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>
In the previous entries in the series Godzilla would team with other Toho monsters to take on King Ghidorah. This marked the first time in the series where where Godzilla took on his famous foe in a one on one fight. See more »
The time traveling Emmy says she's Japanese, yet she also tells the present-day people that Japan doesn't exist in her time. Somehow no one becomes suspicious of this lie, although it is possible that they took Japanese as her ethnicity rather than her nationality. See more »
Good Monster Battles, Music, and City Destruction, but...
With Godzilla films, or any other giant monster on the rampage type film, there is a certain level of suspension of disbelief required... but even in the realm of Godzilla where everything from numerous alien invasions, giant robots, and telepathic twin fairies are possible this movie STILL pushed the limits of believability.
So apparently, Japan in World War 2 was in the habit of hiring soldiers in their 50's and 60's who would not age a day in the next 47 years? Buy some make-up, people! This is the first Godzilla movie to deal heavily with time travel, which can be cool if handled well (BACK TO THE FUTURE) but if handled badly (TIMECOP) can quickly get convoluted and messy, or like this film make no sense at all. It doesn't help that several science fiction elements are jumbled together, complete with androids, flying saucers, biogenetically engineered pets who mutate into Godzilla's biggest foe, etc.
After the groundbreaking work on 1985 and BIOLLANTE, the special effects work here is definitely a mixed bag with lots of good pyrotechnics and miniature skylines that look almost real, but some poor model photography, frequently out of focus. The acting from the non-Japanese cast members (like the bad guys and the US servicemen in the world war 2 flashback) is dire, and for some reason baby Godzilla sounds like Rodan (or Gamera when he gets hurt). I have a feeling Sony/Columbia/Tristar dubbed the Heisei series badly on purpose just to make their GODZILLA 98 movie look better in comparison.
The English dubbing here is ATROCIOUS (even worse than GODZILLA 2000) with such instances as when a fighter pilot shrieks "I'm.... I'm spinning!" when he rolls his plane away from Ghidorah (in an otherwise neat aerial battle)... or the famous bit where the navy guy yells "Take that, you dinosaur!" while his soldiers on the beach are yelling "Keep firing! What is this thing? Keep firing!". It's almost like 6 year olds wrote the English language translation. Also, while the monster effects are neat, the android running scenes are just laughable... like something Ed Wood would do.
However, I can't completely dismiss this mess of a film as it has plentiful and good scenes of city destruction and monster battles, complete with lots of good explosions, editing, and best-of-all, Akira Ifukube returns as composer with one of his best scores up to that point. It's also neat to see a few familiar Godzilla movie faces, such as Kenji Sahara and Katsuhiko Sasaki, and fortunately the psychic woman from BIOLLANTE is barely in it, making me wonder why she was even cast at all. She singlehandedly ruined the Heisei series, as psychics and Godzilla totally don't mix. This was all much better back in the early 60's when the effects were worse but the scripts were simpler.
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