Since I’ve been writing this blog, I tend to watch films with half a mind towards writing them up here. When I’m watching films on my laptop – most of the time – I’m also on the look-out for screenshots, just a handful of images that I can represent the film with. Most of the time this means that, every now and then, I’ll press the screen capture button during a particularly impressive scene, leaving me with a few shots at the end that I can pick and choose between.
When I’m watching a really good film however, I often forget to do this. It’s easy to get so caught up in a good story that suddenly it’s the end of the film and there’re no screenshots. This is a pain of course, as I have to go back and scan through for important scenes or interesting shots.
At the opposite extreme, there are some films where I end up with thousands of screenshots. There are clearly two reasons for this. Either the film has some really impressive visuals (where impressive can mean beautiful, unusual or just downright bizarre) or the film has a ‘plot’ so paper-thin and dull that looking at the pretty pictures and tapping F9 is far more engaging. Sometimes both reasons can be true.
Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla is both interesting in terms of visuals and entirely dull in terms of plot.
|Yep, that's more or less the only conclusion possible.|
Ok, basic plot, such as it is: the army wants to kill Godzilla. They build Moguera, a giant robot (somewhere between MechaGodzilla and Transformers) to do so. Before they do, SpaceGodzilla arrives on Earth. SpaceGodzilla is an alien mutation of Godzilla’s DNA and has arrived on Earth intent on destruction. They all fight a bit.
There are good bits: baby Godzilla is funny as anything and the bonkers lady who hallucinates Mothra comes out with some wonderful lines. She also manages to lift the bed she’s strapped to a couple of feet into the air using her mind, and then explains “it’s telekinesis – I’ve never tried it before”. Must be beginner’s luck, I guess.
|Mothra-hallucinating lady tries to see into Godzilla's head...|
|Moguera, in all his shiny metal transformers-esque beauty.|
The film has been savaged in on-line reviews by Godzilla-philes, who pick out series inconsistencies (BabyGodzilla looks different than in previous films, Godzilla’s atomic breath is the wrong colour, etc.). As should be patently obvious by now, I know nothing much about the Godzilla series: my criticism is that the film is dull.
It’s roughly split into thirds. The first third is all about the characters. It’s dull, but forgivably so; we’re being introduced to people who’ll be important to the plot, right? The next third is easily the best. SpaceGodzilla and Moguera fight in space, SpaceGodzilla arrives on Earth and bullies baby Godzilla (see the video!), SpaceGodzilla turns on Tokyo. The final third though, is rubbish. The three-way battle is long, slow and very boring; the destruction is fun, but for a climactic scene it drags on endlessly. I’d stopped caring long before the end.
I suspect, as with so many films of dubious quality, this one would be a whole lot better if watched whilst tackling a quantity of beer (or drink of choice…).
To close, I’ll quote the important moral of the film, one as relevant today as it was in 1994 (if not more so): “If the universe is polluted, another space monster will arrive pretty soon. [SpaceGodzilla] was a warning to mankind”