Project G: Godzilla vs Biollante (1989)

More Memorable Title: The one the MPAA rated PG for ‘Traditional Godzilla Violence’.

Usually, I lead into these things by talking a bit about the development of the film.  This time, I’m going to take a bit of a different tack, and talk about getting this movie instead.  Toho licenses the western distribution rights for the Godzilla franchise on a film by film basis.  Which leads to tons of different companies having the rights to different films in the franchise, which, for a long time, made it rather difficult to just pick up and watch through the whole Godzilla series.  It’s gotten better in recent years, with Criterion Collection securing the western rights of all the Showa Era films and making those readily available, and Sony holding longtime rights over all the rest of the Heisei era after this as well as the complete Millennium era and releasing some very handy and affordable compilations, but there’s two of Toho’s film from the pre-Reiwa eras that are still largely left out of easy accessibilty.  There’s the Return of Godzilla, which has been out of print for a while but it seems Kraken Publishing still released enough DVDs to make them affordable today.  And then there’s this one.  Miramax licensed out a few limited runs of DVDs, but Toho eventually pulled the license from them, and now nobody has the Western distribution rights to Godzilla vs. Biollante.  There’s no streaming of this movie, and the DVDs fetch a pretty high price, making this the absolutely hardest Godzilla film to get your eyes on.  I managed to find it for what I thought was a reasonable price, but even then, I ended up paying more for it than you would for any brand new, modern day home video release.  

So just keep in mind, what I’m about to relate to you is a rare Godzilla delicacy.  

The Return of Godzilla was financially successful, but not wildly so.  They wanted to do a sequel to it, but the minimal success there, coupled with the failure of some other high profile monster movies at the time, convinced longtime Godzilla producer Tomoyuki Tanaka to wait for a bit, until the market was better for such films.  That ended up being a pause of a few years, before other goofy sci-fiish films, primarily Little Shop of Horrors, started seeing success.  They chose the script for their upcoming film from a contest, taking submissions from a bunch of randos, looking for something that they could use for some traditional kaiju tai kaiju goodness that also took a different tack from the beastie brawls of the showa era.  They ended up settling on the script submitted by a dentist, which was really recycled from a script he had submitted as a teenager to a similar contest for Ultraman and won there.  Director Kazuki Oumori then spent the next three years changing and editing it, using his background as a biologist to correlate Godzilla’s typical anti-nuclear themes with the heavy genetic engineering themes seen here.  In so doing, he also ended up creating and codifying what would really be going on in Godzilla’s Heisei Era.  In a lot of ways, it’s always the second entry that defines a series, and that’s no different here, with Godzilla vs. Biollante’s heavy use of continuity, psychic characters, and CGI beam effects being establishments that would continue for the rest of the series.

In release, Godzilla vs. Biollante was doomed to repeat it’s predecessor’s mild success, leading the franchise to take another small pause before returning to more familiar territory with its next entry. Toho reportedly regarded this film as ending up having too niche an appeal. It is, however, a well regarded one among fans, with a lot of commentary saying it played with some really interesting ideas, even if the actual execution of them is subject to opinion.  How does it fare in the most important opinion of all; mine?  Let’s read on to find out.

I should say, heading into this though, this is a busy, busy movie.  There’s a lot going on here.  So many characters, so many events, so much stuff.  I’m going to be selectively trimming things in a lot of this, so we’ll move pretty quickly, and there’s also going to be a lot of content I don’t touch.  Because I don’t think anyone wants to read a giant  summary of this, and I don’t have time for that anyways.

The movie opens up mere hours after the end of the Return of Godzilla.  The Super X blasted off a few chunks of Godzilla in that fight, and science teams in hazmat suits that look like there’s no way they actually work are out there collecting the bits and pieces of Godzilla strewn over the landscape.  So are a couple of Americans in military gear.  Then the Japanese Self Defense Force catches them, and a firefight starts as the Americans flee with their Godzilla samples while the most 80’s-tastic rendition of “The Approach of Godzilla” song you can possibly imagine plays.  Composed by the guy that does the music for Dragon Quest, just for the record.  

So the Americans run into a subway, then outmaneuver their Japanese pursuers and gun them all down.  But then as they let down their guard, The Cleaner, an Arabic looking guy dressed up like one of those super edgelords from back in high school sneaks up on them, kills them all, and takes the Godzilla samples.  These get delivered to the Saradia Republic, which is totally Saudi Arabia but they didn’t want to call it that.  Working at the Saradia Institute of whatever is Dr. Frankenstein (Not his actual name) and his daughter Erika (Is her actual name), Japanese citizens who are there for science.  They go off to the lab at night to work on the samples, but by the time they get there it’s day, so whatever.  Erika likes roses.  Remember that.  Dr. Frankenstein and some Saudi Arabian guy talk in English so heavily accented that I have no idea what they’re actually saying, but plot summaries say their goal was to use the Godzilla cells to develop crops that can grow in Saudi Arabia’s climate so they can export grain and not just oil.  But it doesn’t work, because the lab blows up with Erika inside of it.  Summaries state this was because of an attack, not just a thing labs do, but I can’t tell from what everyone’s talking there.

Fast forward five years later, Dr. Frankenstein lives in Japan again, sad about how Erika’s dead.  He’s talking with Lady, who runs a psychic center and is otherwise mostly unremarkable aside from her proximity to the real star of our show here, Miki.  Miki’s her real name, even.  I’m two in on actually remembering character’s names this time.  Yay for me.  Miki is a teenaged psychic who will be showing up in all the rest of the Heisei era movies.  She won’t be teenaged the whole time of course.  Obviously.  Anyways, Dr. Frankenstein wants Miki there to talk with his roses, but the roses don’t want to talk to anybody.  And then it turns out they’re all being watched by a pair of suspicious Americans.  You know they’re Americans because one of them is black and the other one wears an American Flag for a hat.  And the Americans are being watched by The Cleaner, who’s actually able to afford some real clothes this time around, so life’s apparently been good to him.  He’s looking quite dapper, in fact.  

Lady meets up with her boyfriend, Dude.  I think Dude’s supposed to be the main character of this film, but he’s even more unremarkable than Lady, and I kept forgetting he’s a thing whenever he wasn’t on the screen.  Lady’s dad runs a genetic engineering company.  Dude is a genetic engineer as well, but thinks that genetic engineering is totally evil. They talk about that and I stop paying attention for a little bit.  

When I come back, there’s a volcano in Japan that’s on the verge of erupting.  Lady talks to Miki at the psychic center, apparently Miki and all the children there had the same dream last night.  They have the class of kids drawing pictures of it.  So Miki and Lady got to that class, ask everyone to show them their pictures, and the kids all pull up dozens of hand drawn images of an angry Godzilla emerging from a volcano.  This was a really cool scene.  Like, I’m rushing through it here because we’ve got so much ground to cover, but this was a really great execution.  Gave a bunch of gravitas through crayon drawings.  

Lady gives a call to the Godzilla Squad, which is really one guy.  Gondo.  That’s his real name too.  What is it with me actually remembering so many people’s names for this one?  Gondo is a man worth remembering, though.  Apparently, he’s been employed for 5 years with nothing to do, so he’s hopeful that Godzilla really is returning.  File this under “be careful what you wish for”.  So he calls up some guy at the JSDF, Major Screwup, and they get working on plans for what to do about Godzilla.  They’ve been working on building the Super X II, bringing back the flying tank from last film except whereas that was an all-purpose military weapon retrofitted at the last minute to fight Godzilla, this one’s designed as an anti-Godzilla measure from the get go.  So you remember those cadmium shells they used against Godzilla last time that totally worked and would have killed him if the Russians hadn’t nuked Tokyo?  Yeah, those are right out.  So last season.  Not going to even think about those again.  Instead, they gave this edition a shield that reflects and magnifies Godzilla’s atomic breath, and equipped it to chase Godzilla underwater.  It’s also a drone now, doesn’t require a pilot inside.  

Gondo’s also got his fingers in another project.  The government wants to develop an Anti-Nuclear Energy Bacteria using Godzilla’s cells, which would be used to dispose of atomic waste and radiation, and could theoretically disempower Godzilla as well, similar to how the cadmium shells worked last time, absorbing his radiation.  Dude gets assigned to the project, and goes to talk to Lady’s dad who has all the Godzilla cells, but is still like “this is creating evil.”  Even though I can’t think of much that’s less evil than safely disposing of atomic waste.  Like, they spend the movie treating the ANEB kind of like they did the Oxygen Destroyer, as this new science-created uncontrollable superweapon, but the worst thing the describe the bacteria as being able to do is disabling nukes.  Which… I don’t know.  They try to make genetic engineering seem super dangerous here, but they really don’t establish that well with the ANEB.

Dude goes to Dr. Frankenstein and asks him to make the Anti-Nuclear Energy Bacteria using Godzilla’s cells, but Dr. Frankenstein is all like “Nooooooo Godzilla cells blew up my daughter!” and refuses.  But then the active volcano causes an earthquake that shakes his roses around, and all of a sudden, he goes back to everyone and says he’ll do it, as long as he gets to keep Godzilla cells at his lab for a week without anyone keeping tabs on him.  Nobody thinks this is sketchy whatsoever, so they all agree.  Dr. Frankenstein is next seen combining the Godzilla cells with bits of his roses, and claims that his daughter Erika will now live forever.  Dr. Frankenstein then goes to the government lab and makes the ANEB.  

While he’s out, the Americans that were spying on him, who at some point, were revealed to be working for a giant evil American bio-genetics corporation, break into Dr. Frankenstein’s lab and rifle through all his files.  They find some paperwork with the details on the ANEB.  The Cleaner also breaks into the lab, and the two groups get into a fire fight.  The Americans back off under cover, but both of them find themselves getting attacked by giant vines.  The black guy gets killed by them, because this is a movie from the 80s, of course he does, while the white guy cuts his way out and escapes.  The Cleaner pursues.  

The next morning, Dr. Frankenstein’s alerted to the break-in at his lab, and heads there with Lady and Miki in tow.  Dude might have been there as well, I don’t remember.  He kind of fades into the background a lot.  They look over the damage, and then hear about something happening at the nearby lake, so they go check it out.  A massive rose with fangy teeth in the center of it grows out of the center of it now.  Miki detects some consciousness coming from it, and Dr. Frankenstein reveals that he not only combined his roses with Godzilla cells, he had originally combined those roses with Erika’s cells.  He names the giant rose Biollante, after the Norse spirit of plants.  Which, if you know anything about Norse mythology, you might realise ISN’T A THING!

Japan’s government gets a message that the somebody’s planted a bunch of bombs in the volcano Godzilla’s in, and will set them off and cause an eruption and Godzilla’s release, unless they turn over all of the ANEB.  Gondo and Dude pack up all the ANEB they have, and take it to the drop site, where the surviving American receives it, then starts to take them to the back of his van so they can turn off the timer on the bombs.  Someone shoots at them, and the American accuses them of double crossing him, which would have been wise, but nope, it’s just the Cleaner.  Gondo and Dude take cover while the Cleaner guns down the American, then book it to where the American dropped the ANEB, but the Cleaner drives up in the most ‘80s-looking car possible, snatches the suitcase, and drives off. Gondo and Dude turn their attention to the time in the American’s van, trying to keep the bombs from going off, but they can’t figure out how to work it.  The bombs explode, the volcano erupts, and Godzilla is loosed from within.  

So let’s talk about Godzilla here.  Because he’s been redesigned, and damn, is Godzilla sexy now.  Showa era Godzilla was often cute.  Godzilla from the previous film was generally fearsome, but looked really derpy from certain angles.  Godzilla here looks both sleek and ferocious.  His head and face has been made more feline, giving him a rather leopard-like appearance, while his eyes have better proportions and look focused.  His head has been shrunk a bit in size, and the proportions make his torso look beefier.  This is a good Godzilla.  One of my favorite designs in the series, in fact.

So Godzilla’s out of that volcano he fell into last time, and begins wandering into the sea.  The military mobilizes against him.  Some reporters are trying to interview Dr. Frankenstein about Biollante, but Biollante starts going wild and whips down the docks that they’re on.  They run away while Dr. Frankenstein acts like your typical evil mad scientist.  Miki remarks that the Godzilla nature of Biollante has taken control over the human side of it, and it’s calling out to Godzilla.  

In the meantime, the Super X II reaches Godzilla as he’s cruising through the ocean.  Major Screwup is in command of it with a team piloting it from afar.  So it gets there and opens up its Fire Mirror, that thing that reflects Godzilla’s breath back at it, and Godzilla obliges, blasting it and therefore himself.  This version of the Super X is working out really well!  For now.  Godzilla goes under water, and the Super X II follows, blasting him from afar with torpedoes.  The team here does have a sense that’s pretty rare in Godzilla-series pilots, that of maybe not flying right within Godzilla’s reach, and that works well for them.  Godzilla surfaces, and so do they, and go with the Fire Mirror strategy again, but then the Fire Mirror starts to melt.  Godzilla scores an atomic breath hit on the side of it, and for all they talked about the Super X II’s improved armor, that one hit is enough to bring it down.  The Super X II barely limps back to base.  

There’s a couple of ships arrayed against him then, but Godzilla crushes through them, then gets to the lake where Biollante is.  Godzilla just stares at the rose for a while, before she starts to wrap him in her tendrils.  Godzilla can’t get close for a while, but then he lets loose with his atomic breath, which it turns out she’s incredibly weak to.  It ignites the rose, in a really impressive use of practical effects.  They legit burned the prop up here.  A good end to a really lame battle.  As she burns, she starts to dissolve into spores that drift off into space, while Dr. Frankenstein claims that he’s made her truly immortal.   

Godzilla then gets up and leaves.  Some government guy has tracked the Cleaner’s last known location to an oil company that’s the only entity in Japan owned by the Saudi Arabia stand-in, and Gondo and Dude head there.  Major Screwup deduces that Godzilla is probably heading to go eat some more nuclear stuff, and puts the entirety of the JSDF forces in between Godzilla and the nearest nuclear reactor.  At the Saudi Arabian oil company, some random shmuck is putting the ANEB into a safe, but then Gondo and Dude burst in and catch him in the act, then beat him up and take the ANEB.  The Cleaner comes by after, and reports to his overseer, some head honcho at a Saudi Arabian scientific institute, the one that Dr. Frankenstein was working for earlier.  Head honcho says that if the Japanese have the ANEB now, the Cleaner needs to eliminate their ability to make more.  Meaning he needs to kill Dr. Frankenstein.  Because scientists never, like, make notes, or leave their creations replicable, and that’s not the whole foundation of modern science or anything.  Just kill the guy.  And it’ll be gone.  

So on a helicopter on the way back, Gondo hears about how the entire JSDF is devoted to blocking Godzilla from reaching the nuclear reactor nearest to his last known location, and says “You know, it’d make a lot more sense for Godzilla to go after the reactors in Osaka”.  And that’s exactly what Godzilla does.  The navy’s way too far away to reach him.  Major Screwup, well, screwed up.  He commands all his aerial forces to book it to Osaka, knowing they won’t be able to stop Godzilla, but aiming to slow him down enough for Gondo’s team to get there with the ANEB.  He also sends Miki in, hoping she can do something psychic.  Miki and Lady get to a helicopter platform in the middle of the ocean, and wait for Godzilla there.  Godzilla passes by, and Miki tries her psychic stuff on him, which draws his attention for a bit, but then she passes out from the strain.  

Godzilla smashes through a bunch of helicopters and stuff.  Pretty cool special effects, at this point.  Then he gets to Osaka, and smashes through stuff there.  The city destruction scenes are a bit lackluster.  The Super X II shows up again, partially repaired, and tries that same cat and mouse game the original Super X had going, but even though this one was specifically made to counter Godzilla, it’s got a lot less tools to do it with, and quickly runs out of options.  Major Screwup orders it to try the Fire Mirror again, but although it’s in flying condition, they haven’t had time to fix the mirror.  Godzilla blasts into it, it gets overheated, and the Super X II takes the brunt of Godzilla’s atomic breath and is destroyed.  

Gondo and a small team of commandos arrive in Osaka and set up position in a few skyscrapers around.  Some helicopters lure Godzilla in between them, and they all fire ANEB-rockets into Godzilla.  Two of them hit and inject.  Gondo orders his team to pull out, but he just lollygags in his skyscraper, idly reloading his rocket launcher, while Godzilla turns towards him and his team starts screaming at him.  Godzilla roars, and Gondo just spins around and shoots him in the mouth with more ANEB.  Then, as Godzilla starts tearing the building apart, he just stands there and sasses Godzilla.  And then he dies, of course.  But he goes out sassing Godzilla.  I wouldn’t recommend doing that, by the way, but if you’re going to go, going out sassing Godzilla is one of the most hardcore ways to go.  

So Dude and Dr. Frankenstein are there with Major Screwup.  Godzilla finishes wrecking stuff then heads back into the ocean.  The scientists wonder as to why Godzilla isn’t slowing down yet, as the Anti-Nuclear Energy Bacteria should be draining him of the nuclear energy that keeps him going.  Dr. Frankenstein theorizes that Godzilla’s cold-blooded nature is keeping his body temperature too low for the bacteria to propagate and reproduce enough to impact something of his size.  They need some way to raise his body temperature.  Major Screwup knows of a JSDF experiment to create artificial lightning storms using microwaves, so they send some helicopters to lure Godzilla to where they have that set up.  They also set up a bunch of Maser Cannons around it as well.  I don’t know if I’ve talked about Masers before.  Masers are big satellite dish lasers that Toho used in a lot of their sci-fi films, even outside of the Godzilla universe.  Kind of a common creator thumbprint for them.  They supposedly use microwaves to generate lasers, so totally appropriate for the microwave heating battle they’re getting into here.  They show up in like half of the Godzilla films, include all of the Heisei era ones, so they’re a common sight here.  

Anyways, Godzilla gets there, and everyone’s holding their breath and waiting, until he stomps on one of the microwave plates and blast him.  Then the Masers unleash as well.  Godzilla blasts a bunch of them, but as he’s advancing, through the artificial thunderstorm forming now, he steps on another plate and gets hit with more microwaves.  Which does successfully raise his body temperature.  And the JSDF sees the ANEB starting to effect him.  He’s getting a little slower, a little more loopy.  Not enough to keep him from destroying absolutely all of the JSDF vehicles there, not by any means.  But they are showing progress, even if they’ve lost everything well before they’ve reached success.

Meanwhile, Miki’s in a hospital bed after burning herself out against Godzilla, drawing on a tablet.  Lady checks to see what she’s drawing, and it’s a giant rose in space.  Lady gets her out to take her to the Godzilla battle.  Back at Microwave City, Godzilla finishes off the last of the JSDF establishments, and all seem lost.  Then, a billion spores of golden light spill down through the clouds.  They hit the ground, which starts to rumble and quake and quake beneath Godzilla, before splitting apart and revealing tons of fanged tendrils that thrash around and destroy everything nearby.  Then, Biollante appears.  But not the same Biollante we saw last time.  No sweet roses here.  This is Biollante in beast mode.

So Biollante is a favorite monster in the Godzilla video games, and here, it’s easy to see why.  The suit was very well constructed with an elaborate design.  Biollante is absolutely massive, with tons of tendrils, and seems to have been incredibly complicated to move and animate, but the effect is really impressive.  She looks alive and imposing and absolutely ferocious.  She sends some tendrils after Godzilla, but he remembers her weakness to his breath, and blasts them apart.  She moves closer, and does it again.  He blasts them apart instead.  She gets close enough that she’s able to wrap him up, then pierces through Godzilla’s hand with a tendril and pumps acidic sap into the wound.  Looks vicious.  Godzilla shows a new move, where he charges up his atomic breath, but then bites down on it and sends it bursting out of his body, blasting off everything attached to him.  The Nuclear Pulse.  Remember that, we’ll be seeing it again in the future.  Freed now, he moves to attach, but Biollante spews acidic sap all over his face.  Then she bites down on his head.  Godzilla breaks out, and pours his atomic breath down her throat.  This proves to be too much for her, as she starts breaking apart and burning once more, but it seems her job was mostly done, as Godzilla’s body heat rose enough that the ANEB are now doing their job, slowing him down significantly.  

Godzilla starts retreating, heading back into the ocean.  Biollante starts dissolving once more, sending her spores back to space again.  Miki notes that Erika’s spirit is going with them, in control of the Godzilla parts now, and Dr. Frankenstein sees an image of his daughter ascending into the heavens.  He swears that he’s never going to genetic engineer anything evil again, which apparently includes the ANEB.  But then he gets shot and killed.  

Everyone looks for the source of the shot, seeing the Cleaner getting into his car and driving away.  There’s a bunch of military guys around, but for some reason, it’s Dude and Dude alone that gets into pursuit, hopping into his own vehicle, catching up with the Cleaner, and getting into an epic car wreck with him.  They both hop out, before the Cleaner’s car explodes, and get into a bit of a scuffle.  The Cleaner is a super-murderer, but Dude is holding his own somehow.  They wrestle over a gun, knock it away, fight some more, then the Cleaner gets away and gets his hand on the weapon.  He holds up Dude, and completely has him at his mercy, but before he shoots him, he decides to climb on one of the microwave plates for no reason whatsoever.  The Cleaner then gets torn apart, as Major Screwup activates the plate from back in the base, satisfied that for once in this film, he did not screw everything up.  

Dude gets back in his car and drives back to pick up Lady, who demands he take her somewhere for the lovemakings.  Godzilla swims away, there’s a giant rose in space now, and the movie’s over.  

Right.  You follow along with all that?  Let’s break it down.

So as you might be able to tell from the extended and rapid fire description above, and also because I said it directly in my opening, this is a movie that is absolutely full of stuff and moves at a machine gun pace.  A lot of people like it for that.  And I can see why.  This is a movie you’re not going to get bored with, because it’s always moving, always pressing on, stuff is always happening.  And its not generally that hard to follow, either, although a few characters do seem to get lost or superfluous in there.  It does present a bit of a problem with pacing and foreshadowing, though, at least in my view.  Normally, in storytelling, when you’re going to be introducing a complication or moving into a different direction, you want to lean into it a bit.  Not always, sometimes it can be nice and shocking for it to come out of the blue, but generally, you want to give clues, indications, or hints leading up to an event that the event is on its way, not enough to actually explain it, but enough so that once it happens the viewer can think back and see the breadcrumbs.  Or, if you do want to state it straight out, you do that, but then let it sit for a while after saying it will happen but before it actually happens.  You want to give that stuff time for an arc, to make it seem more realistic and less abrupt, and get the emotional momentum building up in the direction you want it to go in.  Godzilla vs. Biollante, on the other hand, will often change direction by just having a character say a thing right before it happens.  Like, there’s not much indication to the audience that Major Screwup is putting all his forces in the wrong place, until Gondo suggests Godzilla would probably go to Osaka and right after he says that Godzilla goes to Osaka.  There’s no time to let the narrative tension build there.  So yeah, fast paced, but in my view, it loses something because of that.

A lot of people do things for seemingly no reason as well, possibly as a result of it moving so fast.  The Cleaner stepping on top of the microwave pad is a big one, but there’s a lot of people viewing the ANEB as evil and dangerous even though it actually seems a good thing.  Like, why would Saudi Arabia care whether or not Japan can make more, after they’ve already lost the opportunity to get their hands on it?  Or Lady chasing the military away when Miki’s doing her psychic stuff, that’s never really explained.  The film is full of stuff like that.  In all, I think it really could have benefited from some more runtime to flesh some of these things out, or fewer moving parts.  

The special effects here, as I’ve stated a few times, are really stellar.  The Godzilla and the final Biollante suits look fantastic, and really leave an impression.  This Godzilla sets the model that the rest of the Heisei era is going to follow, and for good reason.  They’re really well designed, and look to be of a higher quality construction than we’ve seen in Godzillas past.  They had some really great use of practical effects, as well.  The rose Biollante burning looks really stunning.  The monster fights are a mixed bag this time, though.  The final battle with Biollante looks really good, and it’s a good time watching Godzilla smash up a bunch of ships and helicopters.  The Super X II is way lamer than the original Super X was, though, and its fights require Godzilla to be pretty stupid.  Which, I mean, he’s a big destructive monster without much higher thinking capacity, yes, but he does show an ability to learn from the past even in this film, so it’s a little weird that he never picks up the idea of not atomic breathing the fire mirror.  It also died like a punk, so there’s that.  And Godzilla vs. A Giant Rose is never going to be a great fight.  Even if the rose did burn beautifully.  His city-smashing bits seemed a little lacking as well, especially after the last movie, which gave them a lot of gravitas.  

I do like some of the character work here.  They did a good job with Dr. Frankenstein, making him seem somewhat mad scientisty without him being too out there or evil, which seems like it’s not an easy line to walk.  Gondo was both bold and likeable, and, although she didn’t actually talk much, this was a pretty good introduction to Miki, who’ll be fleshed out more in later movies.  Likewise not talking much, the Cleaner was a pretty great piece as well, able to exude menace and danger from a small-framed, quiet and mostly expressionless guy through body-language alone.  So yeah.  Characters are good here, and mostly more consistent than the plot is.

It’s a pretty good sounding movie too, even if its soundtrack does have a definitive 80’s streak.  Music is well done, and notably adds to the scenes.  Definitely something the Heisei era’s been hitting on high marks so far.

Overall, it’s kind of a strange one in the Godzilla filmography, but not so out there, and as many reviewers have stated, it does offer some interesting ideas.  Given the Heisei Era’s emphasis on continuity, the events of this film are going to have ramifications in a lot of the other ones we’ll be covering here in the future.  Given how hard it is to get your hands on, it’s not quite unreservedly good enough that I’d give it a blanket recommendation, and might not be worth the price you’d have to pay for it unless you’re already a Godzilla fan looking to complete your collection, but if you do have an easy way of watching it, it’s definitely a worthy Godzilla film.  The character work and monster designs alone are worth a watch.  

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