Monday, June 9, 2014

The Litany of Godzilla: Heisei Series Part Two- Changing Continuity

Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Hey, Ifukube’s back again.  This is fantastic.  While the Eighties Hair Metal Guitar versions of themes in the last film were interesting, they don’t fit the new dark, brooding, and mystical Godzilla very well.

It is the year 2204, and King Ghidorah’s body, with one head blown off is found on the ocean floor.  Don’t worry; this story is crazy enough to be full of surprises even with that ruined.

In 1992 we meet Serious Artsy Writer.  There’s a UFO sighting, and also a Crazy Old Guy in a museum going on about how a dinosaur saved his squad and it will always be around to protect them.

Serious Artsy Writer is way more interested in writing about the latter than the former.  The government disagrees.  Miki comes back to report on Godzilla, still unmoving under the ocean after the anti-nuclear-energy-bacteria…or possibly the epic butt-whooping he got from Biollante.

Serious Artsy Writer follows Crazy Old Guy dinosaur story, because Lagos Island (where it happened) is now gone because of the 1954 Bikini Atoll H-bomb Test.  Yes, Serious Artsy Writer is unearthing Godzilla’s origin story.  He goes to talk to Old Garrison Commander of Lagos, and current owner of the company that runs “Dinosaur World.”  Old Garrison Commander thinks the idea of a surviving dinosaur is crazy, until the Godzilla creation theory is mentioned. Then, he not only admits the whole thing is true, but hands over pictures.   A Paleontologist confirms the dinosaurness of the photos.

Despite the fact that the first thing the UFO did when it landed near Mount Fuji was blow up some helicopters, everyone’s fine with calmly meeting with the inhabitants.  They’re not aliens; they’re a bunch of Americans from 2204, and Future Japanese Girl.   They claim to have come to save Japan from being made completely uninhabitable by Godzilla’s upcoming attack. To convince everyone, they’ve brought Serious Artsy Writer’s Godzilla book that he hasn’t written yet.

The leisure suit wearing future people’s plan is to use their time machine to go back to Lagos Island, and remove the dinosaur, (a Gojirasaurus, naturally) preventing the creation of Godzilla.  Only Future Japanese Girl and their American android, (in case you missed the Terminator similarities) go back to 1944, in a little extra time ship they brought along, for just such an occasion.
They need the Paleontologist, Miki, and Serious Artsy Writer to go with them.  It’s not clear why, because, except for Miki confirming the dinosaur is Godzilla- y’know in case there were some other dinosaurs in the pacific in 1944, the guests don’t do anything.

They head back in time wearing space pajamas, and brining three cute little Dorats, “In case we get lost they can cheer us up.” Thanks for that Future Japanese Girl.  The Dorats are adorable little fluff balls, with fangs…and very familiar looking golden wings, scales and tails.

There’s some Bionic Man reconnaissance by the Android, an aliens/Major Spielberg joke that’s a bit forced, and a great many scenes of the noble brave Japanese soldiers holding off attacks by the nasty Americans.
(Making clear, again, why this very cool and interconnected series of Godzilla films got very little exposure stateside.)

The dinosaur shows up to save the Japanese right on cue, but looks to be killed by a major naval barrage, punctuated by a, “Take that you dinosaur!” 

Aside:  It's worth noting at this point that the American military put in this film by Toho to poke fun at say less foolish sounding things than the ones added by New World when "enhancing" The Return Of Godzilla, who said things like, "Wonder lizard is toast."  

Proto-Godzilla rises to smoosh the American marines, before collapsing again.  The Japanese salute him, Miki confirms his identity, and Android beams him to the Bering Strait. 

Before leaving, Future Japanese Girl dumps the Dorats.  Miki notices they’re gone, but still doesn’t “sense” anything amiss. I guess her power only works on plants and giant monsters…how useful.

The Dorats, instead of the dinosaur get hit with the H-bomb and become King Ghidorah.  Just like they could control the Dorats, the future people can control the three headed golden dragon, and proceed to have him destroy the now Godzilla-less Japan.

Yes, they’re Evil Americans from the future. (One may be an Evil Russian, with the dubbing and the leisure suits, it's hard to tell.) Future Japanese Girl’s all upset.  She was a member of a group trying to equalize world power. In the future; Japan is more powerful than all other nations combined. She believed their mission was of redistribution, not annihilation.  Future Japanese Girl’s not evil, just stupid.  When Future Japanese Girl sneaks out of the UFO to warn Serious Artsy Writer, she’s followed by Android, who is wearing sunglasses at night to hide his identity, and make sure you get the Terminator references.

Old Garrison Commander see’s King Ghidorah wrecking his city and vows revenge. He knows Godzilla will protect them.  In fact everyone remembers Godzilla and only noticed that he vanished from the place in the sea he was resting when King Ghidorah showed up.  They also talk about how the mission erased him from history. Honestly, this tale makes the saga of Marty McFly seem like the pinnacle of logic.

Luckily (if that is the right word) Old Garrison Commander’s company has a secret nuclear submarine full of missiles. Y’know since Japan itself can’t have one, but just in case it needed one.  The plan (which I am not making up) is to have it sail into the Bering Strait and shoot the dinosaur with enough nuclear explosions to make a new Godzilla.

The problem with this plan (aside from it being really stupid and contrary to pretty much every convention of time travel) is that Miki can feel Godzilla in all his Godzillaness.  A Russian nuclear sub sank in the Bering Strait a while ago, already performing their crazy plan.  Also, they see Godzilla puttering around the coast of Alaska via satellite.  Why the crew and owner of the submarine are shocked when Godzilla destroys it to suck all the energy from its crushed hull is yet another mystery.

To make sure the three people left who haven’t gotten the Terminator references are covered, the Android has a rough and tumble car chase after Future Japanese Girl and Serious Artsy Writer, where his car explodes and he emerges from the fire with several of his metal bits exposed.  He brings Future Japanese Girl back home to the Future Evil American mother ship, where she quickly reprograms him. I guess everyone else on the bridge took a coffee break right after her passionate rant about what they were doing being wrong.

A helicopter flies Miki out to psychically peek at Godzilla from close up, which she does.  King Ghidorah continues to blow up Japanese stuff under the control of the Future Leisure Suited Evil Americans…but Godzilla’s finally back on his home turf folks!

He’s also a hundred meters tall now and barrel chested, because the Russian sub had way more nuclear energy than a vintage H-bomb.  This is made obviously clear when he is seen dwarfing the high tension wires that used to be his height in the old films.

The Evil Leisure Suited Future Americans throw a hissy fit, because they didn’t study history well enough, and send King Ghidorah, who’s still larger than economy sized Godzilla, into action.  Old Garrison Commander talks about the returned football field sized behemoth being his savior, showing he’s completely gone off the deep end.

This new serious Godzilla is way too cool for fisticuffs, and trades energy blasts with his three headed foe. King Ghidorah, not caring about public opinion of his past, goes for a flying kick to the face and then jumps up and down on the King of Monsters.

This gets interrupted by the Android, Future Japanese Girl and Serious Artsy Writer blowing up the King Ghidorah control system.  Godzilla seizes the opportunity, while his opponent sparks a bit, to go for ye olde tail slam.

Our heroes advance to the bridge, where the Evil Leisure Suited Future Americans laugh at them for several reasons.
1) Other androids stop their attack.
2) Now that the ship is damaged, it will automatically return to the future when the countdown is done.
3) New super giant Godzilla isn’t friendly, and Japan is screwed anyway.

The reprogrammed Android saves the other two and they escape in the little time ship, which they use to teleport the Mother Ship before Time Warp.

Over at the Kaiju battle in Sapporo, Godzilla decides being bit is the last straw, breathes off King Ghidorah’s middle head, and blows holes in his wings.

We then learn where the Mother Ship was teleported…
Right in Godzilla’s face.

Buh-Bye Evil Leisure Suited Future Americans.

Now the only problem is extra huge, grouchy Godzilla meandering around Japan.  The Android computes a 91% probability that he will attack Tokyo.  Like we really needed a robot to figure that out?

The army rolls out the cool looking laser tanks with their groovy theme to protect the capitol.  Big surprise, they don’t.  Oh sure, they get a couple good blasts at Godzilla’s head when his increased mass makes him fall into a subway station. But then it’s pretty much toast city for all of them.

In yet another staggeringly insane plan (which I am still not making up), Future Japanese Girl and the Android head back to the opening scene in 2204, where because the ocean is cold…or something, King Ghidorah’s heart still beats.

Back in 1992, things are not going well for Tokyo.

Old Garrison Commander stays in his office, soliloquizing about some high level honor bound irony and how everything he had is owed to the dinosaur that protected him, and now it’s all being destroyed by the same thing.

Godzilla looks through his window so that their gazes meet eye to eye. The Big G remembers being saluted when he was wounded in 1944 and has a wonderful emotional connection with Old Garrison Commander.

Nah, just kidding.

He breathes right on the guy and then stomps his building into dust…and much of Tokyo after that.

In a giant mass of shiny, sparkly, flashy awesomness, MECHA KING GHIDORAH flies in. Future Japanese Girl’s at the controls, and the Android appears to be the on board computer.

Its initial cyber augmented blasts knock Godzilla on his scaly butt; however, the roboticized dragon doesn’t seem to do any better against the radioactive breath weapon.  Then Future Japanese Girl deploys the Godzilla Grip (electrified manacles) and the Giant Hand (Electrified Giant Grabby Thing).  They hold Godzilla long enough to fly him out to sea.  Well, almost.

He breathes and blasts the snot out of Mecha King Ghidorah, making them both fall into the ocean.  Future Japanese Girl ejects at the last minute and tells Serious Artsy Writer, who she’s been flirting with the entire movie, that he’s her ancestor.  Not only is she really stupid, she’s really icky.

Just before the fade to black, Godzilla wakes up under water, next to one of two Ghidorah corpses, now that I think about it.

No comments: