A reporter investigates the disappearance of a ship. He finds the ship and discovers that all the hands have been killed by a giant sea louse except for one. The lone survivor then tells the reporter that the ship was attacked by Godzilla (Gojira). Fearing a panic, the Japanese government then takes the survivor into custody to keep him from revealing that Godzilla has returned. However, a Soviet nuclear submarine is destroyed and the situation puts them and the United States on the brink of nuclear war, until the Japanese decide to come clean and admit that it was Godzilla. Soon the Japan and the rest of the world are on red alert as they wait for Godzilla to begin his rampage anew. Written by
Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>
After almost a decade of failed film proposals to revive the Godzilla character (including "Resurrection of Godzilla," "Godzilla Vs. Gargantua," etc.), Toho finally made this film after the Godzilla-mania of 1983, when Toho held an incredibly popular film festival, featuring all previous Godzilla films, as well as all other Toho sci-fi and monster classics. (Actor Akihiko Hirata attended the festival dressed as his Dr. Serizawa character from the original Godzilla (1954).) The mania even resulted in a new wave of merchandise and other events (including Bandai obtaining the license to do Godzilla toys in Japan, and Akira Ifukube conducting a popular "Godzilla Fantasia"), as well as creating a new generation of fans. Because of this resurgence in Godzilla's popularity, Toho figured it was time to bring back the character in earnest. See more »
The flock of birds that lure Godzilla away from the power plant are clearly hand-drawn animations, as their framerate is half of that of the live-action footage. See more »
Godzilla returns in a (somewhat) serious vehicle with a (somewhat) big budget. Americans yawned or laughed this off the screen, for the most part, but if you dig Godzilla you should dig this, his most respectable film since the 1954 original.
Yes, it's not that fast paced. No, Godzilla doesn't fight with other creatures. So what? After about twenty lurid, cheap movies that involved Godzilla in mortal combat with rubberized foes, it was nice to see him get back to menacing basics here.
While the special effects are not quite up to the Hollywood standard, they're still entertaining and reasonably convincing. American critics who slammed the film's look were being just a tad intolerant - all foreign films tend to be cheaper than ours, so inferior effects are a given. My bottom line for judging SFX is not, "are they realistic?" but "are they fun?", and the shots of Godzilla laying waste to Tokyo are indeed fun.
Godzilla fans often complain about the film's overtly political concerns and somber mood, but I have to disagree with them; I like a bit of realism, a bit of credibility. I do think that there are several better, faster-paced Godzilla films (Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, GMK), but this is still a standout entry in the series.
Who knows when we'll get another solo vehicle for the big G? The upcoming Godzilla: Final Wars will apparently feature a total of ten monsters. At least in this movie, Godzilla had the spotlight all to himself.
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