GODZILLA VS. KING GHIDORAH

(1991)
(Japanese Title: Gojira vs. Kingu Gidorani-sen mireniamu)
With Kosuki Toyohara, Anna Nakagawa, Megumi Odaka, Katsuhiko Sasaki, Kenji Sahara, Yoshio Tsuchiya
Directed by Kazuki Omori
Reviewed by JB

This review is based on the International-dubbed version of the film.

Bobbing for boats     This film was originally going to pit Godzilla against King Kong, but Ted Turner's price for leasing the Kong character proved too much for Toho, so instead they brought back Godzilla's most popular adversary, the three-headed King Ghidorah.  Unfortunately, they also brought back much of the silliness of such previous Ghidorah entries as GHIDORAH THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER and MONSTER ZERO.  

    The plot, such as it is, resembles the sound collage George Martin once made for The Beatles by cutting up a tape into little pieces, throwing it up in the air and splicing it back together at random.  Time Travelers from the future come to Japan to tell them that they must go back further in time to prevent a dinosaur on Lagos Island from becoming Godzilla so that the world of the future can be protected from a nuclear accident Godzilla will cause in the near future. The Japanese authorities, gullible as they always seem to be whenever space travelers arrive and start making demands, go along with this plan.  Of course, as it always is with these kinds of visitors, their story is a ruse.  What they really want to do is prevent Japan from becoming the only world power in thge future, and so by preventing Godzilla from becoming Godzilla, they will have effectively removed Japan's protector and can unleash King Ghidorah on Japan and destroy it.  I assume you are either following all this or have gone switched to our Harry Potter or Super Heroes section by now.  If you are still following this,  I will continue...

    The Japanese authorities find a way to create Godzilla anyway, and Godzilla battles and eventually vanquishes King Ghidorah.  But it seems that this new Godzilla is not as friendly as the Godzilla they used to know (you know, the one that now never existed and thus should be unknown to everyone).  When it starts destroying Japan, the Japanese come up with a new plan - go to the future and bring back King Ghidorah.... ow, ow, ow!  My head really hurts now!

    The ridiculous plot wouldn't be all bad if Godzilla had more of a part in it, but unfortunately the monster action doesn't really get going until the movies final half hour, by which time most of the tenuous good will the movie has fitfully built up has disipated.  It doesn't help that the internation dubbing seems to intentionally bring back all the silly quirks of the the earlier films while adding a few new ones.  So we get older men characters taking in too-husky voices, and there's plenty of stop-start dialog ("So we.  Would like you to help us."). Over-exposition rules the day as conversations wind around themselves and everybody restates the obvious twice. Several characters even have an Australian accent, and one has the breathy eleocution of Jack Haley in THE WIZARD OF OZ.  The film often seems more interested in aping STAR WARS and THE TERMINATOR than telling a good Godzilla story.  The special effects are touch and go.  Need I go on?  Overall, a disappointment. 2 - JB


OKAY, BUT WHO'S ON FIRST?

"So the UFO is..."
"Men of your time would call our ship a time machine.  But not us.  We call it our mother ship."
"So... this ship is a time machine."
"Yes, it was invented 200 years from now.  It is of great use to us."
"So... so you're from the future!"

STATING THE OBVIOUS

Beautiful Japanese girl appears: "I'm Japanese."

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