Okay. *cracks fingers* Here we go.
Godzilla vs. Biollante, quite possibly my favorite of all Godzilla films. I love many others for different reasons, but whenever raving about Godzilla in general, I never fail to mention this one. Now, to a Godzilla fan, I could still very well understand this not being their cup of tea. It's very different from any other title in any series, IMO. However, I would have preferred that the Heisei series continued to progress like this film for many reasons.
You really have many different portrayals of Godzilla throughout the decades. The original "King of the Monsters" and "Godzilla Raids Again" movies had a certain method to their execution of Godzilla. With the memory of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki still fresh in the memories of the Japanese people, the creation of Godzilla sort of gave a face to that very real horror, being a result of the nuclear fallout. The way he would reduce entire modern cities to ruble, leaving nothing but nuclear fallout and death in his path, sort of personified a modern day, real-life horror faced at the time. This was an effective manor in creating a classic.
In many ways, Cloverfield mimics this trick, with the 9/11 attacks still fresh in the minds of New Yorkers, the movie itself took that psychological aspect of a real terror that took place, and used it as a scare tactic for the film. The very scene in the beginning when what looked like the Chrysler Building went down, the dust cloud sequence, and then that general feeling of being trapped in the city, and not knowing what's going on, even though you know for sure, that you're under attack, but you don't know by what, and for what reason, or when it will end, or if its safe to try to escape on the bridges...
Ahem, a bit sidetracked there, but yes, Godzilla was the post nuclear attack horror story. But somewhere, it all went aloof. Godzilla started playing boulder volley ball with King Kong and Rodan, and fighting aliens from outer space, complete with the frisbee on a fishing pole flying saucers. Not to say there was anything wrong with these Showa series films. I've seen em all, and have been entertained by most of them. As long as you have an open mind and some popcorn, nothing beats watching Godzilla fly-kick Megalon as Jet Jaguar holds em like a wrestler.
But after twenty years of this slapstick monster humor, Godzilla 1985 was a breath of fresh air. It ignored all predecessors aside from the original, and used modern day production to create another memorable classic. Godzilla was scary again. And it once again took advantage of real life, modern day politics and war situations to build the plot around. This time it being the Cold War. During this time, a real life fear of nuclear annihilation plagued most of the modern world, due to the tension building between the two Nuclear super powers, the US, and the USSR. Drills taking place in high schools for a hypothetical nuclear attack. So once again writers capitalize in this modern fear for their movie. Godzilla in and of himself is a living nuclear weapon. And tensions between the US and USSR finally provoke a nuclear strike as the world fears.
These movies, "Godzilla King of the Monsters," "Godzilla Raids Again," and "Godzilla 1985" all share the similar aspects of trying to convince the audience that "this could really happen." Of course, we all know that giant, fire breathing lizards don't exist, and that the science behind it is in fact "science fiction." But they attempt as best as they can to back up what is happening with at least semi-realistic science, combined with the horror of real life current events to try to make fantasy seem like reality. No giant butterflies with magic fairy dust, no three-headed dragons controlled by little green men from mars. No boulder volley ball, no cheesy exaggerated physics(like the Godzilla vs Megalon leg drop, or the Godzilla vs "the Smog Monster" Hedora's fire breath flight rocket).
And now, comes along Godzilla vs. Biollante. Perhaps the most unique Godzilla film, because they stay true to the formula of who(or what) Godzilla is from the original KotM, GRA, and G1985 formulas, but still pit him against a monster in a "vs" themed movie. Now we can say that Godzilla Raids Again did this with Anguirus, but that movie was really not so much about the outcome of that fight. In fact, it had little to do with the story since Anguirus' puny carcass was disposed of halfway through the film... because he sucks. It was pretty much just the original Godzilla with another monster thrown in there in an attempt to make it different from the last film, which it really kinda wasn't.
Godzilla vs. Biollante is a movie with the end fight being the main event. And yet nothing about the plot was light hearted or silly. Nor did they attempt to dumb it down with a G Rating. Godzilla was portrayed as the same serious, destructive nuclear force rather than some silly mascot, or as in later Heisei films "a creature with a soul that needed to be understood(even though he's probably built up a bigger body count than Hitler at this point)." The plot itself, while no so much capitalizing on real current warfare events as much as previously mentioned films, was still serious, realistic, and interesting. Secret corporate warfare over new scientific developments that can shift the balance of power in the world. Agents assassinating spies and scientists left and right. The monster itself being a clone fusion of Godzilla and plant cells. While of course not scientifically accurate, I buy it a lot more than the nonsense surrounding the origins of Mothra and King Ghidorah in the Heisei series.
And I actually did enjoy the music. It was ominous when it needed to be, and emotional at the right times. Eerie during the first defeat of Biollante, and dramatic for Biollante's final departure.
Now like any movie, yes, it was flawed. I personally could have done without the whole "Erika's spirit" plot line. I mean, the whole concept of Erika's spirit being in Biollante, and the ESP was sort of left up in the air for most of the movie as to whether or not it was real, or whether Dr. Shirigami was just losing his mind after the death of his daughter. But the whole "floating head of Erika" scene during Biollante's departure into space was just a total buzz kill at the end that sort of takes away a lot of the movie's credibility for trying to stay semi realistic and serious.
Also, they seemed to put a lot more care into this movie. While yes, some military vehicles were fake, we did for the most part have lots of footage of real helicopters, planes, etc. as opposed to obvious toy models throughout, like in the following Heisei series films.
And then of course you had Biollante itself. Sure, today we can just CG animate our hearts away to create a monster in modern cinema, but to me, nothing beats puppet work, suits, and animatronics. I still believe that they are a superior means of creation over CG animation, and if done right, can look much more realistic than anything CG animated. Sure, Godzilla movies aren't the best example for anything in terms of special effects, but I still feel that GC animated anything just doesn't fool anyone, and in more cases just looks more cartoony and out of place than convincing. That being said, we have Biollante, and the time period. At this point in time we have never seen Godzilla face anything quite like Biollante. Godzilla for the most part was taking on creatures his size or smaller. Now we have Biollante, a monster that fits nearly half of Godzilla's body in its mouth, and overall, dwarfs the lizard. Biollante, at this point in all of the Godzilla series was Godzilla's most terrifying foe yet. One scary good guy. Imagine yourself in the military at that time, trying to take out Godzilla, and then THAT thing shows up? Even though Godzilla was the bad guy, I was kind of hoping for humanity that he defeated Biollante, because that thing did not look nor seem friendly... Erika's spirit or not. And I personally much more practically see myself wanting to deal with taking down Godzilla over a giant Biollante terrorizing Tokyo.
All of that being said, I really wish that the Heisei series had stayed true to its formula after Godzilla vs. Biollante. Everything in the Heisei series that followed was just as cheesy and laughable(perhaps even more cheesy) than most films in the Showa series. Once GvKG rolled along, they took everything that made the previous two movies special, stomped them to the ground, and went right back to making silly movies again. The Godzilla and Mothra movie solidified the burial of these two gems by replacing Godzilla's new deep, intimidating roar with the whiny Showa series roar from before. And I'm really not trying to bash the Showa series. It's provided 20 years of great entertainment. But if they were gonna go ahead and start a new series, make it something different. Do thing that we have never seen before. Godzilla vs. Biollante did things that we had never seen before, and I was excited to see how they would take it to the next level in future films. Instead, they just set themselves back in the rest of the Heisei films. Back in the 60's they had an excuse for the overly cheesy plots, and horrible special effects. Mainly... it was the 60's. In the early 90's you have movies like Jurassic Park in the US showing what modern day special effects were currently capable of. And then you had that god awful dinosaur in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah that would even make a child laugh. *sigh*