Godzilla vs Megaguirus: Movie Review and Plot Details Revealed!
Godzilla vs. Megaguirus: G Extermination Strategy) is the twenty-fifth film in the Godzilla franchise and the second in the Millennium series, both of which were released in 2000 by Toho Company Ltd. On December 16, 2000, the film debuted in Japanese theatres
Masaaki Tezuka helmed Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, with assistance from Shogo Tomiyama as producer and Hiroshi Kashiwabara and Wataru Mimura as screenwriters. Like Godzilla 2000: Millennium before it, this film completely resets the series’ timeline, having no connections to the films that came before or after it (other than the original 1954 film). In this installment, Godzilla battles a brand-new foe, Megaguirus, while he gorges on nuclear and plasma energy and humans.
A proper sequel to the film was never made, much like in the year 2000. But on December 15, a brand new Godzilla movie was released as part of the Millennium series.
The film’s prologue is set in 1954, when Godzilla, an atomic dinosaur, assaults Japan, prompting the government to relocate the capital from Tokyo to Osaka. Godzilla destroys the first nuclear power facility in Japan, located in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, in 1966. As a result, the Japanese government has assigned the G-Graspers of the Self-Defense Forces to destroy Godzilla once and for all. By 1996, clean plasma energy had replaced nuclear power, but it didn’t stop Godzilla from destroying the prototype plasma energy reactor. Therefore, the use of plasma energy is prohibited there.
A prehistoric dragonfly reaches the current day, lays an egg, and then leaves through a wormhole opened by the Dimension Tide, an experimental satellite-based weapon that blasts microscopic black holes. While packing to go to Tokyo, a young man discovers the egg and decides to bring it along. After the egg begins leaking an odd substance, the boy discards it in the drain. Upon contact with water, the egg, which is actually a cluster of hundreds of eggs, hatches into a huge dragonfly larva called a Meganulon, which emerges from the sewer to eat. As they mature into adult Meganula, they flood an area of the city and climb up the walls of buildings.
At the same time, Godzilla makes a fourth return, this time in search of nuclear energy despite an order banning it following his previous three appearances. The swarm of Meganula is drawn to Godzilla’s energies and assaults him while he is engaged in combat with the G-Graspers (the anti-Godzilla unit of the Japan Self Defense Forces), who are aided by dissident scientist Hajime Kudo. Only a handful of Meganula survives to drain some of Godzilla’s power before retreating to the sewer with what appears to be Godzilla’s full attention. After exhausting all other options, the Meganula injects Godzilla’s energy into a massive cocoon containing a dormant, enormous larva. During its molt, it transforms into Megaguirus, queen of the Meganula.
After causing widespread destruction with the shock waves from her flapping wings, Megaguirus makes her way to the shoreline to confront Godzilla. Due to her strong sense of territory, Megaguirus views the city as her personal hunting preserve. Over the course of their prolonged conflict, she uses her speed to evade Godzilla’s strikes, only to have him turn the tables on her. Godzilla swoops down to intercept her, blocking her passage with his dorsal fins. She flies straight into the fins, losing one arm in the process.
Megaguirus’s unique power emerges during the conflict: having been altered by Godzilla’s energy, she can produce a blast analogous to his atomic breath. She unleashes a massive sphere of radiation that knocks Godzilla to the ground. After a brief rest, he stands and Megaguirus makes his move. She rushes forward, stinger lowered on her long tail, aiming for Godzilla’s head. A pivotal scene involves Godzilla catching the stinger in his jaws. The stinger is crushed beneath his chompers. As Megaguirus rears up in agony, Godzilla seizes the opportunity to deliver a full dose of his atomic breath on the creature. She erupted in flames, and Godzilla blasted her to bits a second time.
Professor Yoshino Yoshizawa reveals that Godzilla was drawn to the Science Institute because of the energy emanating from a forbidden nuclear experiment. Now that they want to kill Godzilla, the G-Graspers can’t get a grip on him since the Dimension Tide has fallen out of orbit. That is, until the stunningly gorgeous and deeply disturbed Major Kiriko Tsujimori pilots a ship dubbed Gryphon straight at Godzilla, ejecting at the last possible moment. Godzilla disappears and the people celebrate as the Dimension Tide locks on to the ship, fires, and explodes upon reentry. After the credits roll, Godzilla’s roar can be heard again as an earthquake strikes Tokyo, and in a postlude, Major Tsujimori once again recruits Kudo to examine unusual seismic activity.
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
The actor’s name is on the left, the character is 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
TriStar Pictures released GMK and Godzilla vs. Megaguirus on DVD in the United States in 2003. As the first official American release of a Japanese Godzilla film to have the original Japanese audio, TriStar included both the original Japanese audio and Omni Productions’ international English dub. This edition also included Toho’s foreign title card, marking the first time TriStar did not produce its own new title card for its distribution. For future DVD releases, TriStar would continue this practice.
The budget of Godzilla vs. Megaguirus is estimated at $8,300,000. In Japan, it premiered on December 16, 2000, and made around $10,000,000 throughout its theatrical run, making it the second lowest-grossing film in the Millennium Godzilla franchise. Close to $1,350,000 was spent on patients in Japan.
Viewer reception to Godzilla vs. Megaguirus has been polarised. “While hardly the best example of filmmaking, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus yet succeeds as an enjoyable feature,” Monster Zero’s Ed Godziszewski said.
The music, according to Stomp Tokyo, is fine, but the film fails to advance in the manner it should. As Mike Bogue of American Kaiju put it, “though not the best of the post-Showa Godzilla movies, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus is one of the most exciting.” Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, according to DVD Talk’s Ian Jane, “although not the strongest entry in the Godzilla series,” has “very solid” special effects and a “quite memorable monster mash conclusion.”
Blog Critics’ Matt Paprocki rated the picture “a series staple, and it’s hard not to be amused by it in some way, whether you’re in the mood for camp or serious gigantic monster action. This one has everything that is required of the kaiju genre.” The film has been criticized for having a “lack of appealing characters” and being “flawed, but amusing” by critics like Andrew Pragasam of The Spinning Image.
Home media releases
|Universal Laser||2001||Region 3||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|TriStar||January 24, 2004||Region 1||English (Dolby Digital 5.1)|
Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
|2.35:1 aspect ratio|
105 minutes run time
|Sony||May 6, 2014||Region A/1||English|
|1.85:1 aspect ratio|
215 minutes run time
Double feature with Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
The Godzilla suit from Godzilla 2000: Millennium is reused in this film, however, the two movies are not connected in any way.
Both the Megaguirus and the Meganula may trace their ancestry back to the original Meganulon, which debuted in Rodan.
Scenes depicting Godzilla’s initial assault on Tokyo were digitally altered from the original Godzilla film with the new Godzilla suit, MireGoji, superimposed over the footage of the ShodaiGoji costume.
In this timeline, Godzilla survived the Oxygen Destroyer strike and went on the offensive against Tokyo in 1954 before disappearing beneath the waves until 1966.
Unlike the other movies in the Millennium franchise, this one actually has the word “versus.” in the English title. The Japanese title, however, uses the letter “X,” (Gojira X Megagirasu), which is also used in the titles Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (Gojira X Mekagojira) and Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (Gojira X Mosura X Mekagojira).