Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000) Is A Mixed Bag

Godzilla Megaguirus 1With the successful relaunch of the Godzilla series in 1999, it appeared as if a new continuity was being developed by recognizing the 1954 original but moving forward. However, with Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000), a new universe is created with multiple previous Godzilla attacks in relation to energy sources. It totally ignores Godzilla 2000. The result is a bit of a mixed bag as Godzilla faces a new foe in large mutated dragonflies.

As the movie begins, we learn that Godzilla has appeared three times. The first appearance was in 1954 but, unlike the original, Godzilla was not destroyed and left Japan, heading out to sea. Godzilla returned in 1966 when he attacked Japan’s first nuclear plant. This forced Japan to abandon nuclear energy for new plasma energy. Once again, the big green guy came knocking in 1996, destroying a plasma energy plant in Osaka. We see a flashback introducing us to Kiriko Tsujimori (Misato Tanaka), who survives the 1996 Godzilla attack. In 2001, she is now a leader in the G-Graspers, who along with a group of scientists are plotting to destroy Godzilla once and for all. The Dimension Tide project is a plan to create a black hole with a satellite. The black hole will suck in Godzilla, leaving him trapped once and for all. However, during a test, it is revealed that a worm hole is created as a side effect. Naturally, things go wrong when a dragonfly from the past flies through and begins laying eggs in the present.Godzilla Megaguirus 2

The dragon fly is known as a Meganulon in its larva state and a Meganula when it reaches adult age. As they hatch and begin to plague the city of Tokyo, it’s time for Godzilla to appear. Godzilla is in search of nuclear energy, which it turns out is still in existence despite a ban on such energy as a result of the previous attacks. The Meganula attack Godzilla before one transforms into Megaguirus, the queen of the Meganula. Megaguirus has been mutated by Godzilla and has atomic breath as well, clearly a big help when battling Godzilla. The usual battle ensues with Godzilla down for the count before leaping into action in a climactic battle. Godzilla saves the city from Megaguirus only to be the target of the G-Graspers, who still want to kill it. In the end, the black hole appears to work and Godzilla is sucked in. However, by the time the credits are done, Godzilla’s roar is heard as it appears you just can’t keep the big guy down.

Godzilla Megaguirus 3Godzilla vs. Megaguirus is the least successful of the Millennium series and I’m on the fence as to how I feel about it. On one hand, it offered up a new foe in Megaguirus. However, poor special effects really hurt its appearance. Strings were clearly visible at numerous times, something that is just unacceptable for a modern movie. Yet, at other times, the special effects really hold up. The fight sequences were filmed in an odd style that just didn’t resonate with me. I enjoyed the concept of a new universe but the film really suffered from a lack of likeable characters. Overall, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus is not a bad movie but clearly a step down from Godzilla 2000.

The movie is easily found on DVD for less than $15. Check out the trailer on YouTube and judge it for yourself. So far, I am enjoying the Millennium series more than the Heisei. Next up, I’ll check out the next film in the series, the incredibly long-titled Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001).

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3 thoughts on “Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000) Is A Mixed Bag

  1. I like this film better than you do, and I think the reason why can be summed up simply: human plot.

    It seemed to me that the entire Heisei series suffered from the fact that all the human’s seemed to be doing was fighting Godzilla. Aside from the psychic girl character, no one really seemed to have any motivations or backstories — save maybe for in Destroyah.

    Here, though, we start out with a character in the military, see the main trauma of her life, and stick with her throughout the film as she tries to destroy the creature that killed her friend/commander. That plot element really worked for me, and I liked the character, too, trapped in what was obviously a male-dominated military world.

    I also like the fact that this film tried to do some new things in terms of how the battles and SFX were shot. I watched it on the new blu ray release, and I didn’t notice the wires that you saw; maybe they removed them (something I think should be done on older films at times), or maybe I just didn’t notice because I was enjoying the flick. I liked the horror elements of the meganulons, and even the little kid and the rubber science of the black hole generator, Dimension Tide, didn’t bother me.

    My memory of how the Millennium series came about was that Toho decided to do three different films with three different directors, each with a different approach to the property, and then pick one direction to continue. Maybe that’s not true, but that’s what circulated in fan circles at the time. Pretty much everyone liked GMK best in fan circles, but, for whatever reason, it was this film that Toho decided to follow up on. (Since 2000 didn’t come out in blu with this, I can’t compare without going into my library, but my recollection is that I liked this film 2nd best of the the three “trial” films.)

    I don’t think that choosing this to follow on was a bad idea. Honestly, it seemed like a breath of fresh air after watching the blu ray Heisei films — none of which had a human plot worth remembering.

    This film, however, has plenty of memorable sequences, including the aforementioned horror bits, the wormhole side-effect of the weapon, the numerous kaiju battles, and the moment where our heroine actually hitches a ride on the back of the swimming Godzilla (for some reason, I really like that bit).

    I hope that they’ll soon release 2000, 1985, GMK, and MechaGodzilla III (certainly the best mecha film), which were the four missing from the new blu ray sets. What’s up, Toho? Give us the whole Heisei and Millennium series in all their glory!

    • Good points indeed. Fan reaction to this one seems mixed, so your comments are certainly as valid as mine. It just depends on what you’re looking for at the time you watch the movie.

  2. Oh, I forgot to mention that the soundtrack/score totally rocks. Michiru Oshima is easily the best of the non-Ifukube Godzilla composers. And her new G-theme seems totally appropriate for the new millennium. (I hope we’ll hear at least some tributes to the classic composers in G 2014.)

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