GODZILLA VS MEGAGUIRUS
(Gojira Tai Megagirasu: Jî Shômetsu Sakusen)
While most of the modern Godzilla films have done spectacular things in the special effects department, Godzilla vs Megaguirus is a mixed affair. It wavers between discovering the effects class of the modern Godzilla films and being stuck down around a tawdry and threadbare level that is only a few steps above the shoddiness of some of the 1970s entries. There are some very so-so effects with the emergence of the queen Megaguirus. One is never less than aware that Megaguirus is a puppet its eyes are static and the jaws do not move properly, while one can see the strings holding her up. There are some very poor model effects during the underwater sequences and of the flooded city. Even G-Gripper headquarters seems an impoverished operation.
That said, there are some undeniably impressive effects set-pieces where the Toho technicians come into their own the sequence where the Meganulon dragonfly first emerges from its cocoon halfway up the side of a wall; a fine sequence where Misato Tanaka goes down in the ocean in a life raft but manages to survive as Godzilla emerges from beneath by grabbing onto the spikes on the back of his neck. Especially good is the scene where Godzilla battles the Meganulon dragonflies on the island, they attacking and swarming him in a great mass, he torching them en masse by sweeping his radioactive breath around in a great swathe and igniting them using the radioactive fins on his back as they clamber around him, followed by the firing of Dimension Strike blasting the entire island. And when Godzilla and Megaguirus clash, the film finally comes to life. Here the film mounts another rousingly entertaining mass destruction climax Toho-style with the two creatures battering one another, throwing each other through buildings, Godzilla firing balls of energy and biting Megaguiruss claws off, Megaguirus battering a pyramid atop a building down onto Godzillas head and so forth.
At times, Godzilla vs Megaguirus feels like a blend of a Godzilla film and Thunderbirds (1964-6), of which a great many Japanese anime tv shows of the 1960s and 70s borrowed the basic concept. It offers up a nerdy techno-geek hero (who highly improbably seems not to be able to find employment designing weapons of mass destruction and instead is forced to sell makeshift gadgets as a street peddler); an action team (with the eyebrow-raising name of G-Grippers) with their various areas of expertise; and especially various sequences where the vehicles are unveiled amid endless countdowns etc etc. The film is filled with a gee-whiz enthusiasm about the gadgetry that seems pitched directly to the fourteen year-old boy.
The script seems ill assembled at times. The film has done almost zero research on what a real black hole would be like even at molecular size, a black hole would be capable of sucking the entire Earth in around it like a suddenly punctured beach ball. Elsewhere, there are sloppy plotting holes. It is never made clear whether it was the Dimension Strike test experiments that caused the Meganulon to appear. If not, it seems a peculiar coincidence that they suddenly appear in the immediate aftermath of the detonation; if so, the connection is never explored any further. Certainly, no explanation of the Meganulons origin is ever offered beyond the connections we are left to draw here. Godzilla vs Megaguirus is also another of the modern Godzilla films that tries to exist as an independent entity and pretends that no other films existed between it and the original Godzilla, King of the Monsters.
The other Godzilla films are: Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1954), Gigantis the Fire Monster/Godzilla Raids Again/The Return of Godzilla (1955), King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1962), Godzilla vs the Thing/Mothra vs Godzilla (1964), Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Monster Zero/Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965), Godzilla vs the Sea Monster/Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966), Son of Godzilla (1968), Destroy All Monsters (1968), Godzillas Revenge (1969), Godzilla vs the Smog Monster/Godzilla vs Hedorah (1971), Godzilla vs Gigan/Godzilla on Monster Island (1972), Godzilla vs Megalon (1973), Godzilla vs the Cosmic Monster/Godzilla vs the Bionic Monster/Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1974), Terror of Mechagodzilla/Monsters from an Unknown Planet (1976), Godzilla 1985 (1984), Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991), Godzilla vs Mothra (1992), Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla (1993), Godzilla vs Space Godzilla (1994), Godzilla vs Destoroyah (1995), Godzilla 2000 (1999), Godzilla Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001), Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002), Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (2003), Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) and Shin Godzilla/Godzilla: Resurgence (2016), plus the anime Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (2017). Both Roland Emmerichs Godzilla (1998) and Gareth Edwards Godzilla (2014) are big-budget, English-language remakes.
Trailer here (Japanese only, no English subs):-