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~Ephesians 5:16

Friday, April 27, 2012

Godzilla vs. Megaguirus Review

There's the black sheep of every era. In Showa, it was Revenge, (or if we're not going to count that, Raids Again) in Heisei it was Vs. SpaceGodzilla, and in Millennium it's this film. After the amazing and underrated GODZILLA 2000, Megauirus came along. While the previous film is better in every way, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus gets more hate than it deserves, it's a fun little entry in the G franchise.

The official description from Sony TriStar:
Five years after Godzilla terrorized the city of Osaka, Japanese scientists have developed a sure-fire way to finally destroy Japan's monster nemesis. They have created the world's first man-made black hole, which will trap Godzilla for eternity! But during a testing of this new Dimension Tide, an insect caught in the hole mutates, producing gargantuan eggs that give birth to a new menace : giant dragonfly monsters called Meganula . Meganula queen, the 50-meter Megaguirus , is also on a hunt for Godzilla, needing to steal his energy to survive. From the sky down to the depths of a city'sunderground sewer tunnels, Megaguirus, Godzilla, and humankind battle for supremacy. Who will prevail in this high-tech, three-way battle of terror and destruction?
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus feels like a different Godzilla film. The way its filmed, the destruction, even the crazy story felt different. After an impressive opening with a flashback to the 54 film, (they literally put the 2000 G suit in place of the original one, it's amazing) the film goes on to more crazy territory, stuff you'd see in the Showa era. (The plan to defeat Godzilla? With a black hole. Crazy, but at the same time amazing.) The film uses similar camera angles seen in 2000, Godzilla looks like he's actually a giant monster that dwarfs buildings. Megaguirus makes a cool opponent, though sadly she is way too underused. One of the universally accepted problems of this film is the cast. Nothing great, but there are a few standouts.

What's interesting about this film is that the lead cast member is a woman, the first time ever in a G film. (That would be repeated in Against Mechagodzilla and Tokyo SOS.) Her backstory on why she hates Godzilla is explained well. By far the best character in the whole thing. The rest of the characters leave much to be desired. The other focus is on amateur inventor Hajime Kudo. The most annoying character in the whole thing, he actually (well it looked that way) tried to attack Kiriko after being told off. Yeah his character wasn't written too well. Other performances, such as Yuriko Hoshi (who would later appear four years later in Final Wars) are pretty good. There's this higher-up guy Masatoh Eve (who plays the Xilien leader in Final Wars) who plays kinda sorta a human antagonist. (Very loose term of the word.) The little plot twist with him made sense and was unexpected. Really, the cast isn't all that bad. A lot of the Showa films put them to shame, but they aren't the worst.

Ah, Godzilla. It's the same suit from the previous film, with little modifications. I'll say it again, the suit is fantastic. Godzilla actually looks like a giant fearsome monster that could plow through the Empire State Building. One of the few problems with the Showa era is that sometimes G didn't look like a 'giant' monster. In these two films, he's never looked more imposing. He is however lacking the character of the previous film. He appears to be a bit on the mindless side before the fight begins. The new monster this time around is Megaguirus, the queen of the Meganulon. A pretty impressive look, she makes a fine addition to the franchise. Her sadistic way of fighting was a blast to watch.

The soundtrack is pretty different than the one we're used to. It's solid, not many standout themes but it's good. The best one by far was Godzilla's new theme. It's simple, yet has a menacing feel. It's like, "Oh heck, he's here." The 50's-like Meganulon theme was good and set the mood for when they were there. Sadly, some of the special effects here are some of the worst in any G film. When the missiles were hitting G in the water, the explosions looked like something out of an old Playstation game. However, the biggest offense is Megaguirus. It was a dramatic appearance, but it's partially ruined by the fact that you can see the wires in the background. And then when she's flying while destroying a building, you can still see the wires. The final battle in the film was pretty fun, Megaguirus makes a surprisingly deadly opponent for the King of Monsters. There was another great scene when the the Meganulon all swarmed Godzilla. (Remind you of something? Inspired by the swarm scene in Gamera: Advent of Legion perhaps?) One of the low-points of the film is the writing, It's by no means bad, but there was one scene that was really laughable. In the scene where the couple separately get eaten alive, they have this dialogue sequence that sounded like something you would hear in a high school skit. You would have to hear it to believe it. Speaking of that, both scenes of the Meganulon attacking the couple separately was pretty intense and one of the more violent scenes in all Godzilla. Good stuff.

Overall, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus is no great film by any stretch of imagination. But it's not that bad either, it's not one of the worst Godzilla films ever made. It's more entertaining than the majority of the Heisei series. (Yes, I even liked it more than Godzilla vs. Biollante.) While the cast isn't the best, they're fun enough to keep the viewer invested. The story is unique, Godzilla looks great, Megaguirus is a cool monster, and the final battle is great. Godzilla vs. Megaguirus isn't a cinematic masterpiece, but it's a darn fun film.


1 comment:

  1. I thought this film and Godzilla 2000 were the best of the Millennium series because they had fresh ideas and concepts. It was kind of a letdown that afterward Toho retreaded back to more familiar territory, but you can't blame them for wanting to make money.