HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Marjorie Prime
Hotel Salvation
Mangler, The
Shiraz
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
Flesh Feast
Gerald's Game
Crocodile Dundee II
Baaghi
Bat People, The
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
   
 
Newest Articles
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
   
 
  Godzilla x Megaguirus Big G versus bad bugs and a black holeBuy this film here.
Year: 2000
Director: Masaaki Tezuka
Stars: Misato Tanaka, Shosuke Tanihara, Yuriko Hoshi, Masato Ibu, Toshiyuki Nagashima
Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure
Rating:  4 (from 3 votes)
Review: After the disappointing Godzilla Millennium (1999), Big G roared back onto cinema screens in this flawed, but entertaining comic book extravaganza. Unlike the Heisei era (80s-90s), the Millennium series rejected all pretence at continuity in favour of reinventing core ingredients for each new film. Here, in an alternate reality, the lizard king rules supreme as citizens flee Tokyo and make Osaka the new capital of Japan. In 1996, the city stands poised for a breakthrough in discovering a clean energy source, until Godzilla stomps their plasma generator into dust. Thirty years later, G-Graspers - the anti-Godzilla task force - wage a disastrous battle against their prehistoric foe. These guys go toe to toe with Big G wielding hand-held missile launchers, so it’s not surprising they lose. The sole survivor, feisty Kiriko Tsujimori (Misato Tanaka) swears vengeance.

Fast forward five years and Kiriko turns up at an electronics shop run by disgraced boy genius Hajime Kudo (Shosuke Tanihara). Kudo rejoins his mentor Professor Yoshizawa (Yuriko Hoshi) to develop a top secret weapon that creates artificial black holes. The idea is these portals manifest briefly enough to suck Godzilla into another dimension. Nobody worries about potential damage to Osaka because, hey, this is a Godzilla movie. Pester Isaac Asimov if its plausibility you’re after, science boy! A test run goes off without a hitch, save for the experiment being witnessed by a wide-eyed little boy whom Kiriko swears to secrecy. However, nobody notices a tiny bug sneak into the black hole. It remerges, transmogrified and multiplied, into a mutant swarm dubbed Megaguirus. These insect monsters ravage Osaka, until our fire-breathing anti-hero arrives to defend his turf. The swarm melds into a towering, supersonic, super-bug. Osaka is caught in the crossfire between battling monsters, while Kiriko and Kudo struggle to salvage their super-weapon.

Godzilla x Megaguirus only partially delivers as a slam-bang monster epic. On the plus side, Masaaki Tezuka drops the grainy visuals and mock pomposity of Takao Ogawara’s films (Much loved by most G-fans, so maybe it’s a matter of personal taste) and delivers vibrant, comic book colours more befitting Japan’s sci-fi heritage. Despite a lacklustre mid-section, the wrestling rubber monsters (punctuated by brief spurts of eye-catching CG, such as Godzilla engulfed by swarming insects), streaking jet craft and exploding buildings keep the viewer engaged. Special effects are top-notch, but it was Tezuka himself, not his technicians, who conceived the most inspired set-piece: Kiriko clinging to Godzilla’s dorsal fins as he swims across the sea. That scene is worthy of the Godzilla epics of old.

A lack of likeable characters has undone many G-films from the last twenty years. Kiriko is too stern and one-dimensional, leaving lead actress Misato Tanaka little to do except stomp and pout. Shosuke Tanihara shows more promise as slacker science whiz Kudo, even though he and the other geeks waste too much time obsessing over the cute soldier girl. The biggest problem is Godzilla himself. (Not the new suit which, though unpopular with G-fans, is an eye-catching, spiky design.) Ever since Godzilla 1985 (1984) the character has been caught in a conundrum. His core audience of adoring children are in no doubt Godzilla is a hero, cheering him on as he battles another mutant menace. However, sci-fi fans seem to prefer the darker, nastier Godzilla. The end result is neither fish nor fowl, either a hero who never receives his due or a villain who never gets his comeuppance, dramatically unsatisfying. Here is one argument for the “heroic Godzilla”: his presence circumvents these problems, leaving directors to concentrate on telling a fresh story.

That said, the next film, Shusuke Kaneko’s Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: All-Monsters Attack (2001) featured the most evil incarnation of Big G yet seen, and was one of the best. Masaaki Tezuka returned for Godzilla x Mecha-Godzilla (2002) and his brightest, bounciest contribution - Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003). Though American DVDs feature the moniker Godzilla VS. Megaguirus, the original Japanese title features an ‘x’ - which kind of makes it sound like Godzilla loves Megaguirus, doesn’t it?
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3599 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: