Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000)
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (ゴジラ×メガギラス G消滅作戦?, lit. Godzilla X Megaguirus: G Extermination Strategy) is a Gojira ekkusu Megagirasu: Jī Shōmetsu Sakusen2000 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho Company Ltd., and the twenty-fourth installment in the Godzilla series, as well as the second in the Millennium series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on December 16, 2000.
An experimental satellite-based weapon that fires miniature black holes, called the Dimension Tide, opens a wormhole through which a prehistoric dragonfly enters the present and deposits a single egg before exiting through the wormhole. A boy finds the egg and takes it with him when he moves to Tokyo. The egg starts oozing a strange liquid, so the boy throws the egg in the sewer. The egg, actually a mass of hundreds of eggs, splits up and starts growing when exposed to water, hatching into large dragonfly larva called Meganulon that come out of the sewer to feed. They flood a portion of the city and moult on the sides of buildings, becoming adult Meganula.
Meanwhile, the atomic dinosaur Godzilla appears, in search of a source of nuclear energy, despite the edict shutting down all such attractants after his three previous appearances. While Godzilla is fighting the G-Graspers (the anti-Godzilla section of the Japan Self Defense Forces) who are assisted by rebellious scientist Hajime Kudo, the swarm of Meganula are attracted in turn to Godzilla's energy, and attack him. Most Meganula are killed, but a few drain some of Godzilla's energy and return to the sewer. With the last of their strength, the Meganula inject Godzilla's energy into a huge, sleeping larva that is in a giant, pulsating cocoon. It molts and appears from the water as Megaguirus, the queen of the Meganula.
After destroying part of the city with shock waves generated by her beating wings, Megaguirus heads to the waterfront and faces Godzilla. Being territorial, Megaguirus considers the city to be her hunting ground. As they engage in a lengthy battle, she uses her speed to avoid Godzilla's attacks, but Godzilla eventually uses her speed against her. As she flies toward Godzilla, he lunges forward with his dorsal fins in her path. She flies into the fins, and one of her arms is severed.
During the battle, a special ability of Megaguirus is revealed: Having been mutated by Godzilla's energy, she can generate a blast similar to his atomic breath. She fires a huge ball of radiation, knocking Godzilla down. He gets back up, and Megaguirus goes in for the kill. She speeds forward with the stinger on her long tail lowered, trying to stab Godzilla between the eyes. In a climactic moment, Godzilla catches the stinger in his mouth. He bites down, crushing the stinger. Megaguirus rears up in pain, and Godzilla takes the chance to finally blast her with his atomic breath. She bursts into flames and Godzilla blasts her a second time and destroys her.
It is revealed that Godzilla was attracted to the energy of a secret nuclear project housed at the Science Institute, in violation of the ban, by Professor Yoshino Yoshizawa. The G-Graspers are now wanting to kill Godzilla, but with the Dimension Tide falling out of orbit they are unable to get a lock on Godzilla, until the beautiful and psychotic Major Kiriko Tsujimori pilots a ship called Gryphon towards Godzilla, ejecting only at the last second. The Dimension Tide is able to lock on to the craft and fires just before burning up on reentry; Godzilla vanishes and everyone celebrates. In a postlude, however, Major Tsujimori again enlists Kudo to investigate suspicious seismic activity; then in an after-credits scene, Godzilla's roar is heard again as an earthquake strikes Tokyo.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Masaaki Tezuka
- Written by Hiroshi Kashiwabara, Wataru Mimura
- Produced by Shogo Tomiyama
- Music by Michiru Oshima, Akira Ifukube
- Cinematography by Masahiro Kishimoto
- Edited by Yoshiyuki Okuhara
- Production Design by Takeshi Shimizu
- Special Effects by Kenji Suzuki
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Misato Tanaka as Kiriko Tsujimori
- Shosuke Tanihara as Hajime Kudo
- Masatoh Eve as Motohiko Sugiura
- Yuriko Hoshi as Yoshino Yoshizawa
- Toshiyuki Nagashima as Takuji Miyagawa
- Kazuko Katou as Kaoru Hayasaka
- Suzuki Hiroyuki as Jun Hayasaka
- Koichi Ueda as Government Official
- Koichi Yamadera as Kid's TV Host
- Yusaku Yara as Narrator
- Masaaki Tezuka as Teacher
Weapons, Vehicles, and Races
- Main article: Godzilla vs. Megaguirus/Gallery.
- Main article: Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (Soundtrack).
- Godzilla X Megaguirus: G Extermination Strategy (Literal Japanese Title)
- GXM (Abbreviated Title)
View all posters for the film here.
- Japan - December 16, 2000 [view poster]
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus premiered in the U.S. at the Pickwick Theater on July 13th, 2002, as part of G-FEST '02. The Sci-Fi Channel aired its U.S. television debut on August 31st, 2003.
The film was released on DVD in the United States by TriStar Pictures in 2004. Along with Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, which had the same street date, it was the first official American release of a Japanese Godzilla film to include the original audio, though the subtitles came from the English dub's script. This release also used Toho's international title card, marking the first time TriStar did not create its own title card for a release. TriStar would do the same for each of its subsequent Godzilla DVDs.
The budget of Godzilla vs. Megaguirus is estimated at $8,300,000. It opened in Japan on December 16, 2000 and grossed approximately $10,000,000, making it the second lowest-grossing entry in the Millennium Godzilla series. Total admissions in Japan were approximately 1,350,000.
The reaction to Godzilla vs. Megaguirus has been mixed. Ed Godziszewski of Monster Zero said, "While not the best example of filmmaking, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus nonetheless succeeds as an entertaining film."
Stomp Tokyo said "the music is pretty good" but "this movie isn't a step forward in the ways that it really should be." Mike Bogue of American Kaiju said, "Though not the best of the post-Showa Godzilla movies, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus is one of the most entertaining." Ian Jane of DVD Talk said, "While not the best entry in the Godzilla series, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus ... [is] still a really solid entry with some great special effects and a very memorable monster mash finale."
Matt Paprocki of Blog Critics called the film "a true classic in the series," adding: "It's impossible not to be entertained somewhat, whether you're looking for camp value or serious giant monster action. This one has everything that is required of the kaiju genre." Andrew Pragasam of The Spinning Image called the film a "flawed, but entertaining comic book extravaganza" that "only partially delivers as a slam-bang monster epic" and suffers from "a lack of likeable characters."
Toho DVD (2001)
- Region: 2
- Audio: Japanese
Universal Laser DVD (2001)
- Region: 3
- Region: 1
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Special Features: Trailers
Madman DVD (2005)
- Region: 4
Sony Blu-ray (2014)
- Region: A/1
- Discs: 2
- Audio: Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Special Features: 3 trailers for Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (2 teasers, 1 theatrical) and 2 trailers for Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (1 teaser, 1 theatrical)
- Notes: Packaged with Godzilla vs. Destoroyah.
- Although this film uses the same Godzilla suit used in Godzilla 2000: Millennium, the films do not take place in the same continuity. In this timeline, Godzilla was not killed by the Oxygen Destroyer following his attack on Tokyo in 1954, and did not return to Japan again until 1966. The film does not state whether Dr. Serizawa declined to use the device or never invented it in the first place.
- Megaguirus and the Meganula are both adapted from Meganulon, which first appeared in Rodan.
- Certain shots in the scene depicting Godzilla's first attack on Tokyo are stock footage from the original Godzilla, with the GiraGoji suit digitally replacing the ShodaiGoji suit.
- This is the only film in the Millennium series to have "vs." in its English title. However, this film's Japanese title uses "X," (Gojira X Megagirasu), which is also used for Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla's Japanese title (Gojira X Mekagojira) and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.'s Japanese title (Gojira X Mosura X Mekagojira).
- According to Shinji Nishikawa: Drawing Book of Godzilla, an initial plot for Godzilla vs. Megaguirus had astronauts finding Godzilla bones on the Moon. Shinji Nishikawa even prepared concept art for this plot.
- The parliamentary debate in this film following Godzilla's attack on the Tokai Nuclear Power Plant is a direct reference to a similar scene from the original Godzilla film, down to the outfit of the woman pounding her fist on the table.
- Andy Johnson's account of playing an extra in two evacuation scenes
- List of firearms used in the film
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