Time travellers from the 23rd century return to 1992 to warn Japan that Godzilla will cause a catastrophic nuclear incident in the 21st century and suggest a way to rid the world of him forever. They intend to go back to 1944, to Ragos Island, where a dinosaur was exposed to radiation from the Bikini H-Bomb test and became Godzilla. Upon completion of this task, King Ghidrah appears in 1992 and the visitors' true plan is discovered. They wish to destroy Japan so it will not become the dominant economic force. Luckily for the Japanese, Godzilla was still created and will now fight Ghidrah. Written by
Todd A. Bobenrieth <TAB146@PSUVM.EDU>
When the time travelers arrive in February 1944, a US Navy officer sees their spacecraft, but his commander dismisses the possibility of a UFO; the commander then says, "You can tell your son about when he's born, Spielberg." This is an obvious reference to Steven Spielberg, whose father Arnold served in the war and whose war stories inspired the frequent WWII settings of his films. See more »
When first studying Ghidorah after returning from the past, the people from the future are looking at monitor bearing a contemporary Panasonic logo. See more »
In the Japanese and international English versions (but not the American version), the producer, special effects director, screenplay and director credits precede the main title. The cast is credited after the title. See more »
Every ten years or so, Toho grinds out a great little Godzilla movie. This was their classic for the 1990s.
I usually don't like my Godzilla films to get cluttered up with silly science fiction, but in this movie, the time-travel elements are used very deftly to give us insight into the big G's origins. I also love the appearance of a cybernetic King Ghidorah in the final battle, who looks a heck of a lot cooler than any version of Mechagodzilla.
Some of the more interesting elements include a businessman who owes a debt to Godzilla (yes, really!) and renegades from the future who want to destroy Japan's economy. There's a fair amount of criticism leveled at the Americans, but also some self-criticism too, so in the end I think the cultural conflicts in this film are explored rather fairly.
Special effects are definitely a cut above what you'd expect. Ray beams zing back and forth between the battling titans, leveling all those lovely model buildings in the way. Somehow, the spectacle works; it makes me wish that we'd do more model effects in America, but we seem firmly entrenched in the era of lame CGI.
On the downside, the World War II battle segments are tacky, and some plot elements are glossed over (it seems absurdly easy to change M11 into a good guy!). However, this is still the most fun you'll have with Godzilla; the only superior entries in the series, the original "Gojira" and the mighty "GMK," are more dramatic in tone.
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