Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (Review)
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus
aka Gojira tai Megagirasu: Ji shometsu sakusen aka Godzilla vs. Megaguirus: The G Annihilation Strategy
Misato Tanaka as Kiriko Tsujimori
Shosuke Tanihara as Hajime Kudo
Masato Ibu as Motohiko Sugiura
Yuriko Hoshi as Yoshino Yoshizawa
Toshiyuki Nagashima as Takuji Miyagawa
Tsutomu Kitagawa as Godzilla
Minoru Watanabe as Megaguirus
Directed by Masaaki Tezuka
Godzilla fights a giant bug! Sound familiar? Because most of this movie is, and has been done before much better. There are a few nice scenes, but for the most part the movie is just a pale imitation of its forbearers, a legacy it can never hope to be part of. The second film of the “Millennium” series (Shinsei series), where the story can ignore continuity at will to make things however they want. Sure, that allowed this movie to potentially do some neat things, but in the end, they just floundered with them, and the whole thing fizzled.
Godzilla attacks the mainland periodically, but as they only follow the first film, Godzilla can attack whenever they want him to. Godzilla’s main foe is Megaguirus, who is one of the lamest monsters. So far, the Millennium series does have one point of continuity: they all created crappy new villains for Big G. Eventually they just gave up and went back to reusing older monsters, for much better effect. Until then, we have to deal with this Megaguirus. Megaguirus is a large, prehistoric dragonfly. Sure, prehistoric dragonflies were lizard-looking giant monsters who never had to flap their wings. They probably fought Anguilusaurus all the time during the time of the Fire Monsters. Megaguirus’s little henchbugs are the Meganula, who are the smaller, only people sized prehistoric dragonflies, which have a wingless and mature winged form. They like to snack on tasty people.
Good ideas, bad execution, tired story. A few good points, outshadowed by the many bad. Not the hallmarks of a film you want to see, but at this point we have no choice, for the DVD is bought, and the play button has been activated!
Godzilla attacks! It’s 1954 Japan, and black and white Godzilla is ravaging the city. The newsreel-type opening (actually really well executed) redoes some of the effect shots from the 1954 original, as the Godzilla costume has changed over the past 50 years. It looks like they kept the city footage, and projected the modern Godzilla behind them. Still, it comes off nicely. The newsreel then switches to a narrator-guy, who sounds like one of those video game narrators who explain 5000 years of back story in 30 seconds. Japan moved their capital to Osaka, and even built a replica of their National Diet Building there. In Tokyo, there was massive rebuilding, and then Godzilla returned in 1966 to attack a nuclear power plant to feed off the radiation. Japan sez: “No nukes!” and drops all their nuclear power plants. This leads to a shortage of power in Japan, so the Bureau of Science and Industry announced the Plasma Power Energy System in 1996. Plasma turns out to be just as delicious as radiation, as Godzilla then strolls ashore to Osaka to take a snack. D’oh! Thus we jump right into the action, with Japanese Defense Force troops getting into position. They are armed with special rocket launchers, and we get a focus on a Kiriko Tsujimori, a young female member of the group. The Captain of the squad tells us “It may be big, but it’s still just a lizard!” The squad exits the truck and runs into position. I’m glad that after their 31 years of knowledge of Godzilla’s existence, the entire plan on defending against him is some people with rocket launchers on foot. This must be a universe without pork-barrel military spending on crazy projects like the Super X planes or MOGUERA.
The brilliant plan (in an Osaka which is somehow completely empty, and also without any cars in the streets) is to run around to different positions, and just shoot Godzilla until he kills you. At least that is what happens, as at first they start shooting Godzilla’s feet, then just shoot any part of him, then start to die by the dozens as Godzilla smashes and burns them. Kiriko shoots, and tries to shoot again, but her Captain pulls her back. He also pushes her out of the way of falling debris, which lands on him, killing him. Kiroko is upset, and fires her rocket again…Opening Credits!
It’s now 2001, and we are in Tokyo. A guy in a restaurant is doing a trick for kids involving making sushi under a hat. He is Hajime Kudo, and will be our male hero. His trick is foiled by two G-Graspers. G-Graspers are the special unit set up to fight Godzilla after his last attack on Osaka. We aren’t told this right away, but the film makes more sense when I explain it now. The G-Graspers are dressed like some types of MIB or something, and one of them is Kiroko Tsujimori. She exposes that Kudo is using microbots under his hat to make the sushi, thus causing all the children to be disappointed and leave in disgust. Because somehow in this universe young boys aren’t interested in robots, but are interested in sushi. It is indeed a disturbing universe. Kiroko tells Kudo that they are “headhunting”, meaning he’s being offered a job. Thus he goes along with them, as they go to the Self-defense Corps at Shibaura Base, while driving in the custom G-Grasper Ride.
At the base, they take an elevator down to a secret underground base where the special anti-Godzilla unit is located. Kiroko explains that Section 1 searches for Godzilla. Section 2 studies organism and behavior of Big G. Section 3 takes care of statistics and logistics in case of evacuations. Finally, there is the combat troops, known as the G-Graspers, because Section 4 doesn’t sound stupid enough. Kiroko introduces the team of no-name G-Graspers, none of which have an ounce of character development besides herself. There is Osodo the pilot, Nikwa the information officer, Mr. Nima the radio operator, and Okomura the guy who does something not explained well. Major Kiroko Tsujimori leads the squad. There is also Dr. Yoshizawa, who was Kudo’s fourth grade physics teacher and is now a super-physics expert number one. Kudo says he doesn’t want to die young, but inadvertently triggers a flashback with Dr. Yoshizawa of her colleagues getting crushed by falling debris. That seems to happen far too often in this film. Kudo sticks around long enough to find out she has designed a new weapon against Godzilla – a miniature black hole! Seriously. Stop laughing! That’s what the film said!
I can’t see any ill effects of shooting black holes at targets on planet Earth.
The computer simulation of the attack even shows all the surrounding buildings being sucked into the black hole as well. They will only have the black hole be two meters wide, making it small enough to launch from a satellite. Obviously whoever taught this writer science was the same one who taught the Godzilla 2000 writer about computers. Let’s just say this whole plan is insane, but remember, it is a disturbing universe. Kudo agrees to help, and RED ALERT! G sighting! Or not, just a mysterious rise in temperature in a trench. Global warming? Exciting.
Three Months Later! Some kid is going to show his insects to his friend Ritarro. Ritarro? What kind of ridiculous name is Ritarro? Obviously this kid has no real friends, and is showing his imaginary buddy some bugs he collected and killed, displaying his trophies as step one on the path to serial killing. If he wets the bed or starts a fire, it is time to get out now! This kid is our Kenny. Oddly enough, his name isn’t really Kenny, but we’re calling him Kenny regardless, as we can and that’s what he is. His running causes him to cross paths with a street in the country that the military has just cornered off. He just goes through the forest, as the simpletons guarding never bothered to put anyone on patrol in the forest. Because they are only doing top secret tests of the black hole weapons system, something terrorists, army spies, bloggers, disgruntled high schoolers, crazy libertarians, Tackleberry from Police Academy, and Agent Mulder would all love to get a glimpse of. Instead, Kenny gets to see it. The equipment is set up, and Kudo and Dr. Yoshizawa fire the gun. BOOM! A black hole flies out of the gun, sucks up a nearby building, and then disappears. Then a wormhole forms for a little bit. So you can see, not only are laws of physics violated like little children at a NAMBLA convention, but no one cares.
Now, speaking of NAMBLA, Kenny is about to say and then do something that will make you wish he has an unfortunate encounter with that despicable group. Firstly, he is spotted in the woods by Kiroko, who instead of shooting him in the head and calling it a suicide tells the kid to not talk. Kenny then asks her why she is a woman and yet fights Godzilla. Thank you, Japan! Sexist 10-year-olds, what every Godzilla film needs. Kenny goes back home, where he lies awake at night, troubled. Over women in the military, I guess, but then a shadow flies over his window. So Kenny goes out searching in his pajamas with a flashlight in the forest, only to see a giant bug flies into the wormhole, which has reappeared for a bit. Kenny then sees an egg on the ground, and takes it back to his house. We all know it is a giant bug egg, and even if Kenny wasn’t a brain dead husk of a little boy he should know that as well. Instead, he’s obviously seen Pod People too many times, and thinks that finding an egg in the forest will give him his own Trumpy. But there will be a murderous hatchling from forest eggs in this movie as well, except it will be giant dragonfly monsters and not a crazy ALF.
Kenny moves to Tokyo some months later, as the movie has now suddenly picked him as the main character! WTF, movie??? You freaking jerks! Anyone but a Kenny, please! Kenny managed to move the egg with him in a box (with no packing surrounding it) and the egg is now leaking. So Kenny decides to dump it. Kenny’s first attempt is foiled by a lady who tells him it is the wrong trash day. In America, a boy would just tell her to suck their fat one and dump the egg anyway, but in Japan he just runs to find a new place to dump the egg, the sewer.
We thankfully leave Kenny to go back to Kudo, who is hitting on the working out Kiroko, using the stellar line “Body building, huh? What a waste of time!” There’s nothing women like better than to be bothered while exercising, especially when you insult them and ridicule their actions. He then gives her a bullet/transmitter, that when fired will transmit a signal so Kudo can go rescue her. So now he’s also calling her weak, but I’m sure she’s happy his 98-pound weakling self is ready and willing to save her. Kudo then sees Kiroko’s dogtags of her former commanding officer, and makes a joke before being told whose it was and that Kiroko made a promise to continue the late commander’s fight against Godzilla. Kiroko then rest fires the transmitter by shooting it into a barbell in the gym, which must be violating firearms safety training and would probably get her put on disciplinary notices in the real army. Meanwhile in the sewer, the bug egg sends off some smaller eggs.
Tokyo is having water problems. So Japanese water repairmen Doofus and Goofus check out the problems while giving us plot exposition. A bug is also watching them, but they don’t die, sadly enough. Who does die is a couple on a date. She goes to buy him a beer, he goes to sit in an alley and gets eaten by a giant bug. Just like a normal second date. She gets eaten as well, because it is a particularly hungry bug. The bug doesn’t seem interested in the beer. The insect is currently a Meganulon (or Meganuron) but then climbs the side of the building and sheds its skin, getting wings in the process. If you have ever seen cicadas shed their skin, then you know what they borrowed this CGI effect from. Now the bug is known as a Meganula (or Meganuras) because that is what the extra information says about the film. The bug then flies around the city, seen only by Kenny. Now, giant lizards attacking the city with atomic breath, I can buy, but I can’t buy that he is the only witness to a giant bug flying over Tokyo. At least Kenny gets off his duff and tells Kiroko everything he knows, which is odd how he managed to track her down, unless G-Graspers is in the phone book. He probably found her because he’s a Japanese child and they can do whatever they want in these movies. He shows her books that tell us, the audience, that these bugs used to live on Earth long ago. We all know how helpful science books are in Godzilla films!
Godzilla is detected! A satellite shows radioactivity and they call Code Orange. Orange for Orange Juice, which is abbreviated OJ, and OJ Simpson killed people, and so did Godzilla. See? All perfectly logical. The G-Graspers break out the special G-Grasper flying vehicle, the Griffon (GX-813)! Sure, the name is spelled wrong and it’s no Super X, but it’s all we got in this universe. Thunderbirds Are Go! as we watch the Griffon fly along. Gerry Anderson, eat your heart out! The ship flies over the area of detection, and drops a raft with Kiroko and another G-Grasper, and they boat out to where a dead Meganula is floating on the water. Major Kiroko Tsujimori sends the other crewman back up the ropes to the Griffon, while she detects something surfacing. Godzilla is rising, and his spines begin to break the surface of the water. Major Kiroko sets her uniform to waterproof, then swims out and grabs onto Godzilla’s spines. Sure, now she will probably get all sorts of horrible cancer and be rendered sterile thanks to the radiation, but she’s the first chick to ride the Big G. Kiroko shoots G with the transmitter that Kudo gave her, so now Godzilla can be tracked. Griffon distracts Godzilla then picks her up, and drops the SGS. SGS is the Search Godzilla System, a submarine that will follow Godzilla. The black hole gun is also shot into space, it is named Dimension Tide, which is a name that also makes little sense, so we will just call it the Black Hole Gun. Won’t you come? Won’t you come?
A gravelly-voiced scientist guy confirms that Meganula are in Tokyo, and tells us that they existed 350 million years ago in the early Carboniferous period. Meganula usually lived in big swarms and were extremely aggressive. They know that because aggression also fossilizes, like skin color and DNA. The news tells us that all of Shibuya district in Tokyo is now underwater. Looks like Hurricane Katrina got lost in this universe! People are evacuated, and Kudo even brings a remote controlled minisub with a camera to investigate, where he sees eggs all over the bottom of the water.
Hey, remember Godzilla? The star of the film? Well, they finally catch up to him, by sub. Kiroko then gives a report to some generals. She’s actually dressed up in military dress uniform and looks completely different. The G-Graspers will wait until Godzilla lands to test the Black Hole Gun. The army brass is suddenly anti-Black Hole Gun, despite the fact they probably poured billions if not trillions into the project. Kiroko tells the army brass nothing will go wrong. Meanwhile, Kudo gets creepy as he shows off his new computer program that helps bug check software while having an anime girl pose and look cute. Blearch! Kudo and Dr. Yoshizawa wait until Kiroko and G-Grasper boss Mr. Sugiura get back from the meeting to yell at them for insisting the Black Hole Gun will work flawlessly.
Thanks to the sub, jets can locate CGI swimming Godzilla and drops missiles that cause bad CGI explosions all over him. Godzilla gets ticked off, and surfaces, only to be blasted by four laser beams from the Griffon. Godzilla tries to atomic breath the Griffon, but the craft dodges. Two of the three jets attacking get hit, though. The third jet manages to hit Godzilla with more missiles, and the Griffon lures Godzilla to a nearby island.
Back in Tokyo, the army is preparing to destroy the underwater eggs with dynomite, but as they go out on a boat, they pass a building where the other side is teeming with dozens of Meganulas! The dragonflies swarm over the troops in the boat, but oddly enough, don’t kill them. In fact, all the bugs just fly off, ignoring the troops shooting at them. They all head out to sea. The Black Hole Gun Satellite tries to lock on its weapon to Big G, but cannot, for the many Meganulas are now flying over Godzilla. Mr. Sugiura insists that they fire anyway, so they try to get a good estimate. Godzilla gets attacked by the Meganulas, who start to swarm and sting him. Their stingers allow them to suck up some of Godzilla’s life-force, shown as glowing sparkles. This makes Godzilla rather angry (what doesn’t???) and he starts smashing bugs and fireblasting some of them. There are too many to be killed in a few shots, and they keep stinging. Godzilla should go buy some OFF! spray. Godzilla smashes more bugs, stomps on others, and streams his atomic breath all over, roasting all sorts of Meganula and clearing himself (the heat from his spines heating up burns away all the Meganula on him.) Still, he doesn’t get them all.
The Black Hole Gun is fired! The mini-black hole comes down and strikes the island. Griffon surveys the aftermath, but then Godzilla arises from the ground. They missed! D’oh! Better luck next time, and there is a one hour recharge time. The remaining Meganula leave, heading back to Tokyo, and Godzilla is in hot pursuit. Back in Tokyo, Mr. Sugiura is on the phone with the Prime Minister, telling him he’ll cover up what is going on. They don’t tell us, but we all know some illegal power generation is going on. The Meganula go into the water of the submerged Tokyo and give the Godzilla energy to their queen, then all die. The queen is still in her cocoon, but the energy boost causes the minisub that Kudo gave the people nearby to go haywire. Kudo figures out it is something electromagnetic, as the queen Megaguirus hatches from the cocoon skin and surfaces. Megaguirus is born, a giant mutant dragonfly. It is like Mothra, only lamer. In fact, Megaguirus has no personality at all. No heart. No nothing. It’s just a random villain. Even the lame Orga had some development as a stupid alien invader; Megaguirus just gets an “It’s a killer!” line and nothing else. But we aren’t to that yet, first Megaguirus must slice through a nearby building while flying, causing no slowdown to its flight pattern despite slicing through hundreds of feet of steel and concrete. Then, Megaguirus flap its wings, making a high pitched shockwave that collapses nearby buildings and causes debris to fall on Kudo (wasn’t he paying attention to the flashbacks???) Kudo awakens in a hospital with a broken arm. Megaguirus is explained, as it was a fossil find in Eastern China (Meganeura fossils were first found in France) that was a formidable fighter, attacking enemies whatever their size to expand its territory. It reigned almost invincible for several million years. Yep.
Tokyo is evacuated as Godzilla arrives (the arrival of a new flying giant monster didn’t trigger the automatic evacuation? For shame, Section 3!) Major Kiroko wonders why Godzilla is coming to Tokyo as the Griffin is scrambled in the air. Big G surfaces, and we get a nice tracking shot of the city while Godzilla prepares to rise. Griffin fires its proton guns at Godzilla, and Godzilla blasts back with atomic breath. Griffin dodges, but the excitement has attracted Megaguirus for the battle promised in the movie title. Megaguirus starts out by slicing Godzilla with its wing, then bumping him from behind. The G-Graspers decide that they will fire the Black Hole Gun again, because they want to destroy a major city or something this time. Also, I’m surprised the last test fire didn’t cause a mutant jellyfish or sea urchin to come through a wormhole and be picked up by some random Kenny character. But thank goodness that didn’t happen. Back in the fight, Godzilla is being hit by EM surges caused by Megaguirus doing its wing trick again. Also, the Black Hole Gun satellite has some problems. I’m sure you care, so that’s why I mention it.
Godzilla shoots his breath at Megaguirus, but misses and hits a building. He tries again, following Megaguirus with his breath for a bit, but no dice. Why can’t Godzilla hit the slow, giant dragonfly? Bad writing. Megaguirus slams into Godzilla, and more of its EM pulses cause the Griffon to be forced to land on a nearby building’s roof, and is still messing up the Black Hole Gun satellite, despite it being thousands of miles away in space. Sure, watch me complain about that but not the fact this 50 ton dragonfly is somehow hovering in place despite beating its wings two times a minute. Megaguirus whips out its stinger, and stabs Big G in the chest. This allows Megaguirus to suck out some more life force, enough to keep Godzilla from drawing his atomic breath. Megaguirus then slams Godzilla into a building that has a fancy diamond shape in the center. I’m sure if I was from Tokyo I’d know what building it was, but life took different paths. Anyway, Godzilla is under the diamond shaped part, and Megaguirus knocks it down on Big G’s head. Megaguirus then flies back a bit and turns around, as Godzilla gets up. It’s face off time, as Megaguirus is a moron who doesn’t hit people while they’re down. The two monsters run at each other, well, Megaguirus flies at Godzilla. Anyway, Megaguirus buzzes Godzilla on his head, but when they turn around, Megaguirus loses a front claw! The thing falls off, having been sliced by hitting Godzilla’s spines the wrong way. D’oh!
Megaguirus tries to regain the upper hand (that’s the best hand losing pun I could come up with) by zooming around Godzilla and sneaking up from behind. Foiled again, as Godzilla is just feigning his ignorance of Megaguirus’s location, and grabs him by his tail sting with his own tail. Godzilla then whips Megaguirus around and into the ground, then into a building. Godzilla has a prehensile tail that monkeys would be jealous of. It is indeed a disturbing universe.
Kudo arrives in the G-Grasper control room, all bandaged up, and takes out his special anime-avatared program to see what is wrong with the Black Hole Gun. Megaguirus manages to stab Godzilla in the belly again, sucking out more life energy. Godzilla takes a while to yank him out, and then shoves the tail into the ground. Godzilla then does a flying leap! WTF? WWF action here (Or WWE or whatever it is called now.)
Kudo operates his program, turning the anime nurse avatar into an anime Major Kiroko, probably ensuring a sexual harassment lawsuit. Megaguirus, on the other hand, shoots a ball of energy at Godzilla. Godzilla takes it like a man….but then falls over. Megaguirus uses its tail to whip Godzilla in the face twice, and then stabs Godzilla right in the face.
Or does he? NO! For Godzilla had caught the tail in his teeth! He bites it off, and now Megaguirus has no real weapons left. Godzilla blasts Megaguirus with some breath blasts. Megaguirus is a burning corpse falling to the ground, but before it hits, Godzilla blasts Megaguirus again! Megaguirus is burnt toast, and then explodes. As for the Black Hole Gun, its orbit is decaying, but somehow it is still keeping the geosynchronous orbit despite hitting the atmosphere. Mr. Sugiura will go out in his helicopter, while Dr. Yoshizawa demands to know what he is hiding. He refuses to tell her, but as Godzilla is heading towards Shibuya now, it is becoming evident where the secret power plant is. It is in the science institute, as that is where Godzilla steps right up to. Once Mr. Sugiura confesses, Kiroko calls him out on his stupidity. He insults Kiroko for daring to question him (and probably for being a woman), so she punches him. Kudo manages to get the Black Hole Gun working, but without its target locking mechanism, so Major Kiroko will use the Griffon to target G. Vaguely Indiana Jones music plays as she takes off. As the satellite targets her in the plane, she puts the dog tags of her dead commanding officer on the plan, and ejects just as Kudo fires the Black Hole Gun. The Griffon rams into Godzilla, and Godzilla shoots his breath at the falling satellite as it comes down on him and fires the gun, causing a gigantic boom.
Koroko lands a-ok, so she’s fine. And there is no sign of Godzilla. So he’s dead. Bye, buddy! Kudo goes back to work at his sushi shop, but then Kiroko comes in saying they have some new mysterious seismic readings. Maybe Godzilla isn’t dead. Also, maybe they will remember they are sort of in a relationship or something. Why introduce a relationship character if you aren’t going to do anything with it. It is annoying so don’t even waste our time trying to navigate through the useless characterization plots. It is indeed a disturbing universe
The quick scene after the closing credits seem to imply he sure isn’t dead! Nothing can kill Godzilla. Maybe that universe isn’t as disturbing as it seems…
Rated 3/10 (Avatar, stinger, microbot)