Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)
aka Gojira vs. Biorante
Article 5505 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Kazuki Ohmori
Featuring Kunihiko Mitamura, Yoshiko Tanaka, Masanobu Takashima
What it is: Kaiju
When Godzilla reappears, the leaders of Japan must contend with finding a way to destroy it, but the situation is complicated by the appearance of a giant plant monster.
Whatever else you can say about this sequel to GODZILLA 1985, it does manage to accomplish three things. The movie has an adult air that sets it apart from the juvenile approach that generally took over the original series. It also comes up with an interesting and bizarre new monster in Biollante. It also works towards being a part of a whole series rather than just a stand-alone movie; it follows up plot developments from the earlier movie and sets up new ones for later movies to pursue. Godzilla himself also feels less mechanical this time out. On the down side, the story is cluttered with too many characters and subplots; at times, you’re not sure which characters are important and which story lines to follow, though you’ll probably be most successful if you concentrate on Dr. Shiragama and the development of Biollante. Certainly, I’d trade the three-way battle among various espionage agents for the Godzilla cells for some more development of the idea that we have a monster that is developed through a combination of plant, human and monster cells. The movie would also feature the first appearance of the Miki Saegusa character (a young woman with ESP) who would appear throughout this series. The movie certainly has a lot going on, but it’s one of those movies that, by the end of it, you’re not sure just how much of what has happened really matters. It’s an interesting and ambitious entry into the series, but it could have benefited from a little streamlining and trimming.