Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000)





Opening in Japan in 2000, this movie was a mediocre commercial success and a critical failure. It was never released in American theatres, but did end up on the Sci-Fi Network in August of 2003. I missed it then, but I did manage to acquire at great expense a VCD from Hong Kong off eBay.

This movie was kind of annoying to watch at times. The film quality is not so great, though the VCD format is mostly to blame, and I had a hard time telling what was just bad video transfer and what was nifty artistic technique on the producers' part. The main annoyance was the overlapping audio tracts--in Japanese and Cantonese--which I never figured out how to separate. I ended up just watching the film with the sound turned down low, and I'm sure I missed out on the music and sound effects. There were subtitles, in both English and Chinese one on top of the other, so I was able to follow along well enough. (note: In May '07, I found a nice DVD of this movie and added in screen captures)

This is the second movie in the "Alternate Reality" series of Godzilla movies, the first being 1999's Godzilla 2000. In these movies, the history and timeline of the monster is altered and none of event of the previous movies have happened. The only thing they have in common is the original 1954 Godzilla as a starting point.

And now on to our show...

We open with one of the greatest and cleverest openings for any Godzilla movie. As this is an alternate reality, to set up the background we get a collage of short newsreel snippets in a kind of retrospective of the last 45 years.

The first is from 1954, where we see and hear of Godzilla's first attack on Tokyo, leaving it a burning shambles. In a truly outstanding move, they re-shot a few of the classic scenes from the 1954 Godzilla using the new year 2000 suit, including the famous Godzilla-eating-the-train-car shot that has been used as a promotional gimmick for decades. Differing from the original, however, is the stated fact that Godzilla wandered off into the sea after the attack. No Oxygen Destroyer in this timeline, I guess Doctor Serizawa couldn't be convinced to use it on the monster.


Awesome remix of classic footage.

The second sequence is from 1966, and we hear that it has been twelve years since Godzilla has last been seen. In that time, Japan has fully recovered from both Godzilla and World War II. Tokyo has been rebuilt, but the capital has been moved to Osaka (we get a nice shot of a reconstructed Diet Building in the Osaka skyline).


The Diet and the Imperial Palace in Osaka.

1966 is an important date because it's the year that Japan's first nuclear power plant went on-line. This attracted Godzilla, who attacked the plant and ate the reactor before wandering back into the sea with a full belly. Godzilla's attraction to and appetite for nuclear energy has been well-established in the series and in this movie it's the main driving force behind all of the monster's actions. The reactor is at Tokai, by the way, and is the same reactor that Godzilla attempted to stomp in Godzilla 2000.

An interlude tells us that Japan's government decided after 1966 to avoid any further attacks by just not using any nuclear power. Wind, fire, solar and water power has thus fed the nation's energy needs since then by policy. However, 1990s Japan needs a lot of electrical power, and since Godzilla hasn't been seen since 1966, it's felt that maybe it is time to try and build something more powerful. To this end, an experimental power reactor was built by the Science and Technology Bureau in the Nakanoshima District of Osaka. This reactor involved "plasma generating using heavy hydrogen as fuel", the culmination of thirty years of research into clean energy alternatives.

However, Godzilla likes plasma as well as nuclear food and comes to munch it. The movie now cuts to 1996, to Osaka at night to join in with a team of soldiers as they combat Godzilla, who by this time is well into the center of Osaka heading towards the plasma reactor. Unlike the massive battles between the monster and the military we are used to, this combat is strictly small-scale, just a few humans on foot against this colossal creature. This is one of the most exciting action sequences in any Godzilla movie, and really conveys the power, size and fear of Godzilla from the ground.


Ground-level shots of the monster make for impressive scenes.

First off, the new Godzilla suit is awesome. In keeping with his 1954 origins, this new Godzilla has shrunk back to 55-meters tall and weighing 25,000 metric tons. In the later Heisei series in the 1990s, Godzilla had bloated up to 120-meters tall and 60,000-tons heavy. This smaller size allows the human characters of our movie to interact with the beast more effectively. Godzilla's face is more reptile-like, with longer jaws and a narrower head. Bringing back something that has been spotty over the entire series, this Godzilla's dorsal spines heat up and glow before each Atomic Fire Breath.


Rah!

Back to the empty streets of the Nakanoshima District in Osaka. The soldiers we follow are a 12-man team of Rangers, broken up into several three-man teams with man-portable rocket launchers. These shoulder-fired weapons appear to be Swedish-made 84mm "Carl Gustav" anti-tank rockets, but I'm not entirely sure on that. We do see an ammo box with "84mm" on it, so I think I'm right.

It's interesting to note that we see no other military forces in this sequence. Perhaps Godzilla has already broken through the outer ring of artillery and tanks and it's now up to these foot soldiers to be the last line of defense. Their deaths are a noble sacrifice against impossible odds.

There are two notable figures in this team, the Old Sergeant in command of the unit and a young female soldier named Kiriko Tsujimori. The Old Sergeant is a father figure and mentor for Kiriko and their relationship, his death and her quest for revenge will become the central focus of this movie.

Kiriko is played by 23-year old Misato Tanaka, who would go on to play the same character in 2002's Godzilla X MechaGodzilla. Tanaka is a very popular television actress in Japan, having stared in the romance drama With Love and the recent NHK morning serial Agri. She is a willowy thin woman with soft facial features and the look of a petite-size fashion model, not a professional soldier. She tends to wear her hair back in a very tight, Lilith-on-Frasier-kind of ponytail that does little to make her look cuter. During this 1996 battle with Godzilla, she was just a scared 19-year old girl with a rocket launcher.


Kiriko with her rocket.

The coming battle is full of running men, narrow alleys, and sniping with rockets, kind of like Panzerfaust-armed German soldiers hunting Soviet T-34s in the ruins of Berlin in 1945. Kiriko, perhaps because the Old Sergeant wants to keep her safe, is ordered to stand guard over the reactor facility alone while the others go out hunting the monster. In the battle, Godzilla takes at least eleven rockets, all to no apparent effect. At least six of the soldiers are killed by the monster in response to the stinging missile hits.

Now it's just Kiriko and the Old Sergeant left, standing in the road in front of the reactor building as Godzilla advances on them slowly. Kiriko's eyes grow wide as dishes as the beast looms around a corner. She fires her rocket and it smacks the beast in the throat, which seems to surprise Kiriko more than the monster.

Godzilla shrugs it off and smacks into the reactor building, a shower of debris cascading down towards the two soldiers. The Old Sergeant pushes Kiriko out of the way and is crushed by a falling girder. His dog tags are somehow tossed clear and recovered by Kiriko, who is overcome with grief and loss. In rage, she picks up her rocket launcher and shoots the beast once more, yelling into the darkness as the opening credits begin.


Rage!

Wow, that was a great opening! We have set up Godzilla as a killer beast to be reckoned with and have the background needed to understand Kiriko's obsession with killing Godzilla. The credits are in Japanese pictographs and are just the movie's title. The cast and crew credits come at the end of the film.

We cut now to the present day, 2001, to the Akihabara District of Tokyo. In the years following the destruction of Osaka in 1996, a special bureau of the Defense Ministry was set up to deal with Godzilla. This is the "G-Command" team (what a lame name...) and they're made up of the best and brightest the military and scientific community has to offer. Kiriko has advanced through the ranks quickly and now is a leader of the section of G-Command that is going to fight Godzilla called the "G-Grasper" (what a lamer name...). In this timeline, there is no G-Force, but G-Command does pretty much the same job. They do have these spiffy uniforms, with electric blue pants and shirts and satin jackets with G-Grasper patches all over them. They look like Power Ranger outfits.


The G-Graspers. Seriously.

We see two people moving through the crowded streets. They're Kiriko and another man and they're looking for a young scientist who has some knowledge and skills that they need. The scientist is a brilliant young man, tossed out of college for his unorthodox ways, who now works in a little electronics shop and builds tiny robots and microwave gadgets on the side. He's also a computer whiz who has created his own operating system, just like Bill Gates. His name is Hajime Kudo and he's played by twentysomething actor Shosuke Tanihara.


Kudo.

He's oh-so-not Bill Gates in the sense that he's leading-man cool, with long hair and dreamy looks. He looks a whole lot like Steve Nash of the Dallas Mavericks, or John Corbett from Northern Exposure, except he's Japanese. He has a taste for American sports team clothes, and when we first meet him in his shop he's wearing a Chicago Cubs hat and a San Francisco Giants jersey.

After busting him for scamming kids by thinking that he used magic to make curry rice with little miniature robots that he designed, Kiriko offers him a job with G-Grasper. He seems both instantly smitten with the pretty Kiriko and happy to do something with his amazing talents other than wow kids. One wonders why, if he's indeed such a genius, he's not already employed by some big corporation. Perhaps Kudo is a "Loner Outside the Cold Heartless Corporate World Doing Things His Way". Ouuu, I love those types.


"My hair is perfect."

And so Kiriko takes Kudo to the "Self Defense Corps Shibaura Base" where G-Command is headquartered. They come in Kiriko's company car, a Honda compact that I've never seen before. It must be a Japan-only model, but looks like a version of the Civic (I think it is an HR-V, help?). It has "G-Grasper" painted on the sides, and is an electric blue, matching the group's uniforms. It's a coupe, so Kiriko has to stand aside as Kudo gets out of the back seat. This is a little funny to see, though I don't know why. Later we will see corporate and military big wigs have to get out of this little car in the same way. You'd think that G-Grasper could afford some four-door cars.

They enter the G-Command's HQ in a large building. Here we see that the organization is divided into four sections. S-1 is seeking for Godzilla in the ocean (search), S-2 is studying it as a living being (study) and S-3 is simulating how to evacuate large cities (shelter). The fourth section is G-Grasper, the combat troops of the force.

The overall command of the bureau is Secretary Sugiura, a stern political type whose shifting loyalties will come to light later in the film. Motohiko Sugiura is played by 51-year old Masato Ibu.


Sugiura.

Kiriko introduces Kudo to the other G-Grasper team members, of which there are only five total counting Kiriko the Leader. This seems like a really small number of combat team members, but it does make it easier on the audience to keep all the characters straight. The other members are Hosono the Pilot, Niikura the Spokesman, Mima the Electronics Whiz, and Okamura the Ranger. Okamura was the only other survivor of the squad of Rangers that we saw fighting Godzilla in 1996, and as such is aware of Kiriko's back-story and reasons for being obsessed. These men will be little more than cardboard cutouts for the rest of the film, so don't bother learning their names.

Kudo is now reintroduced to Doctor Yoshino Yoshizawa, his old college physics professor and now the G-Command's lead scientist. It's just assumed, but we can guess that it was the Doctor that sent Kiriko out to get her former prized student Kudo to help her out.

Doctor Yoshizawa is played by 57-year old Yuriko Hoshi. Hoshi was one of the younger members of the Toho stable of actors during the 1960s. She made her mark in the Young Guy series of comedy movies and Toho's early Godzilla movies. She is well-known for playing Naoko Shindo in 1965's Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster and spunky reporter Yoka Nakanishi from 1964's Godzilla vs. Mothra I. She basically spends this entire movie wearing a white lab coat, so we don't forget she is a scientist, with her hair up in an old-lady's bun.


Doctor Yoshizawa.

The Doctor asks Kudo to join them, and Kudo puts his foot in his mouth by saying, "And be killed like them?" as he sees a photo of the Doctor with some of her former colleagues. A quick and well-edited flashback takes us back to 1996, to the Osaka plasma reactor building as Godzilla smashes it to pieces. We see the Doctor and her staff running for the exits, and the roof collapsing, killing all but the Doctor.

The Doctor shakes that off and tells Kudo that this time they have constructed a new "fatal weapon" that will kill Godzilla once and for all and avenge all those who have been lost to the monster. This involves a device that can create a "micro black hole using plasma energy" (!!!) in a designated location, which will open for a short amount of time, sucking all matter into it within a relatively small radius. The plan is to "shoot the black hole into Godzilla" so that nothing around him will be harmed in the process. Hmmm...sounds like a Pandora's Box to me.

They are working on a prototype now that is just two-meters wide that can fit on a satellite. Apparently, the best results can be had by firing the weapon from outer space (!!!). The problem is that they have had trouble miniaturizing the weapon to fit the satellite. This is where Kudo and his genius skills come in.


Kudo accepts the offer, and then insults everyone in the room.

Just as Kudo happily accepts the offer to help with the project, word comes to our heroes that Godzilla has just been spotted. The telltale signs of heat rising from the Japan Trench are detected. Dialogue clearly states that this is the "first time in three years that Godzilla has risen to the surface". This means that in 1998, Godzilla came up to the surface, though we don't know why. Just as quickly as it arose, however, Godzilla's heat signature vanishes as the beast sinks back down into the trench. With this scare driving them on, the scientists rush to build and test their first prototype of the black hole device.

We cut now to a rural area, a title card tells us that this is "three months later". We see a young boy, about ten-years old, in shorts and a striped shirt. Instantly, our Kenny Alarms are blaring loudly as we fear another in a long series of plucky young boys in shorts named Kenny. And, alas, this boy will turn out to be another Kenny. His name is never actually given, but we have to call him "Kenny" out of tradition.


Kenny.

Kenny's family is moving to the city very soon, as we hear his mom tell him, because his dad got a job transfer. His mom is quite attractive, by the way, despite her boy hair cut. We see Kenny leave home to take his insect collection back to a friend. As we shall later see, the insect collection is a nifty bit of plot foreshadowing.

Kenny runs down a country road. A white minivan passes him from behind. Suddenly, the boy runs into a military roadblock. He ducks behind a jeep, though there is absolutely no way humanly possible that the soldiers at the roadblock could not have seen him running down the road towards them. Furthermore, another jeep drives right by him (!!!) and up to the roadblock. The soldiers in the jeep (which passed by him in plain sight about five feet away) don't say, "Hey, we just saw a kid over there!" or anything! So Kenny is able to sneak off into the woods astride the road and bypass the roadblock.


I see you.

Kenny works his way through the woods to a vantage point where he can see the primary school that the roadblock was guarding. Apparently, the G-Command science group has commandeered this primary school for use in testing its black hole prototype. The black hole emitter looks like a huge laser gun, situated in a clearing aimed at the school building. It seems that there is no hint of perimeter security for this test area, as Kenny is able to come quite close to the area without being spotted.

Umm...I certainly hope this was an abandoned school. I'd hate to think that they couldn't find any better target that a country school to shoot black holes at. This isn't going to turn out well, is it? Even Doctor Yoshizawa has her doubts about the project as a whole. She tells Secretary Sugiura running G-Command that he had better dispose of the technology right after they use it to kill Godzilla. In typical shifty politician style, Secretary Sugiura only replies, "Sure." In this we see echoes of Doctor Serizawa's mental battles over whether to use the Oxygen Destroyer or not from the original 1954 Godzilla.


Japanese people love helmets with chin straps.

With the press of a button, the black hole emitter fires a swirling ball of gravity at the school in a really quite cool CGI effect. It works like a charm, the school and a hunk of surrounding soil is totally gone, having been sucked into the singularity. In just a few seconds the black hole itself is gone, leaving no apparent side effects. Yes!

But wait...seems that there's some weird aftereffects in the air where the black hole was targeted. Just by looking at it, Kudo is able to call it "contorted dimensional space". The effect only lasts a few seconds, and the scientists seemingly disregard it totally and declare the test a huge success. Hmmm...shouldn't someone be concerned about those contorted dimensional space effects? Apparently not. The rush to get the weapon operational has made everyone blind to any possible negative aspects. This will come back and bite them in the ass later.

This whole test is watched by Kenny, of course, and only when it is done is he captured by the military. It's not one of the soldiers that catch him, but one of the G-Grasper team (names don't matter). He contacts Kiriko directly, and she runs out to see the boy. She asks him nicely (!!!) not to tell anyone what he just saw (!!!) and he says "Ok." and she lets him go (!!!). Arg! So much for national security! We get the impression that the military and the rest of G-Command don't know about the kid, as they would probably not be as lenient on him as Kiriko was.


"No, Kenny, you can't touch them."

Two notes. During the conversation, Kenny sees that Kiriko is a G-Grasper. He says to her, "You're a woman, why are you fighting Godzilla?" To which she only laughs and changes the subject. What did that comment mean? Why can't a woman fight Godzilla? Also note that Kiriko just walks off and leaves the boy to find his own way home (!!!). She could have at least made sure that he got out of the woods safely.

We cut now to sometime later, at night, back to Kenny's house. Kenny is awoken by a strange noise and an ominous shadow outside his window. Putting on his shoes, he sneaks out of the house and for some reason works his way down to the exact spot that he earlier watched the Black Hole experiment from. Brave kid, walking alone in the dark through the woods all that way to investigate a monstrous shadow and a creepy noise!

Kenny sees that the dimensional ripple is still bubbling over the gaping hole where the school was, and suddenly a big dragonfly-looking creature zips over his head and disappears into the ripple. Frightened, Kenny runs for home, but stumbles upon an egg lying in a marshy part of the forest. It's the size of a football, translucent and pearly, with little oval mini-eggs stuck all over its surface.

So Kenny runs in terror the other direction an...wait, no he doesn't. He calmly picks up the egg and carries it back to his house! Man, this kid is nails! I sure hope he grows up to become something. I'd hate to see a kid this tough ending up flipping soy burgers.


Damn brave kid.

Ok, we move now to the Shibuya District in downtown Tokyo, where we see that Kenny's family has just moved into their high-rise apartment in the city. Kenny looks forlornly off the balcony at the city and longs for the rural pastures again. He notices that the box that he has hid the egg from his mom in is now leaking! Being quick, Kenny puts the egg in a shopping bag and goes down to the street to dispose of it. After looking around a bit for a good spot to ditch it, finally deciding to dump in into a sewer drain! Oh, that's not good.


Kenny is propositioned by one of Tokyo's less-appealing hookers.

Back now to G-Command HQ, where we rejoin our G-Grasper team in the exercise room as they work out. A slow pan across the room shows us that one of the guys has one leg of his sweat pants pulled up in a clear homage to the hip-hop fashion craze of the 1990s. Please tell me that this was just an accident and not cool in Japan in 2000?

Kudo comes in, looking for Kiriko. He tries some lame computer-geek flirting with her that fizzles. Then Hicks gives Ripley his homing beacon an...umm, I mean Kudo then gives Kiriko this special bullet with a micro-transmitter in it. If she ever gets stuck somewhere, she can fire the bullet and Kudo will come running for her. Why a bullet? Why not just something she can keep in her pocket, wouldn't that make more sense? Kiriko seems annoyed that he keeps bugging her, and even smacks him by telling him that before he can come rescue her he has to "build his body first." Ouch.


Kudo's homing bullet.

Kudo then further annoys her by making fun of the Old Sergeant's dog tag that she still wears ("Your boyfriend?") before being set straight by the other team members. Kiriko changes the subject by asking if she can test fire the bullet. For some reason there in the weight room she has a pistol! She aims and fires the bullet at a round free weight hanging on the wall. The bullet hits and sticks in the metal (!!!) and out pops four tiny transmitter panels that begin beeping. Umm...I think that much kinetic energy would smash the bullet, and how could it have stuck in the steel weight like that?

Anyway, we now have a quick five-second cut back to the Shibuya District in Tokyo, where we see the egg is now resting underwater in the sewer system. The smaller micro-eggs begin to pull away from the parent egg and drift away. This is not going to end well.


Oh no.

Soon it is night again and water mains begin busting all over the Shibuya District. At first it's just a few troublesome leaks but soon it will grow. In the dance club area, we follow a young couple out walking the streets. They step into a deserted construction area to have some time alone. The boy is hip, with leather pants and a denim vest, the girl very hot with a short pink dress. She goes off to buy them a beer and he sits alone, smoking a cigarette. Wow, he got his girlfriend to go buy him a beer? Maybe he's underage.

Suddenly, a bug-like creature jumps at the boy, grabbing his face in its claws and spitting some gooey sticky stuff in at him before munching him up real good. The attack is quick and surprisingly brutal for a Godzilla movie. The girl comes looking for him and is attacked by the creature as well. She's spit in the face, knocked to the ground and dragged off screaming in even more surprisingly brutal fashion. That's about as un-Godzilla movie-like a sequence as I've ever seen.


Icky.

I'm going to fill you in here. The creature is one of what hatched out of the micro-eggs in the sewer. It's a "Meganulon", a cicada-like bug the size of a horse and it is a larva for a dragonfly-like creature. Fans of the genre will note the similarities between these Meganulon and the Meganuron that attacked the mining town in 1956's Rodan. Toho has a long history of updating old monsters for the newer audiences and this one is done quite well.


Meganulon!

We now watch this bug crawl up the side of a nearby building and begin to molt. Out of it emerges the dragonfly-like thing (like the one Kenny saw that night), which takes to the sky and flies off. This winged version will be called a "Meganula". The whole molting scene is completely CGI and impressive to watch. And speaking of Kenny, we now see him watching out his balcony again. The Meganula flies right over his building, scaring the pants off of him again.


Meganula!

Some time later, perhaps the next day, Kenny is meeting with Kiriko. Kenny knew that the woman he talked to in the woods was with G-Grasper, so he probably just went to G-Command's website and sent her an email. Kenny tells her all he has done and rightfully feels ashamed and guilty for his actions. Kiriko assures him that it's not his fault (hmm...yes, it is his fault.) and that it was G-Command's rush to get the Black Hole device operational that created the mess.


"I told you last time, Kenny, you can't touch them until you turn 18."

Kenny then whips out a science book and shows Kiriko an entry on the Meganulon, which grows into a Meganula. This tells us that these bugs are earthly creatures, not some alien race of killer bugs. More on this later.

Back now to G-Command HQ, where satellites have picked up another radioactive heat signature in the Japan Trench. They enhance the images to the point where they can see it's Godzilla, and he's firing his Atomic Heat Breath at a Meganula! Just a guess, but I assume that the lone Meganula that we just saw in Tokyo flew out to find Godzilla. We will later learn that the Meganula are attracted to nuclear energy sources just like a moth to a flame. More on this later, too.

And so crisis mode kicks in within the G-Command structure. With Godzilla spotted in the neighborhood, the G-Grasper team rolls out its most powerful weapon. The Griffon is a ultra-high-tech jet plane capable of vertical as well as horizontal flight like a Harrier. It's no bigger than your average corporate Lear jet and is shaped much like the MiG-31 FireFox from 1982's FireFox, which isn't a bad thing because that movie rocked. It's armed with "photon cannons" and is crewed by three G-Graspers.


The Griffon.

So the Griffon, with Kiriko aboard, flies off to the Pacific to where Godzilla was spotted from space. They first sight the floating carcass of the Meganula that Godzilla torched. Hovering in vertical flight, they drop an inflatable Zodiac powered raft and Kiriko and another dude slide down a rope into the raft. They pull up to the stinking carcass and take some skin and bone samples to analyze later. They also put out an underwater microphone to watch for Godzilla.

And indeed, just then Godzilla is detected moving back into the area, perhaps sensing the raft and the jet over where the Meganula attacked him before. The Griffon returns to the raft and the other team member in the raft is winched back up, leaving Kiriko still in the raft. For some reason she has a plan and it involves staying down below. With her vengeance quest in mind, we wonder if she's going to attack the beast with a knife in an honorable final fury of revenge-driven blood lust.

Godzilla surfaces close by, upsetting the raft and tossing Kiriko into the water. She comes up defiant, and swims towards Godzilla! Reaching the beast, she climbs onto his exposed dorsal spikes and pulls herself up out of the water! Wow. Thinking quickly, she pulls out her pistol loaded with Kudo's micro-transmitter homing bullet and fires it into one of the spikes. She then jumps back into the sea and swims away to safety. And so, Kiriko becomes the only human being to have ever physically touched Godzilla and survived in the entire 46-year run of the series. This is quite an amazing achievement and a testament to Kiriko's daring and fortitude.


Excellent move by the producers, a truly memorable scene.

We do, however, wonder about her health. As we know, Godzilla is a nuclear reactor that pumps out enough radiation and heat to boil water to levels detectable by satellites and melt iron with his breath. Certainly, an exposed human standing on his back would be subject to immeasurable amounts of radiation, alpha, gamma and beta, and would be dead in a few hours. The heat alone radiated from a beast with a nuclear furnace at its heart should be enough to roast her. The scene does look unbelievably cool, however, so I'll quit griping.

So with the homing beacon on Godzilla, the Griffon drops a small robotic submersible into the sea to follow Godzilla. This is called a SGS (Search Godzilla System) and looks like a tiny A-Wing fighter from Star Wars. The SGS carries a camera and a satellite uplink to send real-time images back to G-Command HQ.

Back aboard the Griffon, Kiriko and her crew head back for Tokyo. Once there, they can analyze where they think Godzilla is headed. He seems to be headed for Tokyo, though no one can figure out why. There are no plasma and nuclear energy sources in the country right? Well, we do wonder how all the research into the Black Hole device was conducted, as it was said to have been born from research with plasma energy. But that's not what's happening here.

What's happening here is that the Japanese Government, starting with the Prime Minister on down to Secretary Sugiura, have been dabbling with plasma energy research even though it has been banned. In fact, they have a working reactor set up in a location in Tokyo right now, in clear violation of the law. Why? Mostly because they are concerned about the energy crisis that Japan is facing, and also because they want to make a lot of money by providing energy to the nation. More on this later.

With Godzilla on his way to Japan, the Black Hole device is rushed into service. We see in the lab Kudo and Doctor Yoshizawa making final checks on the device. Showing the typical Japanese penchant for silly names, Kudo names the device "Dimension Tide". He even takes a Sharpie and writes "DT" in English on the side of the satellite. We also see that Kiriko is watching him from above, and smiling that smile we know as "young love". At what point did Kudo become a suave lover boy and not an annoying geek? Did we miss something?


The Dimension Tide weapon.

The satellite is put on an H-2 heavy-lift booster rocket and launched from the Tanegashima Space Facility on Tanega Island off the southern tip of the island of Kyushu. This launch seems to take place in an awful hurry. I don't think that such a thing can be done in so little time, unless it was already scheduled to launch and it was just coincidence that Godzilla showed up at this time.

In space, we see the satellite, now deployed, unfurling its solar panels. From this angle it looks huge, but we must remember that it's just two meters wide and at the very most weighs 3,900 kilograms (the max payload the H-2 lifter rocket can put into a geosychronous orbit). The scale of the earth in the background makes this hard to remember. Wow, think about this for a minute. They have created a black hole gun that is only two meters across! This could be mounted on tanks, ships and even planes and change the entire balance of power in the world and the conduct of warfare. Imagine the possibilities...

Back now to G-Command, where the skin sample from the dead Meganula is being analyzed. The lead scientist, some old guy with a bad Fu Manchu mustache, declares that it "lived about 280 to 350 million years ago in the Carboniferous Period." That may be the good news. The bad news is that the Meganula "breeds in an aquatic environment", "makes clusters" and "it's a violent insect". How does he know that they are violent? Isn't that assuming way too much?


The scientist explains all.

Just then, the meeting is interrupted by the news that the Shibuya District of Tokyo (where the bugs are) is now completely flooded! The water level in the main business part of the area, with all the skyscrapers, is probably about 50 feet or so. This has got to mean that Shibuya sits in a valley or something, because it is just this part of Tokyo that gets flooded so deeply. "Underground waterways" seemed to have caused it, and we are sure that the bugs did it to create a lovely aquatic environment for their hatching. Told you that Kenny dropping the egg in the sewer was a bad idea...

They decide that they should check the flooded streets of Shibuya for any bad things. Kudo presents them with his latest creation, a miniature SGS about the size of a Nerf Flyer that's controlled by remote. How he managed to find the time to make this while also working on homing beacon bullets, black hole guns, and other gadgets is a mystery. This guy is a Japanese Da Vinci! As a side note, Kiriko in this scene seems disgusted with Kudo, giving him a nasty look that might say, "Arrogant bastard! Think you're so smart, eh? Then why don't you have a girlfriend? Loser."

Out now to Shibuya for the evacuation and rescue of the trapped citizens. The CGI effect of the streets flooded is wonderfully done. Army soldiers in small boats relay people to the dry parts of town as the press and onlookers gawk from the road. As well, the micro-SGS is being controlled by operators in another boat.


The flooded streets.

We follow the SGS as it cruises along under the water, its infrared camera sending back pictures. A peek at the bottom shows zillions of eggs! This doesn't look good. Where did all these eggs come from, anyway? Certainly not from the original egg. Maybe the first generation of Meganulon that hatched laid more eggs?

Anyway, we leave Tokyo to go back out to the Pacific Ocean to catch up with Godzilla. In the Ogasawara Trench, we see that the larger SGS is still tailing Godzilla. Wow, what kind of power source runs that robot? It has been operating a very long time now.

We cut now back to the "Defense Bureau" in Osaka now, where Kiriko is briefing the government on what has been happening. She is dressed up in her class-A uniform here, looking very sharp. She's explaining that Godzilla is still at sea southeast of Tokyo and the Dimension Tide is ready to go. The problem is that they need to lure Godzilla onto dry land for the weapon to work properly. In Godzilla's path there is a small island called Kiganjima, where they hope to coerce Godzilla into coming ashore so the beam can zap him.


Kiriko gives the briefing.

The politicians understandably have some concerns about the safety of firing a black hole at the earth from orbit, as any rational human being would. Kiriko, still in Captain Ahab mode, gets lippy with the ministers and that is not helping her case out. Kiriko realizes the error of her ways and looks positively ashamed, Secretary Sugiura pleads on her behalf and the ministers agree to allow the plan to proceed.

Back now to G-Command HQ, where we see that Kudo, being the all-around genius, has even written his own operating system which he uses for controlling the Black Hole satellite. He even has this little Nintendo-looking animated icon of Kiriko in a sexy nurse's outfit that guides him around the computer screen, which shows his frustrated love for her. He claims that his OS is "ten times faster" than anything else out there, which is insane. If he could indeed create an OS that was that much better, then he would be a multi-billionaire and living in Bill Gates' house and sleeping with his wife. And his OS would be a hundred times faster if he would run it from the command line prompt and not waste CPU resources on that goofy Kiriko animation.


Bad taste.

Kiriko and Secretary Sugiura arrive back from Osaka in the G-Grasper Honda. Again, we find it funny to see the Secretary have to awkwardly climb out of the back seat of the coupe. Not all is well with the staff, however, as we see the Secretary accosted by Doctor Yoshizawa and Kudo. They're mad that he and Kiriko pushed ahead the plan without allowing the scientists to test the weapon in space. Kudo loses more ground in his wooing of Kiriko by yelling at her for being so reckless.

Secretary Sugiura literally, and I mean freaking literally, waves off their valid concerns with a wave and a little smile and walks away! Oh, this is a recipe for disaster. Whenever you see in a movie some scientist's warnings being ignored by politicians, you just know there's going to be some serious balls-up coming soon. For her part, Kiriko understands the concerns, but she's bound and determined to see Godzilla killed now and not later. She's torn by her emotions.


Kiriko, unsure of her path in life anymore.

We cut now out to the aforementioned Kiganjima Island (and, yes, I know that "jima" means "island", so the second Island is superflurious, but I don't care what you say...), the Japanese Air Force is about to give it a go. The air attack with be backed up by the Griffon, though there seems to be no coordination between the Griffon and the attacking jets, in fact, quite the opposite. There will be nine Air Force jets, all are F-15J Eagles, and they come in three waves of three each. The first six jets strangely seem to be armed solely with one big torpedo each. The torpedoes are rather large, silver with a red nose cone, and called "Dragon Arrows".


An F-15J with a torpedo.

The torpedoes are intended for Godzilla, who is now just offshore. Coming in at a way-too-fast airspeed, the Eagles drop their torpedoes. Ok, follow along here. We see two torpedoes underwater and follow them both to impact on Godzilla. Then we see the three Eagles zooming off and all three have clean mounts. So where did the third torpedo go?

The second flight of three jets now attacks. We get another shot of three more torpedoes coming at Godzilla from underwater, two of which smack into his left side. The first six jets now fly off back home.

Some other questions. I could find no reference anywhere of an Eagle carrying a torpedo in real life, though it seems possible to do. Why did they use Eagles to deliver the torpedoes? Was it because they worried that larger, slower dedicated torpedo planes like the P-3 Orion would be easy targets? Did they need to conduct the raid in such a hurry that the fast jets were the only ones to do it? As, by the time the attack started, Godzilla was already just offshore of Kiganjima Island, perhaps this was the case. And these torpedoes seem to have actually impacted on Godzilla's skin, which is not how real torpedoes work, they explode next to their target and the pressure bulb does all the real damage.

The Eagles leave, and the Griffon enters the scene. Godzilla rears up out of the water, seemingly standing in waist-deep water even though he is clearly some ways out to sea. The Griffon and Godzilla square off. We see the mixture of awe, fear and determination in Kiriko's eyes.

The Griffon opens up with its photon cannons, scoring two hits on Godzilla's right neck. Curiously, the control stick of the Griffon has "PH LB" in English on the trigger. Perhaps this is for "Photon Laser Battery"? Godzilla is now pissed and heats up his spines. The Atomic Fire Breath shot is aimed at the Griffon, but it viffs out of the way at the last second. The blast instead smacks the last of the three Air Force Eagles coming in to attack. The three jets, strangely have no torpedoes, just under-wing missiles. The blast blows up two of the jets, but the third comes miraculously through the fireball to launch two missiles at Godzilla. Both hit the beast and the jet flies off. It is unbelievable that the jet managed to avoid being destroyed by either the Fire Breath or the exploding jets. It is also weird that the Griffon didn't warn the approaching jets about Godzilla about to fire. There were at least three seconds there when it was clear that the beast was about to let loose.


Godzilla under air attack.

Hmmm...just a thought. The Griffon is covered, inside and out with English words. Is it possible that the plane was built in America? It's never stated where and who built the machine, so it is possible. I can see how the computer graphics were made in English for the American market, but did they make two models of the Griffon, one for each market?

Anyway, back to the film. All these attacks apparently work and Godzilla lumbers up on shore, pursuing the Griffon. Why did he come ashore when he could have easily swum around it? Was it to chase the Griffon? He sure didn't seem too interested in the Griffon once he was ashore, so why did he bother?


Godzilla, viewed from the Griffon.

Back now to G-Command HQ for a quick look, where the rest of our cast watches the action on a big screen. The view is coming from a camera set up on the island by "Unit 3". BTW, we see that Kudo is now wearing a jersey that says "Vikings" across the front. He oh-so wants to be American...

We now head back into the flooded Shibuya District, where we see that the Army is planning on ridding the "square" of eggs. They're doing this by sending down divers from Zodiac boats with crates of TNT. We join one of the boats as it cruises the flooded streets. Several soldiers sit on guard, their rifles ready. Suddenly, one of the men notices that a side of a tall building is completely covered with Meganula! Damn, there must be thousands of them. Why are they only on this one building? What are they doing there? We never find out as the soldiers decide to plink away at the bugs with their rifles.


Covered with bugs!

Several boats of soldiers start blazing away, and we see perhaps one Meganula fall to their bullets. The rest of them, however, sprout wings and fly away. They first buzz one of the boats, knocking a hapless soldier overboard. The Meganula, now a massive swarm of many thousands, heads off immediately to sea. They are headed for Godzilla.

Back now to HQ, where Godzilla is now on dry land and fair game. The Dimension Tide is powered up and the cross hairs on set on Godzilla. Apparently, it takes exactly, 300.00 seconds to prep for firing, which seems strange. Just as the finger is hovering over the trigger, the Griffon is suddenly rocked by the swarm of Meganula from Tokyo. They have arrived to suck on Godzilla, thinking him a "tank of energy".


Godzilla wonders just what the hell is going on.

The swarm of dragonflies around Godzilla messes up the satellite's ever-so delicate "auto-sensing system", causing them to wait for the swarm to leave before they can fire.

But first the swarm has some dealings with our mutant lizard. Attracted to his nuclear physiology, they attack to him like a cloud of mosquitoes on a naked man in Louisiana. They stick their stingers into his flesh and "suck out his nuclear energy", or something like that. Godzilla is understandably pissed and tries everything to get them off. He swings his tail around like a horse, he smacks and rubs up against a cliff face, he roars and flails around but they still assail him.

Ok, we have so far been told that these creatures are actual real-life animals from earth's distant past. So what kind of evolutionary design allows them to suck radioactive blood and survive? Were there radioactive monsters back in Earth's ancient past? These are more extraterrestrial alien bugs than Paleozoic earth creatures.

He finally gets so mad that he heats up his spines to never-before-seen heats, melting and roasting the dragonflies still attached to him, and lashes out at the sky with a massive, sustained Atomic Fire Breath. This burst lasts a long 15 seconds of time, much longer than any other fire breath we have seen in the entire series. Hundreds of the bugs are toasted, falling around him in flames. The swarm is greatly reduced.


Flame!

The air clearer, the Dimension Tide locks onto Godzilla and fires. The swirling black hole ball flies through the air to implode seemingly over Godzilla's head. As it was supposed to actually go off "inside" him, we know that something didn't work quite right. Indeed, as the Griffon comes in to check the area, we see the ground give way and Godzilla emerge, seemingly intact and unhurt. I have a hard time seeing how a weapon can be calibrated so wrong as to only miss by a few dozen meters over a firing path of many, many miles. And the display clearly said it was "locked on", so somebody messed up the numbers on that one. Who's going to lose their job here?

The Dimension Tide has to cool down for one hour, so says the scientists, and so Godzilla escapes this time. The swarm of Meganula decides to take off for Japan again. Why? Did they have enough blood? Godzilla goes off swimming towards Tokyo after them, "Hey, give me back my blood!" The Griffon returns to Tokyo as well. But first we get this weird little bit where Godzilla and Kiriko lock eyes and glare at each other for a few seconds.


Grrr...

Hmmm...since the last time the black hole was fired, it created a ripple that let in all sorts of nasty bugs, don't you think they would be concerned that this shot would do the same? Maybe they fixed the problem since they realized what carnage the first experiment caused? Hey, and don't you think the freezing vacuum of space might cool the weapon down a little faster than one hour?

Ok, now we get a little X-Files type of scene, where Secretary Sugiura sits in a dimly lit room talking on the phone with the "Prime Minister". The gist is that Sugiura is sure that Godzilla will be headed for Tokyo, to the "National Institute of Chemistry" in Shibuya. This is where the Government, with the approval of the Prime Minister, has been conducting banned experiments in neutron power. Hmm...somebody's not going to get re-elected here... [Editor Pam: Wait a minute, is this the only energy production in Tokyo? Where do their lights and power come from? Surely they must have some coal-fired power stations, at least. Do they not taste as good as nuclear and plasma plants? Coal contains a certain amount of radioactive material, so why isn't Godzilla ever attracted to coal?]


Fire this dude.

Back over Shibuya, the Meganula swarm dive into the water. They gather around a huge pupa that somehow has come to rest on the bottom. Where did this pupa come from? The Meganula stick their tails into the husk, pumping it full of the nuclear blood. This causes the pupa to gestate out a massive "King Meganula", which will be called a "Megaguirus". Once they have poked the pupa, the Meganula apparently die and float off limply.

Megaguirus the big-ass mutant dragonfly will have stats of 50-meters long, a wingspan of 80 meters and a weight of 15,000 metric tons. Basically a scaled-up version of the smaller Meganulas, he is physically large, but is giving up nearly 10,000 tons to Godzilla. Superficially similar to an Earth dragonfly, Megaguirus has some interesting morphological characteristics, including a mouth filled with rows of sharp teeth and eyes that are not multi-faceted. His flying motion is Mothra-like stiff and unnatural. His most powerful feature is the long tail ending in a nasty stinger, this will prove to also be his greatest weak point.


The Megaguirus Boss!

Now, back to HQ. The Griffon has landed and Kiriko is pissed off. She points her anger at Kudo, who seems like a likely target as he designed the DT weapon. Kudo gets defensive, and the two actually have some fisticuffs! Well, really Kiriko just does some Aikido on him, which really makes him look like a wimp. The lovefest is broken up by Doctor Yoshizawa. They decide to use the SGS to search the sea lanes between the island and Tokyo, sure that Godzilla will be found.

That night, Kudo goes down to the edges of the flooded Shibuya District with a micro-sized SGS that he has just built. Where does he find the time??? He gets the soldiers to use it to search beneath the flooded streets. BTW, the area is cordoned off by soldiers and warning signs. The signs all read "Keep Out" in English only. Where was this movie filmed? Was it in Hong Kong?

Anyway, now the big bad Megaguirus pops out of the water as Kudo watches in amazement. The monster hovers low for a minute, allowing us a glorious 360-degree look at it. Man, that is one dull, lifeless rubber monster. Very little on it actually moves, nothing to suggest that it's supposed to be alive. When it flies it does so simply by moving its wings up and down and gliding along. There's nothing natural about any of its movements. This is where CGI would have saved this movie.


"Dude, that's some serious processing power."

Megaguirus flies off, apparently headed somewhere to find Godzilla for some reason. On his way out of town, the dragonfly clips some buildings. One wing slices through the top of a building, cutting it completely off. Wow, that's one strong wing! And the impact of hitting that building with its wing didn't even affect the flight of the beast at all! How fake is that? As well, it's clear that the Tsutaya company paid some coin from some free press, as we see a Tsutaya billboard about ten times in this short scene.

All I got right now...sorry. At this point in my review process, my two-year old First Born scratched the hell out of my disk while trying to use it for a frisbee or something...

Good news! My awesome editor Pam has finished off this beast for me, picking up my fallen standard and carrying it high into the breach and all that. Thanks, Pam!

Since Nate won't finish this review, I decided to take a stab at it. There isn't much of the movie left, and I'm sure everybody has a pretty good idea of what's going to happen.

Megaguirus is perching on a building, still stiffly flapping his wings. The air around him starts getting really wavy and Kudo clutches his ears, evidently indicating that Megaguirus is emitting some sort of painful sound, although all we hear is a faint tea-kettle sort of whistling. Then Megaguirus takes off and buildings explode all over the place. This effect, whatever it is, mysteriously wrecks buildings but leaves the humans in the area unaffected (only a few people besides Kudo clutch their ears even), except where they're hit by falling debris.

Which is what happens to Kudo, and the next thing we see, he's waking up in a hospital bed. He's heavily bandaged, but thankfully his hair is unmussed. It's easy to see why he's the hero. Kiriko, Dr. Yoshizawa, and the Fu-Manchu-mustached scientist from G-Command are in the room as he awakes. Kiriko is completely unsympathetic toward Kudo, a sign that romance is surely in the air. Dr. Fu Manchu proceeds to inform us that the monster dragonfly is called Megaguirus. He seems to know an awful lot about it, and it seems that it's not the only one of its kind. A fossil Megaguirus was found in Eastern China some time ago, and this one has been extensively studied. Indeed it has, and the doctor seems to know a lot more about the fossil than you would think some old bones could tell. He says it's a formidable fighter, almost invincible.

Kiriko is pulled out of Kudo's sickroom by the announcement that Godzilla is approaching. He's heading straight for Tokyo (is anybody surprised?), swimming underwater, and most impressively, without moving his arms or anything else. How he manages to propel himself is a mystery, but when you accept the presence of a giant radioactive mutant lizard, it's probably being overly picky to question the fact that he can swim apparently by sheer force of will alone.

Now we cut to a scene of people fleeing, including Kenny, who's being dragged along by his mother. Mercifully, this is the last we'll see of Kenny. I notice that in the monster movies of the 1950s, you could spot a lot of women in kimonos in the fleeing crowds, but in this one, none of the women are wearing them. Also, the Japanese seem somewhat chubbier in this movie than they were in the 1950s movies, has anybody else noticed this?

As far as I can tell, Kenny gets away safely, so let's go back to G-Command, where Kiriko is speculating on why Godzilla is heading for Tokyo, seeing as how there's no energy production in Tokyo. Sugiura is sitting there, smoking and trying to look innocent as Kiriko and Dr. Yoshizawa give him suspicious looks. After the announcement that Godzilla is nearing Tokyo Bay, Kiriko orders the Griffon scrambled, and off she and her crew go. We see Godzilla, now swimming on the surface, still not moving his arms.

He stands up, waist-deep in water, and the Griffon has another go with its plasma gun. All the shots hit Godzilla, but the big guy shrugs them off and counters with his Atomic Flame Breath, which the Griffon dodges. It looks like nothing can stop Godzilla from trashing Tokyo, but then (wait for it) Megaguirus appears! Guess he wants some more of that tasty radioactive blood. Megaguirus and Godzilla glare at each other, then Megaguirus launches his attack. Ouch! Godzilla's down! Boy, it must hurt to fall down when you weigh 25,000 tons, but Godzilla just shakes his head and gets back on his feet. Oh, no! Megaguirus flies up from behind and knocks him down again! (By the way, you'd expect a big dent in the ground and damage to surrounding structures when 25,000 tons hits the ground, but outside of some dust, nothing happens. The ground doesn't even shake much.) Godzilla is having a bad day and it's about to get worse, because Sugiura orders G-Command to use the Dimension Tide to kill both monsters.

Wow. Megaguirus has perched on a nearby ferris wheel, amazingly still upright and intact under the weight of 15,000 tons. Possibly realizing that the ferris wheel can't hold up much longer, he flies off and heads toward Godzilla, who's back on his feet and powering up the Atomic Flame Breath, judging from his dorsal fins. He blasts it out, but Megaguirus dodges, and starts flapping his wings and making the air all wavy again. This raises a thick cloud of dust and shakes up the Griffon something awful. More Flame Breaths and wavy air but no advantage to either, Megaguirus locks onto Godzilla with his front claws and shakes him around some, the Dimension Tide is powering up, and -- the system goes dead, a result, according to Dr. Yoshiwara, of the high-frequency waves emitted by Megaguirus. So that's what the wavy air was! There is a frantic effort by Dr. Yoshiwara to restore the system, but it seems there's no backup file. The Griffon now can't be controlled, either, also a casualty of the high-frequency waves.

Godzilla and Megaguirus are still going at it, at close range now. Godzilla is holding onto Megaguirus and is trying to build up a Flame Breath but is having trouble. Maybe the shaking around Megaguirus is giving him is disrupting the reaction, or maybe the high energy waves did something to him. Megaguirus flaps his wings harder and pushes Godzilla backwards, lifting him into the air! Yes, even though Godzilla outweighs him by 10,000 tons, Megaguirus can still get Godzilla airborne. Watch as Godzilla's feet drag along the ground, all they do is stir up a little dust instead of gouging the big trenches you might expect. Megaguirus throws him into a building, and poor Godzilla seems dazed and only half-conscious. He's not as young as he used to be, and he's had a rough few days. To add insult to injury, Megaguirus drops a rooftop onto him.

The Griffon crashed on a rooftop a few minutes ago, ending up dramatically poised halfway over the edge. This seems like a dangerous situation to me, but the crew is unworried and watches as Megaguirus flies off and Godzilla stumbles to his feet, covered with pieces of the roof. Back comes Megaguirus, and now Godzilla is mad! No more Mr. Nice Guy here. He searches the sky for Megaguirus, eyes narrowed and teeth looking sharp and deadly. By the way, Godzilla's teeth look a lot yellower here than they did in Godzilla 2000, I just hope he hasn't started smoking. Oops, one of Megaguirus' claws has just dropped off, but he keeps on flying and -- oh no -- Godzilla lets him sneak up behind him again! What is wrong with the big fellow, anyway? Maybe he really is getting old. But no! Godzilla isn't fooled, he lashes out with his tail and grabs Megaguirus, slinging him into a building.

Back at G-Command, things aren't looking good. Nobody can restore the system. Sugiura is getting peeved now, wondering what's taking so long, when in rushes Kudo, shirtless, bandaged, and with his right arm in a cast, but nobly determined to get the Dimension Tide up and running before it's too late. And his hair is still in perfect shape! After a little banter between him and Kiriko, who is still on the edge of the roof in the Griiffon and listening in over the radio, he sits down and gets to work, ripping the cast off his arm (what a man!). Does it come as a surprise to hear he gets the system back up and running in about 20 seconds by hitting a few keys?

Meanwhile, Godzilla and Megaguirus are grappling again. Why doesn't Godzilla use his Flame Breath? He couldn't possibly miss at this range. Now he's thrown back, and as he walks menacingly toward Megaguirus, Megaguirus' wings light up and he hurls a ball of energy at Godzilla, who's thrown back again. It seems there's still a lot we haven't learned about Megaguirus' abilities. I wonder if Dr. Fu Manchu's specimen was able to do this when it was alive, and if so why didn't he warn G-Command, but I suppose fossil remains wouldn't tell you this. Godzilla is still standing where he came to rest, but not for long. As we watch, he collapses onto the ground. He gets to his knees but Megaguirus flies over and knocks him down again. And again.

Oh, ick. With a hideous squelch, Megaguirus hits Godzilla square in the face with his tail spike. I was expecting this to be the last of Godzilla, and bracing myself for the sight of a lot of radioactive blood, but as the camera turns to show Godzilla's face we see...Megaguirus' tail is firmly clenched in Godzilla's mouth! Godzilla chomps down, biting the spike off, and as Megaguirus retreats (flying backward!), finally cuts loose with the Atomic Flame Breath. He fries Megaguirus pretty good, in fact he sets Megaguirus on fire, and Megaguirus falls to the ground in a ball of flame, fortuitously landing on a patch of bare ground instead of falling on a gas station and setting half of Tokyo on fire. If this were the Godzilla of the 1970s, I'd give him credit for making sure Megaguirus fell exactly where he did, but given what we've seen of this Godzilla, it was probably just an accident.

Kudo has the Dimension Tide system back on line, but something outside of his control is happening to the satellite on which the Dimension Tide is mounted. Its orbit has become unstable and it's falling toward Earth, which means they can't use the Dimension Tide after all. Sugiura is getting antsy now and leaves, saying he'll take the G-Command chopper to the battle site, but Dr. Yoshizawa has become suspicious and demands to know what he's hiding. He says nothing, just keeps on walking. It's unclear what he thinks he can do on the scene, and as we will shortly see, he would have done better to take the chopper to some country that doesn't have an extradition treaty with Japan, but off he goes.

That fight with Megaguirus got Godzilla all riled up, and now he is stalking through Tokyo, causing destruction wherever he goes (but not death, because everybody appears to have been evacuated. Amazing that it could be done so fast, but the inhabitants of Tokyo must have had plenty of practice in getting away before the monster shows up.) He doesn't even seem sore from the bashing he took. G-Command announces that he's headed for Shibuya, and the Griffon, which has spent the entire Godzilla-Megaguirus fight precariously perched on a nearby building (and wasn't even rattled by multi-ton monsters being thrown to the ground) now finds that it's airworthy and takes off, although it seems they can't use their plasma gun.

Sugiura's helicopter lands in Tokyo, near where Godzilla is taking out his annoyance on various buildings, and he gets out, along with Dr. Yoshizawa. The Griffon lands and Kiriko jumps out and runs over to them, demanding to know why Godzilla is attacking "the Institute." Now for the big reveal...the Institute has been doing research on plasma energy! Sugiura says the research was done for the benefit of Japan, and also, as he admits when Dr. Yoshizawa presses him, to make sure he gets a big promotion. He adds that they shut down the plasma generator so he doesn't understand how Godzilla found the place, and I don't either, but this little point is glossed over by everybody else. They all seem to feel that somehow it was the universe punishing these people for breaking the rules and developing unclean energy. As an aside, I notice that Godzilla isn't doing anything but smashing the Institute building apart. He's clearly not eating or drinking anything, so he must be either inhaling or bathing in the residual plasma energy. You know, if Godzilla is willing to go to all this effort to get what must be a small amount of energy, maybe they could just keep him penned up and content by exposing him to radioactivity from, say, spent nuclear fuel. It seems like such a little thing to do for Japan's national monster.

I have to say it was criminally irresponsible to pick a heavily-populated city to set up a facility to generate energy known to attract Godzilla. (Why did it have to be in Tokyo? Why couldn't they at least have done it in a remote area?) Kiriko says as much to Sugiura, who retorts that it was G-Command who made a mess of everything, and at this point, Kiriko decks him. Dr. Yoshizawa grabs Kiriko and Sugiura apparently crawls off into a hole, at least we don't see him anymore on the roof. Godzilla is still on the rampage, and things look bad, when Kudo calls with the news that the Dimension Tide is completely back on line, although the satellite is very difficult to aim the Dimension Tide under these circumstances, but Kiriko has a solution. She will take the Griffon and fly above Godzilla, saying that it will be easier to lock onto the Griffon than Godzilla.

Who knows why it's easier to "lock onto" a small flying object than a somewhat larger slowly-moving object, but nobody brings this up, and Kiriko jumps into the Griffon and is off, looking very heroic. There's a few minutes of some forced suspense while we wait to see if she can get into position in time, but of course she does. She ejects as Dimension Tide hits the Griffon, which is now on the point of hitting Godzilla, the air fills with swirls, and Godzilla disappears in a ball of fire. Kiriko ejected awfully close to the ground, and she doesn't have a parachute, but she lands in a conveniently-placed swimming pool and gets out without any trouble, despite still being in full flying gear. There is much rejoicing at G-Command.

Kiriko walks over to the crater left by Godzilla's disappearance, her hair now loose (much more becoming, as a matter of fact) and completely dry (!!!), and gazes into the crater with satisfaction. It really seems as though Godzilla is gone for good, and I for one feel a little empty inside. But not to worry, mysterious seismic activity is reported at the end of the movie, and of course it can't be anything but Godzilla, can it?

Oh, and there's going to be an inquiry over why plasma research was carried on in the Tokyo, even after it was banned. "Inquiry?" When so many lives were lost and untold millions worth of destruction were caused? I think they need to go straight to a "trial," if you ask me. Not to mention an "impeachment" for any government officials irresponsible enough to approve this research in the first place. But maybe since Godzilla just happened to show up in time to defeat Megaguirus, the men responsible will get off lightly. I'm sure they'll try that argument, anyway.

I didn't mention it before, but during all the monster fighting, a lot of dust was stirred up. I wonder if the incidence of asthma attacks and allergies in general increased during the days after? Were fibers of asbestos released into the air? How about chemical spills? The insurance companies are going to pay heavily for Godzilla's little outing.

The End (again).

Written in September 2004/October 2009 by Nathan Decker and Pam Burda, and edited by Darci Sharver.



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