Director: Kazuki Ohmori
Writer: Kazuki Ohmori
Cast: Kosuke Toyohara, Anna Nakagawa, Megumi Odaka, Katsuhiko Sasaki, Akiji Kobayashi, Tokuma Nishioka, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Chuck Wilson, Richard Berger, Robert Scott Field, Kenji Sahara, Kiwako Harada, Koichi Ueda, So Yamamura, Yasunori Yuge, Kent Gilbert, Daniel Kahl, Kenpachiro Satsuma, ‘Hurricane Ryu’ Hariken, and Wataru Fukuda
Composer: Akira Ifukube
Release Date: 12/14/1991
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Claiming that a nuclear catastrophe will destroy Japan in the 21st century, Futurians travel to Lagos Island during World War II, locate Godzillasaurus, and prevent him from transforming into Godzilla—the cause of said nuclear catastrophe. As a result, the citizens of Tokyo remain unprotected against King Ghidorah—now under the control of the traitorous Futurians. After a new Godzilla emerges to defeat King Ghidorah, only Mecha-King Ghidorah can defend Japan from its former guardian.
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah deserves criticism for its cartoonish elements, logical inconsistencies, and cringe-worthy performances from the American cast members. Japanese monster buffs may, however, enjoy this film for its epic daikaiju battles and tongue-in-cheek references to popular science fiction movies.
Though more child-friendly than prior installments in the Heisei series, this film portrays Godzilla as a mindless, destructive creature who, despite inadvertently defending Japan against a dangerous foe, acts only in the interest of self-preservation—a dark and disturbing twist on Godzilla’s “protective” instincts; and one that allows King Ghidorah, eventually equipped with many cybernetic enhancements, to make an uncharacteristic face turn in the final act.
Upon erasing Godzilla from history, the Futurians nullify the events of Gojira, The Return of Godzilla, and Godzilla vs. Biollante. Nevertheless, the human characters appear unaffected by the drastic changes to the timeline, even comparing the second Godzilla to his original (and now nonexistent) counterpart.
Kaiju eiga fans may also take issue with the new King Ghidorah, here presented as a mutated version of three individual Dorats—adorable, pet-like creatures who bear only a passing resemblance to the three-headed dragon of Toho fame. The Showa-era films, in contrast, introduce King Ghidorah as a mysterious and malevolent beast originating from outer space.
Often criticized for its ostensibly anti-American sentiments, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah exploits a then relevant concern over the potential for Japan—having neared the peak of its economic progress during the production of this film—to surpass the United States as a world superpower.
By combining monster movie tropes with the narrative structure of Back to the Future Part II, this offering may appeal to enthusiasts of the sci-fi/fantasy crossover genre. Casual viewers, on the other hand, should likely avoid Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah for its juvenile plot devices and convoluted time travel aspects.
Overall Quality: 6/10
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