|GODZILLA VS. MEGAGUIRUS
|Copyright 2000 Toho Company Ltd.
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 23 May 2004
- Godzilla - A cold blooded and scaly skinned version of the Orkin Man if there ever was one. After being thrown around and hit in the dead center of the back with a large aircraft, the King of Monsters would probably appreciate a chiropractor.
- Megaguirus, Meganulas, and Meganurons - I am a little unsure if the species was a mutation or prehistoric insect that arrived on Earth via a wormhole. No matter, because they are officially extinct.
- Major Tsujimori - Revenge on a radioactive dinosaur is a dish best served with sake.
- Kudo - A royal geek. He likes his women tough, his Mountain Dew warm, and his Snickers cold.
- Miss Yoshizawa - Supposedly a brilliant physicist, but I think she is fooling everybody.
- Mr. Sugiura - Where would a movie be without a government official hiding some sort of embarrassing secret?
|To start the movie off we view scenes from Godzilla's original 1954 rampage through Tokyo. The twist is that they updated the footage, injecting the Godzilla suit from this movie into the old scenes. A truly horrible narrator (in the English version) follows with an overview of the situation as a couple more "updated" scenes play. He tells us that Godzilla, who is wont to trample nuclear power plants, caused a massive investment in natural energy sources in Japan. Wind, sun, and water generate much of the island country's power, though the government yearns for exotic plasma power plants. Unfortunately, if they build one, Godzilla suddenly visits and stomps the place flat.
We are introduced to Tsujimori during one such attack. She is a nervous recruit in a defense unit. The unit attacks the rampaging monster with 84mm rocket launchers, then dashes down side streets to escape his reprisals. As you might guess, this is a good way to annoy Godzilla. Most of the troops quickly become casualties as falling debris land on their grapes (they are wearing helmets, but fat lot of good that does when a ton of cement falls on you). Getting stepped on directly would be even worse, creating a vaguely human shaped smoosh mark.
Anyway, the young soldier is left with psychological scars. Her emotional agony forges her into a Godzilla hating officer in the G-Graspers (the Godzilla defense force).
The problem with Godzilla is that he really does not care what you shoot him with. Anti-ship missiles, sabot tank rounds, and torpedoes are largely ineffective. Desiring to end the threat once and for all, the G-Graspers recruit Kudo into their scientific research section. The eggheads are building a gun that shoots a miniature black hole. Since Kudo is adept at creating tiny electronics, he is a natural for the team.
I am not even going to get into the argument over a two-meter wide black hole being generated and then fired. Beyond basic accepted theory, normal black holes give me a headache, let alone one dreamed up by some crackpot writer. Heck, it is plenty easy to scoff at the idea of creating a black hole on Earth. Suppose you could create a singularity. Would firing it at Godzilla, and thereby Mother Earth, from a satellite (oh yes, an orbital black hole strike) be a good idea? I would rather not play around with aberrations of time and space on Terra.
Anyway, they shoot this God-awful superweapon at an old building a few hundred yards from the observation pavilion (notice that I said "pavilion," not bunker). It obliterates the structure and everybody cheers. Meanwhile, some brat kid (I refuse to even name him) watches the whole thing. Tsujimori is called when security catches the kid; she asks the worthless brat to not tell anybody and sends him on his way. Later that night, a wormhole develops where the weapon was discharged. The little punk sees a giant dragonfly swoop overhead and disappear into the wormhole. He finds a big silver egg, which he takes home, hides from his mother, and eventually dumps down a storm drain in Tokyo.
I would like to point out that the Major could have saved everyone a lot of trouble by drawing her service pistol and shooting the aforementioned kid in the head.
As luck would have it, Meganuron's need water to develop. Parts of Tokyo begin flooding and people become lunch for the ravenous insects. There is also a small detail about the amount of flooding that happens. In some places it appears that sixty or more feet of water are present. Substantial levels of large buildings are underwater. Where did all that H2O come from? Why doesn't it spread out? Do the Meganurons build dams, like beavers?
The aquatic menaces are only immature versions of the species. A horde of nymphs crawl up the sides of buildings and molt, creating a huge swarm of giant dragonflies called Meganulas. The cloud finds and attacks Godzilla. He quickly finds out what it is like to be a warm-blooded mammal in Minnesota during a wet summer. The behemoth stumbles around, swatting at the cloud of insects. Finally, he gets fed up and takes to roasting them with radioactive fire. The surviving Meganulas, engorged, retreat back to Tokyo.
Godzilla was already under fire by the G-Graspers and attached forces when the Meganulas attacked. The humans were herding the monster, pending targeting and firing of the black hole gun (nicknamed "Dimension Tide). Right after the swarm of insects leaves, Godzilla found out what it is like to have a gravity howitzer nearly land on your head. Luckily, the shot missed by just enough for Godzilla to be outside the event horizon. The monster made haste to dive underwater and flee ground zero.
The Meganulas sucked out Godzilla's life-force for a reason: to feed their giant queen. After being infused with the rich radioactive soup, she breaks out of her chrysalis and takes to the air. The revealed main adversary is sufficiently mean looking for the part, but the model's mobility hampered some of the fight scenes. First off, I think it was probably heavy. Secondly, it has three attacks: a huge stinger, two crablike claws, and a blurring of the wings that sends out sonic shockwaves.
And so Godzilla wades ashore and starts demolishing Tokyo. Alerted to the presence of another kaiju, the Megaguirus attacks (the scientists had said that the species was highly territorial). The clash is almost a good fight. Unfortunately, the mutated dragonfly's mobility problem impedes any sort of dynamic tussle. Most of the action is either Megaguirus knocking Godzilla over or zipping about before stabbing him with the stinger. Again, some of the shots of the two monsters, with model destruction all around, are extremely convincing. Too bad about the one ridiculous shot, where it looks like Godzilla jumped a mile into the air. We were so close to having a serious confrontation!
You may guess that Megaguirus eventually loses and becomes a shrieking tiki torch. Well, the humans have not been slacking in the meantime. The G-Graspers attempted to blast both creatures with Dimension Tide, but it experienced a severe software malfunction (should have used Linux). Because of the operating system crash, the satellite begins falling out of orbit. (Remember in the MST3K movie when Mike lets go of the Hubble and it drops straight down? Yeah, like that. In Mike's own words, "How did it do that?") Kudo struggles to fix the glitch and gets things working just in time to fire one shot at the victorious Godzilla. Dimension Tide disintegrates upon reentry. Godzilla apparently becomes one with spacetime.
The return to high technology, such as the inexplicable black hole gun and the advanced Griffin fighter, was quite welcome. I think that kaiju movies work better with fantastic weaponry. Also, the Godzilla suit looks superb and seemed to have enough mobility for most scenes (except one where they used reverse to return him to standing, that looked awful). On the minus side, the fights were mostly disappointing, as was the human story. Look, could we get through one movie without at least one of the protagonists having angst? Where is an evil businessman or treacherous aliens when you need them? Lastly, the music seemed poorly selected for a number of scenes. I would suddenly notice and wonder, "Why did they use this music as the backdrop?"
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Attacking a radioactive leviathan with infantry is a good way to open slots for promotion and recruiting.
- Three people can easily plan and coordinate the evacuation of a major city.
- Godzilla cannot defy the laws of physics.
- When tracking a submerged monster, always drop a sonobouy in the water before deploying your inflatable boat.
- Godzilla is made out of styrofoam.
- Dragonflies can effectively jam a satellite's targeting system.
- Clumsy insects are normally not a problem, but things change when they get to be several thousand tons.
- When they say a satellite is falling out of orbit, they mean straight down toward the Earth.
- 1 min - Oh, this is old news.
- 10 mins - The mystery of the microbots was helping to keep those kids off of drugs. They are all probably buying crack cocaine by now. Way to go Major.
- 21 mins - Where did it go?
- 25 mins - And the Earth is again placed in peril by some stupid kid nurturing a monster from Hell.
- 42 mins - That beacon had better have shielded circuits and a powerful transmitter.
- 49 mins - Why is the SGS not being subjected to a brutal vortex of displaced water?
- 55 mins - You guys need a Mk19. Make that several Mk19s, an F-18 carrying napalm, and an on call MLRS battery.
- 86 mins - That has got to be the best fscking data integrity software I have ever seen! 3D interface and all.
- 95 mins - How is getting a lock on that little VTOL going to be easier than aiming at a huge, heat-radiating, radioactive lizard?
- Tsujimori: "You're right, in theory, we have nothing to fear. However, that's only in theory. The one way to be certain would be to eliminate Godzilla once and for all."
- Tsujimori: "What is it doing there? What does Godzilla want in the Science Institute?"
Yoshizawa: "It wants plasma energy."
Tsujimori: "Plasma? But they dropped the plan, didn't they? In case it attracted Godzilla back again."
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Yoshizawa: "If everything goes as planned, we'll fire the black hole into Godzilla from orbit. Right now the black hole's too big, so we're counting on you."
||Scientist: "That giant dragonfly you discovered, I can now confirm, is a Meganula."
||Tsujimori: "Code: emergency. We're being attacked by giant dragonflies - millions of Meganula!"
||System: "System ready. Awaiting fire command." |
Operator: "Ready to fire. What should I do?"
Manager: "Hit the button and let's fry that lizard!"
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Megaguirus is using her special effects powers to zip around and annoy Godzilla. For his part, Godzilla destroys a parking lot by accident.
| ||Leave a comment||EXTRAS||Buy the movie|| |
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