Shipwreck survivors are found on Beiru Island (Infanto tô), which was previously used for atomic tests. The interior is amazingly free of radiation effects, and they believe that they were ... See full summary »
When Mothra went into outer space to stop a meteor from reaching Earth, she accidentally took with cells from Godzilla and remaining cells from Biollante that inhabited our atmosphere. The combined cells went through a black hole and created a new creature, Space Godzilla. Space Godzilla heads to Earth to confront Godzilla, Junior Godzilla, and the new G-Force robot, MOGERA. Written by
Todd A. Bobenrieth <email@example.com>
Even though it is riddled with weaknesses, the movie is too insistently entertaining to ignore
Kensho Yamashita's "Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla" is one of those movies that sets both parts of my analytical mind at odds with each other. The side of me that legs logic go out the window and absorbs the visceral escapism that only the movies can provide goes to war with the critical acumen that dissects and analyzes the movie, even if it is a B-production like this one. This is a much-maligned movie; furthermore, I see where the detractors are coming from. Yet, I always find "Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla" to be so relentlessly enjoyable that my acumen, if you could call it that, just gives up and lets the child-within take over. I re-watched the movie a short time ago and found the sames joys that I adored as a kid. That there might be the reason why this still holds up for me, but I do feel this is a better picture that the rest of the world gives it credit for.
It is unquestionably the most bizarre entry in the second series. In two previous entries, cells from Godzilla were transmitted into outer space. Nobody in the movie knows for sure, but they speculate the cells were eventually swallowed up by a black hole and mutated from celestial explosions, thus forming a strange mutation that eerily resembles its Earth incarnation. The new monster, dubbed SpaceGodzilla, arrives on Earth with no apparent intention other than to--what else?--wreck havoc. The military sets loose M.O.G.E.R.A. - a giant robot they recently constructed - to battle the extra-terrestrial menace while Godzilla arrives to duke it out with his outer-space clone.
I freely admit it. Even for a Japanese monster movie, a genre we seldom give serious critical consideration, this is absurd. There are other absurd things in it as well. At the same time, director Yamashita and screenwriters Hiroshi Kashiwabara and Kanji Kashiwa do not kid around with their material. They treat it seriously. I believe that is the primary reason why so many have come to despise this picture. Why do I enjoy it so? The answer, I think, is simply that I always buy into it. I accept the movie on its own terms, and absorb it in a somewhat serious manner. Can I pull out any buried themes or subtexts from it? Did I learn anything about life from seeing two reptilian monsters and a giant robot fighting amongst towers, apartment buildings, and a fortress of stalagmite-like crystals? No, but I always get involved.
What also works, I think, are some of the human elements. Though underwritten by Mr. Kashiwabara and Mr. Kashiwa, the characters are, in a small way, worth caring for. Megumi Odaka reprises her role as the psychic with a bond with Godzilla, but the three principle characters are a trio of soldiers whose beforehand hatred for Godzilla changes into an alliance to save the world from SpaceGodzilla. The three actors (Jun Hashizume, Akira Emoto, and Zenkichi Yoneyama) have some good chemistry with each other and just enough personality to play off their traits. At the same time, they do not distract from the main focus of the movie: monsters fighting in a city.
The special effects are often criticized, even by other Godzilla fans. Admittedly, some of them are dreadful. A scene with SpaceGodzilla and M.O.G.E.R.A. in the Asteroid Belt is deservedly-blasted. Godzilla's adopted son, now dubbed Little Godzilla, has grown bigger but less-convincing since "Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla 2." The reptilian features have diminished in favor of a more toddler-like figure. Little Godzilla is cute, but maybe he's too cute. However, let's admit it, the scene with him first learning to breathe fire is absolutely touching, more than anything Minya ever did. SpaceGodzilla, however, is a despicable enemy. His design is effective and creative, especially with the two crystals that emerge from his shoulders almost like decorative armor plating. And he does have a creepy personality, deepened and enriched by Takayuki Hattori's utterly brilliant musical score. Godzilla is also in good form in this picture. As frequently noted, most of the battles are "beam wars" where the monsters exchange fire with their various forms of computer-generated energy projectiles: heat-rays, electrical discharges, corona beams, plasma lasers. I like my monsters going tooth-and-claw, but the pyrotechnics and colors used work in their own way.
But the bottom line is that when I see Godzilla and M.O.G.E.R.A. blasting, and being blasted back, by SpaceGodzilla admit that fortress of crystals in the city of Fukuoka (it's nice to see a change of scenery from Tokyo or Osaka) that I root for them not because they are the default, but because I want to see them win. As a result, when they gain the upper hand against this creepy and yet somewhat spectacular foe from outer space, my heart leaps with joy. Monster movies can be involving too.
Godzilla movies draw out my inner-child. That may be the movie-going pleasure that I cherish and embrace the most. And there may be the ultimate reason why this movie still works for me. Even though it has been machine-gunned with flaws (such as that utterly ridiculous subplot involving the Japanese mafia) and has some iffy special effects, "Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla" insistently entertains and has a charming quality of its own. And maybe because it is unlike other entries, I do find it rather entertaining.
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