Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991)
Godzilla is back. This time, it's for good!
The interesting thing one notices as time goes on is that each of these Godzilla movies seems to have a unique spin to the human side of things. In last weeks GvsB, there was a very espionage / secret agents feel to what was going on. This week things are a bit different, but the glue that holds these films together is undoubtable Godzilla himself - no matter what happens, at some point the threat of Godzilla rises to the forefront. As an added bonus, this is the first of the Godzilla flicks to really go into the history of Godzilla, outside of just "nuclear lizard."
Godzilla is still sleeping off the event's of last movie's fight against Biollante and the anti-nuclear bacteria in the waters near Japan. Japan is going about it's business when one day a UFO appears. A bit of a craze starts, the UFO catching headlines across the islands, while a writer becomes interested in the strange story of a dinosaur saving a world war 2 soldier regiment. As it turns out, before long these two stories shall actually become intertwined.
The residents of the UFO turn out to in fact be time travellers from the future, come back to save Japan from Godzilla. Their plan, as they tell the Prime Minister, is to travel back in time further and teleport the dinosaur that becomes Godzilla to current times, causing it to not be hit by the nuclear bomb that causes it to become Godzilla. The travellers also allow three people to go back with them (the writer, a member of the ESP center, and a dinosaur expert), and through this we end up seeing the WW2 scene in all it's glory (including little laughs such as Major Spielberg seeing an alien), and in turn see the history of Godzilla. As they go to leave and return to the original time, the travellers leave behind three little pets for some mysterious reason.
Back in present time, Godzilla has indeed disappeared and in his place a new monster - one with three heads and wings - has appeared to terrorize Japan. At this point, the time traveller's true motives come out, and Japan finds itself in big trouble. To make matters worse, Godzilla isn't as non-existent as everyone thought, and this time (having been made through modern nuclear weapons) is back stronger and angrier than he ever has been. Will Japan be able to survive?
Video doesn't seem to be quite as clean as the last movie, strangely enough. For the most part, the suits and effects look fine, but theres a certain murkiness that reappears with two scenes on top of each other (such as Godzillasaurus stomping on soldiers, or top-shots from the spaceship). That being said, the suits still look quite well, and the new and improved Godzilla even comes complete with blinking eyes for close up scenes. The Ghidorah (as a creature) acts a bit strange, in the sense that it's heads always seem to go wherever they feel like (causing a lot of lasers randomly wandering off).
Audio is alright for the english dubbing. When I say alright, I mean that it's passable - watchable even - but still pretty rough around the edges. Some of the acting (as far a the voices go) is pretty strangely done (phrasing, emotional inference), and other lines just feel awkward due to the voice trying to sink up with the mouths of someone speaking in a foreign language (weirdly placed pauses). As far as effect sounds, things are much better off than the dubbing. Soundtrack wise, the original theme once again returns, and there is a nice sized selection of new themes that each prove to be interesting or entertaining. Of the films so far, this is probably the best of the batch for soundtracks.
The plot still contains some of the 'dangers of science' vibe as the others, but it feels much more subdued compared to the time travelling fantasy element, or the amount of respect that the Japanese soldiers give to the Godzillasaurus for saving them (whether it did so intentionally or not). It provides plenty of moments where emotion can be placed - such as the scene when the Japanese soldiers pull out from the Island, or a meeting between Godzilla and one of the soldiers in the present-day of the film. There's also some conflict amongst the time travellers over their goal amongst themselves, as one seems to have been left in the dark by the others.
All in all, it's another fun flick. There's a lot more monster vs monster in this than in the previous movies of the track, so fans of that will thoroughly enjoy it. The time travelling set up elaborates on the history of the main creature itself, which could also prove to be a reason to watch for those interested. Granted, if you aren't a fan of any other Godzilla movies, I don't feel that this one is really going to change your mind (especially with the dubbing job), but for those who already like Godzilla it's plenty worth watching just for the plot elements.