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>
"Size does matter." So proclaimed the ad campaign of the Americanized Godzilla foisted upon us by Emmerich and Devlin in 1998. If only they had paid more attention to movies like this before they tried to retool Godzilla. Because their overgrown iguana is no match for the towering behemoth of indestructible, nuclear-fueled fury introduced in this movie.
Untold legions of fans grew up with the original Godzilla in the '60s and '70s. We found comfort in the quite cheesy special effects, massive plot holes, extreme overacting, and hilarious dubbing. Not to mention the martial strains of Akira Ifukube's trademark musical scores. The heisei series of second generation Godzilla movies may have offended some purists, but did stick with many of the same elements. Many of the effects were now very good, but others were still unintentionally laughable. The dubbing, of course, was as bad as ever. Logic is the last thing one should expect from a Godzilla plot, and it's not very much in evidence here. But this is all how we like it!
From the tortuous contortions of the time travel plot came a new Godzilla, leaner and far meaner than ever before. No more would he be the protector of Japan. Along with the new origin backstory for Godzilla, we're treated to one for this new King Ghidora, which resembles the original Ghidrah only in name and appearance. But while it took the combined might of all of Japan's monsters to slay Ghidrah, the new and improved Godzilla singlehandedly slew Ghidorah without working up a sweat. Truly a force to be reckoned with.
It's a shame that the second generation films were never released theatrically in the US and only recently released on video. Americans deserved to see that there wasn't a vacuum between Godzilla 1985 and Godzilla (1998). And a generation of American kids, too young to find the old films interesting, lost a chance to be hooked on what's arguably a cultural icon.
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