 20th century folks all this stuff, rather than just doing it? I have no idea. I also have no idea why they actually invite witnesses along, who of course promptly notice that something dodgy is going on and alert the authorities to the double-cross.
So of course now they have to get Godzilla back - which proves easy enough since not even being erased from the time stream can keep Big G down for long - so he can stop King Ghidorah. And then they need some way to stop Godzilla. All of which is going to take far, far longer than your patience is likely to last.
I haven't even mentioned the offensively awful WW2 sequence of the film, or the blatant Terminator 2 rip offs yet, but I think I've made it clear: avoid this film.