Proving that you can really never teach an old dog new tricks, Godzilla is back to demolish Japan once again. But taking a few cues from the last gazillion times that Godzilla has stomped Tokyo into the ground, this time they've got two brand spankin' new super-weapons to use against the giant monster.
The Gryphon is a highly technologically enhanced cruise ship, and the Dimension Tide is a fancy creation that somehow manages to make black holes appear at convenient times. While out testing the Dimension Tide, some mysterious eggs begin to appear in the Shibuya, a decent sized city, and of course, they hatch and sprout into Meganurons!
The Meganurons require water to grow and so they decide to flood Shibuya by destroying the many underground water mains that run throughout the city. The monsters begin multiplying and soon they being feeding off of the human energy that the city is ripe with. Eventually, they are able to secure enough energy from the unlucky denizens of Shibuya that they are able to transform a second time, this time into the giant metallic dragonfly, Meganuras!
Now the creatures have to target Godzilla as he is the only victim they can use to accumulate enough energy from to sustain the larva of their queen. Eventually, it hatches into Megaguirus, a monstrous creature who goes gunning for Godzilla so that it can absorb every last ounce of his energy.
Godzilla and Megaguirus go at it, toe to toe, with the entire population of Shibuya hanging in the balance as the movie reaches it's climax and the inevitable giant monster brawl ensues, just like we all knew (and hoped!) that it would.
While Godzilla Versus Megaguirus is not the strongest of the recent Godzilla films to come out of Japan post-Americanization (that honor has to go to Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah – Giant Monsters All Out Attack!, it's still a really solid entry with some great special effects and a very memorable monster mash finale.
Director Masaaki Tezuka (who also helmed the recent disappointment that was Godzilla X Mechagodzilla) keeps the visuals coming fast and furious and it was nice to see a foe for Godzilla that wasn't Mothra, King Ghidorah, or Mechagodzilla. Being of the opinion that those characters are woefully overused in the series, the mechanical dragonfly creatures on display here are a breath of fresh air, even if sometimes the CGI effects are a little bit too obvious for my tastes.
Godzilla himself, looking sufficiently sinister in this incarnation, is more or less just an unstoppable force in this entry. While the story lags a bit, he is given plenty of opportunity to strut his own bad rubber suit self and plenty of urban destruction ensues courtesy of Godzilla and the various incarnations of his foe(s) in this film.
Godzilla Versus Megaguirus is presented in it's original aspect ratio of 2.35.1 and is, thankfully, enhanced for anamorphic television sets. Overall, picture quality is nice and solid with deep blacks that don't break up much during the film, and a nice, well-represented color palette that looks nice and natural. Aside from some very mild compression artifacts and the odd spot of very minor print damage here and there, this is a nice looking disc.
I was happy to find that this release not only contains an all new English Dolby Digital 5.1 track, but also the original Japanese language track as well, with removable subtitles provided in both French and English. Considering most (if not all?) of the earlier Columbia/Tri-Star Godzilla films have been released with only and English language dub, this is definitely a step in the right direction and is sure to make a lot of fans happy. As far as the quality of the mixes goes, both sound very nice. No audible defects were noticeable to me as I watched the film and there are some seriously fun moments in the film where the extra kick provided by the surrounds gives the movie a nice atmosphere.
This is by far the weakest aspect of this release – the only extra features that are supplied on this disc are some trailers for other, unrelated Columbia/Tri Star releases. That's it. The trailer for the actual feature presentation is not included.
Despite the absence of any substantial extra features, this release is better than the earlier version that came out in Hong Kong and the anamorphic enhancement helps out in that regard as well. While not the best entry in the Godzilla series, Godzilla Versus Megaguirus is a reasonably entertaining monster romp that's worth a look if you dig on Kaiju.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.