After successfully repelling a Godzilla attack, the military encounters some mysterious thieves in the aftermath. Making off with cells from the legendary King of the Monsters, it becomes evident that genetic manipulation is in the works. Scientist Dr. Shiragami, an expert in biology, loses his beloved daughter presumably from the party involved with the Godzilla cell theft. Years later, he is studying psychic energy of plants and is called upon by the JDSF to develop a technique to repel Godzilla using his work in bacteria. Uninterested he nonetheless gets drawn into the battle when Godzilla’s return becomes eminent. As a new generation of JDSF steps up to confront the legendary kaiju, a new creature appears; a gigantic plant-like monster dubbed Biollante. With a brawl between the two beasts imminent, humanity’s forces must deal with out of control monsters, corporate espionage, and the secret connection between Shiragami and Biollante.
Long unavailable in the United States, Godzilla vs. Biollante was one of the most sought after films for collectors and kaiju aficionados. With a brand-new monster never before seen, Godzilla vs. Biollante breathed new life into the legacy of Godzilla while utilizing fresh ideas and taking the series into new territory. Emphasizing new elements like paranormal stratagem, conflicting human factions, and the then new and unknown technology of genetics, the film is among the better entries of the era and certainly one of the better films of the franchise as a whole.
Much better than typical performances by a large cast show a wide view of the effects of a Godzilla attack and the response fmif such an occurrence were to happen. Preventive measures are pursued and threats come from places other than nuclear powered lizards. An interesting element was the villification of corporations. Produced at the cusp of the economic bubble popping in Japan, the film showcases excess but also warns against big and numbers driven companies. Another element I was impressed with was the initial conflict between JDSF members; those who defeated Godzilla at the beginning of the film and the younger member now in charge with.new tools and expertise. While full of friction initially, there is a passing of the torch of sorts that seems to have occurred behind the scenes as well as on screen.
Production on the film is very good with very interesting monster designs for Biollante and a classic look for Godzilla. Photography is very clean and while the 80s markers were somewhat out of place, it was a nostalgic to see these in a film that could very well have been produced today. A change in setting was also very.nice to see, and Osaka serves as a fine battleground. A visit to the famous Umeda Sky building also served that story as well as providing interesting locales. Music is solid and I particularly enjoyed the synthesizer fueled rendition of the Godzilla theme early on in the film. It’s a great score and also one of the better efforts by acclaimed composer Koichi Sugiyama.
In the end, Godzilla vs. Biollante is a well composed and very entertaining entry in the storied history of the Godzilla franchise. A lot of fun and willing to play with convention, the film has a lot to offer to long time fans as well as those viewing it for the first time. Certainly one of the best kaiju films made in my lifetime, this is one for Godzilla and SF fans alike.
You may enjoy this if you like Agito, Godzilla Vs. Destroyah, and or Gamera: Guardian of the Universe