Godzilla vs Biollante

Asuka: "Sounds like you wish Godzilla would show up."
Kirishima: "Maybe, but who knows if it'll show up or not? What if we go ahead and make the bacteria and it's a false alarm?"
Asuka: "That would suit me fine. I could do without him."

release year: 1989
genre: Godzilla
viewing setting: home Bluray, 7/22/19

synopsis: Godzilla emerges from the volcano he was sleeping in, and must contend with both advanced human weaponry and a genetically-engineered plant monster.

impressions: This was the second Godzilla movie of the Heisei, or second, era (1984-1995) and the 17th overall. It was a direct sequel to the last one. Noteworthy things from this viewing: good subtitle options on the Bluray disc...some other language subtitles showing up from time to time...a 1.85:1 apsect ratio for the picture...early use of computer graphics...a four-tier alert level for Godzilla activity...the continued good/fierce look for him...biological terrorists...a less-than-menacing-looking assassin...a foreign country trying to steal the research...a girl with ESP powers (who actually seems to be in charge of a schoolroom full of younger kids whose same powers are developing and being measured)...a laptop in a car that can look people up (revolutionary for 1989!)...the Super X2, a new and improved flying fortress that's totally remote-controlled, submersible to 10,000 meters, has the latest TA323 armor which is twice as strong as the old titanium armor, and has missiles and torpedoes too...and also has a fire mirror which reflects Godzilla's breath at a thousand times the power, plus this ship has its name written prominently on its side in cursive script...a giant plant monster (quote: "What you're seeing there is no ordinary plant." Well, no shit.)...Godzilla's out of the volcano and ready to rumble...an all-out naval assault on Godzilla (which has little to no effect)...the 1980s sports car of the assassin dork...the Biollante stalk...Godzilla overloading the fire mirror..."Super X2 is out of action, I guess"...Biollante vomiting green slime on Godzilla...Godzilla's breath absolutely shredding Biollante...Miki's ESP turning Godzilla away!...Godzilla alert level 4...a very orderly evacuation of Osaka.

More high points from the second act of the movie: a pretty clear distinction between the parts of the city Godzilla's walked through vs what lies ahead of him...a rematch between Godzilla and the Super X2...missiles and a Gatling gun...the remote pilot looking like he's playing a video game...the X2 getting knocked down and out fairly early...the 4-bazooka trap including the colonel firing one right into Godzilla's mouth...the colonel then smarting off right in Godzilla's face...Godzilla then casually demolishing the entire building in retaliation...yet another large-scale, last-minute mass construction project...early wire-map computer graphics...the need to heat Godzilla up to make the bacteria work...Biollante's return and evolved form...Biollante's tentacles punching through Godzilla's flesk...Biollante's acidic green vomit...a very confusing battle in which it's not clear what's going on...Godzilla face-planting into the ocean...Biollante randomly turning into fireflies and a girl's spirit...the assassin striking again...and then being disintegrated (step 1, step 2, step 3)...Godzilla waking up and wandering off into the ocean yet again.

There wasn't much battle between the two title characters - an initial skirmish that lasted about five minutes and apparently ended with Godzilla winning, and a rematch that lasted about four minutes and just stopped for no apparent reason, other than that perhaps Biollante got tired. It was really unclear, but at least it was entertaining and more serious in tone than the giant monster fights from the 1970s.

number in Godzilla series: 17

previous Godzilla movie in series: Godzilla Returns

next Godzilla movie in series: Godzilla vs King Ghidorah

other giant monsters appearing in this one: Biollante

total giant monster battle time: about 9 minutes

acting: Main characters: Kirishima, young scientist...Asuka, his girlfriend who's also the daughter of the greedy industrialist CEO guy...Goro, an agent from the defense force...Miki, an ESP girl (who also appears in the next four films, played by the same actress)...Shiragami, the older scientist who splices genes when he shouldn't...the Saradian agent, who wears weightlifting gloves along with a suit and tie, at all times...Kuroki, young super-serious guy who's in charge of remote-piloting the X2 and also knows about all the secret new weapons technologies.

final word: a bit short on battle, but entertaining, with a somewhat different kind of foe for Godzilla

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