Godzilla Vs. King Gidorah from 1991 attempted to recapture the box office lost by the artistic and atmospheric predecessor Godzilla Vs. Biollante by returning a lighter touch and classic monsters to the overall Toho mix. But this time with rebooted origins and backgrounds, something comic book fans should be well comfortable with.
The story is a creaky one but begins with a tale from World War II in which a band of Japanese soldiers are stranded on an isolated island toward the end of the war when the United States was pressing the attack into the Pacific. These desperate men were saved from certain death when the U.S. soldiers were killed a ferocious dinosaur who seemingly dies in the battle. The Japanese soldiers hold the dinosaur in esteem and later it is speculated that this dinosaur must've been the creature which became Godzilla.
Then time travelers show up and they purport to come from a future when Japan is the economic master of the world and for reasons which don't even make sense in the story they seek to go back further in time and undo the events which will result in Godzilla's creation. To that end they enlist three humans to go with them to witness the changes and they move the dinosaur and leave behind three cute critters called "Dorats".
When they return to our time (1991) they find that the world has changed and Godzilla is seemingly gone and has been replaced by King Ghidorah (the result of the mutated Dorats) and they use his might to attempt to conquer present day Earth and rule the future as well. But Godzilla has survived and even thrived and he confronts Ghidorah and ultimately defeats him and the future people are betrayed by one of their own and a deadly cyborg who is programmed to fight against them. Even Ghidorah returning from the future armed with cyborg parts is no match for the Big G.
In the end Ghidorah is seemingly dead, the Future Men are seemingly destroyed in an atomic blast, and the future of Japan is secure. Also Godzilla is even more powerful than before so that plan backfired big time.
It's a hectic mess of a movie with some fun bits and pieces but overall difficult to engage with. The shout outs to other movies of the time like Back to the Future and Terminator are too obvious to ignore and in fact get in the way of the overall effectiveness of this movie. There is so much derivative material that it's actually distracting. King Ghidorah is a favorite of mine and it's fun to see him and Godzilla mash it up as always and this is pretty good fight, though to my mind Ghidorah is defeated a bit too easily. It does though prove to be a movie with importance for future installments.
More to come.