Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

General Information

Director: Kazuki Ohmori

Writer: Kazuki Ohmori

Cast: Kunihiko Mitamura, Yoshiko Tanaka, Masanobu Takashima, Koji Takahashi, Toru Minegishi, Megumi Odaka, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Ryunosuke Kaneda, Kazuma Matsubara, Yoshiko Kuga, Yasunori Yuge, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Haruko Sagara, Koichi Ueda, Kosuke Toyohara, Katsuhiko Sasaki, Hirohisa Nakata, Kenzo Hagiwara, Kenpachiro Satsuma, Masashi Takegumi, Yoshitaka Kimura, Shigeru Shibazaki, Demon Kogure, Kurt Cramer, Derrick Holmes, Beth Blatt, Robert Corner, Abdallah Helal, Manjot Bedi, Brien Uhl, Kenji Hunt, Hiroshi Inoue, Tetsu Kawai, Makiyo Kuroiwa, Hiromi Matsukawa, Kyoka Suzuki, Isao Takeno, Shin Tatsuma, Koji Yamanaka, Takashi Hunt, Iden Yamanral, Satoru Kawai, Ryota Yoshimitsu, Yasunori Yumiya, Kazuma Matsuoica, Soleiman Mehdizade, Shu Minagawa, Shoichiro Sakata, Kazuyuki Senba, Noboru Tatsuma, Yuki Saito, Kazue Ikura, and Kazuki Ohmori

Composer: Koichi Sugiyama

Release Date: 12/16/1989

MPAA Rating: PG

 

Overview

Five years after the reemergence of Godzilla, Dr. Genichiro Shiragama (Koji Takahashi) engineers a new lifeform known as Biollante—an abomination created from the cells of a rose, Godzilla, and Dr. Shiragama’s late daughter Erika (Yasuko Godzilla vs. BiollanteSawaguchi). Meanwhile, Godzilla is accidentally freed from his volcanic prison, enabling him to confront Biollante near the Japanese coastline.

The second installment in the Heisei series, Godzilla vs. Biollante combines riveting monster action with a mad scientist theme. This film may, however, evoke criticism for its languid pacing, unfocused narrative, and anticlimactic finale.

 

Pros

For retaining the dark and haunting tone established in The Return of Godzilla, Godzilla vs. Biollante deserves commendation from fans of Toho’s kaiju eiga Godzilla vs. Biollantefranchise. The musical soundtrack of Koichi Sugiyama, for example, includes a number of selections from Akira Ifukube’s original Godzilla composition, allowing the king of monsters to maintain a sinister presence while rampaging through Tokyo. Also worth praising is the BioGoji suit, the mammalian eyes of which convey the menace, intelligence, and deliberate malice that one would expect of a monster with anthropomorphic attributes.

 

Cons

Godzilla vs. Biollante is marred by three extraneous subplots: the introduction of a new Super X model; Biollante’s telepathic bond with a woman named Miki Saegusa (Megumi Odaka); and a drawn-out rivalry between two organizations, one AmericanGodzilla vs. Biollante and the other Middle Eastern, whose agents attempt to steal the cells of Godzilla—all superfluous additions to an otherwise engaging, well-written monster movie.

 

Analysis

Similar to the anti-nuclear sentiment of Gojira, Godzilla vs. Biollante’s commentary on the potential dangers of bioengineering—a new concept in the 1980s—serves to mirror the concerns, both practical and ethical, embodied by members of the real-world scientific community.

 

Concluding Comments

Godzilla vs. Biollante should be noted for its high-quality destruction footage, thought-provoking science fiction elements, and non-formulaic approach to a daikaiju conflict. Creature feature buffs and sci-fi/horror enthusiasts may therefore enjoy this offering, mild camp factor notwithstanding.

 

Overall Quality: 7/10

 

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