Review | Godzilla vs. Biollante

Review | Godzilla vs. Biollante
Review | Godzilla vs. Biollante
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Shinichiro Kobayashi’s concept for the sequel The Return of Godzilla (1984) was put into production at Toho following a competition by the studio. Although the details of this idea were largely modified, the creation of Biollante, the presence of a girl with psychic powers and the solemn and conciliatory ending between monster and humanity were maintained, giving an unflattering break in the tension generated by the industrial espionage story. As a starting point, we are in the moments immediately after the end of the 1984 film, with laboratory workers trying to find genetic clues to Godzilla’s destructive passage through the city. But there are also mercenaries from the terrorist organization Bio-Major, who throughout the film will face several setbacks in their actions to steal the lizard’s “G cells”.

Written by three directors, the film starts well, but loses much of its quality with the insertion of overly solemn elements, which tip over into melodrama. Although diluted on a more serious basis, this context is so contrasting with the whole that it ends up generating a niche reception: on the one hand, the group that loved what they saw; on the other, those who hated the result. Here it is more difficult to find a middle ground. But despite the strangeness at first, we can’t say that it’s a bad idea. There is a cohesive principle with the genetic search of industries. Young Erica is doing botanical research, and her death ends up driving three things: her geneticist father into research involving his daughter’s roses; the idea of ​​plant communication and, additionally, the proposal to create a bacteria that could kill or intensely injure the King of Monsters.

Involving official and parallel laboratories, governments of fictional countries, terrorists and spies in a fight for the production of chemical weapons or access to genetic material of kaiju, it is clear that the film will create immense expectations among the public. Precisely for this reason the supernatural line, with the young woman with psychic powers and all the mystique linked to Erica and her (possible? Temporary? Partial?) soul connection with Biollante poisons the film. These are concepts that would work very well in a Mothra film, but not in a Godzilla film whose dramatic basis is considerably far from these ideas, from the art direction and design of the ships, technological centers and research sites, to the intentions of the characters and what they allow themselves to do to achieve their goals.

It is interesting, however, the presence of a villain who originates from something in our everyday lives, something we haven’t had in the franchise since Hedorah, the monster made of trash. The ingredient of “ecological horror” that permeates Biollante’s creation and even the design and skills of the kaiju are very good, as are his fights with Godzilla, which unfortunately are short and lose impact, as the editing decided to cut them to show the mysterious uselessness of the human core. The script, however, seeks to close its ideas by embracing industrial espionage, the psychic girl and the spirit of Erica living (?) in Biollante, borrowing a lot from the atmosphere of the Mothra films, as already mentioned, and leaving us in a ambiguous conciliation with the atomic lizard. It is proposed that Godzilla has learned that there are beings capable of confronting him and that he must retreat in some cases. But nothing indicates that there will be a change in the character’s treatment. This makes the end of the film a very strange fable with moral nuances coming from the destructive animals, a very sweet flirtation with the “children’s films” from the Showa Era. And that, not even close or far away, is a compliment.

Godzilla vs. Biollante (ゴジラVSビオランテ / Gojira Tai Biorante) — Japan, 1989
Direction: Kazuki Ômori, Koji Hashimoto, Kenjirô Ohmori
Road map: Shinichiro Kobayashi, Shin’ichi Sekizawa, Kazuki Ômori
Cast: Kunihiko Mitamura, Yoshiko Tanaka, Masanobu Takashima, Kôji Takahashi, Tôru Minegishi, Megumi Odaka, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Ryûnosuke Kaneda, Kazuma Matsubara, Yoshiko Kuga, Yasunori Yuge, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Haruko Sagara, Kôichi Ueda, Kôsuke Toyohara, Katsuhiko Sasaki, Hirohisa Nakata , Kenzo Ogiwara, Kenpachirô Satsuma
Duration: 104 min.


The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Review Godzilla Biollante

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