Monday, July 21, 2014

The Litany of Godzilla: Millennium Series Part One – ReReintroducing Kaiju

With the return of control to Toho following some mistakes, each film acknowledges the original 1954 Gojira and ignores all of the rest…

Except for when they don’t.

Many of these will get their own posts. It isn’t because they’re as good as other ones that were singled out.  It’s simply because the crazy-awesome meter got pushed so far to the crazy side, it takes longer to explain everything.

It started off with the First Toho Godzilla flick to get a US Theatrical release since 1985.

Godzilla 2000: Millennium

At first it looks like the G-Force of this new continuity is vastly undersized, consisting only of Scruffy Scientist, his Smart Aleck Daughter, and their occasional travelling companion/insult magnet Plucky Photojournalist Lady.  This G-Prediction Network drives around in their hatchback trying to learn things from Godzilla. It’s not really clear how often Godzilla has shown up after his first appearance, everyone talks about how bad he is, and it sounds like he’s returned fairly frequently, but there’s no references to anything before.  I’m sure if you’d like to pretend he is Junior, no one would complain.

Godzilla stalks out of the ocean near a lighthouse, munching on a boat. He’s closer to Showa height again, at fifty-five meters. (That’s 180 feet for other stubborn residents of my country.) While he sounds exactly the same, his look has changed in a decidedly pointy direction. His nose is pointier, his teeth are pointier, and his scales are pointier.  Even his ears are two spikes now, and his dorsal plates are proportionally huge-mongous.  Based on an insane paleontologist, the Showa Godzilla was a radioactive (and unlikely) combination of a Tyrannosaur and a Stegosaur. Based on the Millennium Godzilla’s appearance, I’d guess he’s more a radioactive (and staggeringly unlikely) combination of a Tyrannosaur and a pineapple.

Godzilla breaks stuff for a while, and then chases the G-Prediction hatchback into a tunnel, allowing Toho to school Tri-Star in what that should look like.  The government holds concerned meetings while Godzilla continues breaking things, including high tension wires, which he is contractually obligated to do.

Plucky Photojournalist Lady is sick of dealing with the “Freaks” but her boss sends her back, because Godzilla’s radiation blanked all her films.  (Ask your grandparents about film, kids…or my sister. Hee hee.)  She finds her way to G-Prediction’s “Headquarters,” in a nasty old building by getting directions from two guys doing a Three Stooges routine.  Smart Aleck Daughter shows no mercy, leading to much PG swearing from Plucky Photojournalist Lady.

Meanwhile, there’s a giant meteor under the water with weird magnetic properties. Since the previous films didn’t happen, they don’t know how bad that always turns out and Nervous Professor heads a team to recover it.  The Space Rock takes over its own recovery when it gets close enough to the surface to absorb sunlight, and floats itself up above the water where it hovers.  Yes, it’s a Flying Solar Powered Space Rock.

Nervous Professor works for the real G-Force of this universe: Crisis Control. It’s headed up by Tough Guy, who went to college with Scruffy Scientist and Nervous Professor.  A rift developed because Tough Guy only wants to kill Godzilla, and Scruffy Scientist wants to study him. Since the King of Monsters is advancing on the Tokai Nuclear Plants, the army sides with Tough Guy.

They have tanks, planes, the world’s most powerful missiles (again), and a commander who quotes General George Patton, General Buck Turgidson or pretty much any George C. Scott role really.

The army’s attack blows some bits of the Big G off, but doesn’t slow him down much, as per usual.  The Flying Solar Powered Space Rock has been scanning people’s cells, while its outer rocky covering comes off in the sunlight, revealing a metallic surface underneath.  Without warning, the Shiny Flying Solar Powered Space Rock rockets off toward Godzilla.

They blast each other. (It’s a Flying Shiny Solar Powered Space Rock with a huge cannon.)  Godzilla’s super slow motion atomic breath looks cool, but does not win the day.  Tired from the fight, and with the sun setting, it flies over and crush lands on top of what I assume is the Japanese branch of the Daily Planet.  Plucky Photojournalist Lady works there, and her boss yells, “Great Caesar’s Ghost!” at the catastrophe.  The Flying Shiny Solar Powered Space Rock accesses her laptop, which is unusual behavior for a rock of any kind.

On the beach, Scruffy Scientist finds gigantic Godzilla footprints allowing Toho to school Tri-Star in what that should look like.  Within that print, the G-Prediction man finds some of Godzilla’s cells.  New series, same plot points.

He has to ask Tough Guy to use Crisis Control’s superior equipment to analyze the cells, leading to an uneasy false truce.  With higher tech equipment than his hatchback, Scruffy Scientist discovers the still amazing regenerative powers of Godzilla’s cells and names them Organizer-G1.  That doesn’t make any sense, so the translated name of Regenerator-G1 gets used everywhere now.  Nervous Professor is just happy the old gang is back together.

Godzilla is swimming under water in CGI, allowing Toho to school Tri-Star in what that should look like.  In other CGI news, all the computers in town are shutting down and pulling the plug doesn’t work. An Infra-Red scan shows the Flying Shiny Solar Powered Space Rock emitting tendrils that are pulling in data.  Yes, Wi-Fi shows up on Infra-Red, deal with it.  Nervous Professor’s former happiness evaporates as he realizes he just may have doomed the world with his find.  He screams and whimpers a while.

Tough Guy takes action instead.  He grabs a bunch of bombs to blow up the Japanese Daily Planet before the sun rises.  Scruffy Scientist drives there to rescue Plucky Photojournalist Lady, who is inside learning about pulling plugs not working. Scruffy Scientist takes her place and she rushes in the hatchback with Smart Aleck Daughter to get them to delay the blast.  There is much bonding between these two as they find a common enemy.  Tough Guy is a big jerk about not delaying, even getting a rise out of Nervous Professor for the first time.

Scruffy Scientist is low enough to avoid the bomb on the upper floors, but his luck runs out when a pulse from the Flying Shiny Solar Powered Space Rock takes out the rest of the Japanese Daily Planet.  He rappels down an elevator shaft and ends up making a heartwarming reunion climb out of the rubble to find his daughter.

There are some understandably harsh words between Scruffy Scientist and Tough Guy upon the former’s return to headquarters, cut short by a relieved hug from Nervous Professor.  Based on the data Plucky Photojournalist Lady and Scruffy Scientist collected, the Flying Shiny Solar Powered Space Rock is here for an invasion, and looking to absorb information and whatever else it can to take over.  This is different than all those death dealing Flying Shiny Solar Powered Space Rocks that come to Earth from outer space to go shopping.

Godzilla finally shows up, with an awesome Ifukube theme accompaniment. The Flying Shiny Solar Powered Space Rock hops to another nearby building and uses its Wi-Fi tendril powers to wrap up the Big G in a mess of power cables.  The heat on his crazy big dorsal spines during his slow motion power up melts the cables before Godzilla unleashes a crazy-explodey-super-energized red breath weapon.  This is something that there’s no explanation for him having now that we’ve forgotten all the previous films, might I add.

The Flying Shiny Solar Powered Space Rock blasts, shockwaves, and finally buildings poor Godzilla into a messy pile on the ground.  It then emits Magic Dust tendrils to absorb Regenerator G1 and transform itself into a giant space jellyfish.  A whole new series and I’m still not making this up.

Godzilla fires off a breath attack from beneath the building, blasting the Flying Shiny Solar Powered Space Rock off the lower half of the space jellyfish.  That bottom part transforms into something supposedly trying to be a Godzilla clone, but looking almost exactly like the Mutos that would show up in the 2014 American extra boring version.

This creatures name is Orga, because the Kaiju Name Office didn’t get the memo on the Organizer/Regenerator name change.  There’s some good old fashioned monster smackdown, until Orga grows a shoulder cannon that matches the one on his birth rock. 

The Flying Shiny Solar Powered Space Rock pops up again, and they double team the King of Monsters for a while.  Finally, Godzilla gets fed up and breathes directly through both of them.  Orga can use his absorbed Regenerator G1 to heal, but the Flying Shiny Solar Powered Space Rock is finally down for the count.

I’m not sure what Orga could have possibly absorbed for what happens next, but it really does happen, honest.  Orga grows a giant expanding umbrella mouth, which makes weird whale noises.   Because the universe he pulled all his data from did not contain Biollante, he uses the massive floppy jaws to attempt to eat Godzilla head first.

His entire top half explodes shortly after Godzilla’s dorsal plates start to glow.

Our intrepid cast of characters immediately runs like crazy off the top of the building they were watching everything from.  That is, everyone but Tough Guy runs.  Scruffy Scientist tries to talk, and then pull him away, and gets punched in the face for his troubles.

Godzilla walks over, patiently waits for Tough Guy to scream his name, and casually swats the building out from under the not nearly as Tough as a giant radioactive monster Guy.

The G-Prediction Guys, plus Nervous Professor have a philosophical discussion about why Godzilla always protects them. Perhaps, they muse, it’s because Godzilla is in each one of us.

Note that during these philosophical musing and discussing about the altruistic nature of Godzilla, he’s busy stomping and burning the entire city to the ground.

Godzilla x Megaguirus: G Annihilation Strategy
(aka Godzilla vs. Megaguirus)

The story opens in 1954, with Pointy Godzilla playing the iconic scenes from the original film.  Because of Tokyo’s destruction, in a move that makes sense, on this world the Capital was moved to Osaka.  The scene jumps to 1966 when Godzilla returns to destroy the first nuclear plant in Japan. All nuclear energy is banned from Japan, and only green energy allowed, which also makes sense.

In 1996, continuing to make sense, a new Institute for Clean Energy needs to find a resource to power the country, because the standard Green energy sources aren’t enough.  They develop plasma technology which makes Godzilla come back.  Plasma is also banned, which makes sense.  The Big G is attacked by a group of foot soldiers with Bazookas.  Gung Ho Gal refuses to run, and sees her commander crushed before her eyes.  She’s enraged!  Godzilla has made himself an enemy for life…a teeeeeeny little enemy.

In 2001 there has been enough time for Tokyo to rebuild, which makes sense.  Gung Ho Gal has channeled her rage into a promotion to Major and being the leader of the G-Graspers military branch of the anti Godzilla squad, which also makes sense.

Nothing else makes much sense from here on out, folks.

Lazy Nerd is doing magic tricks for some very impressed children.  Gung Ho Gal gives away his secret, and the kids leave, disgusted. This is rather surprising considering his secret is he’s built a miniature microwave oven and three little chef robots that all fit under a bowl.

At Anti Godzilla headquarters Lazy Nerd finds out they handle Search Study and Statistics, as well as the G-Graspers Gang.  At times like this, I really miss Miki.  There are lots of satellite announcements, and Lazy Nerd meets his new boss, Angry Physics Teacher. She has a tragic past involving Godzilla putting her on the bitter revenge train as well.  She’s also played by the Plucky Photographer/Reporter from the two Godzilla filmsreleased in 1964.  Awesome.

Angry Physics Teacher explains the BIG PLAN.  They’re building a miniature black hole generator to shoot at Godzilla and suck him out of the universe.  The problem is it isn’t small enough. Lazy Nerd is tasked with shrinking it down to fit in the satellite launcher.  I’m not sure how one shrinks something that is all ready an infinitesimally small point, but he’s good with miniaturization, so three months later…
There’s a bug loving kid named Jun in much less disturbing short pants than the 1960’s.  He accidentally sees a test firing of the Dimension Tide Black Hole that eats a building, and leaves a worm hole behind that no one seems concerned about.  Gung Ho Gal tells him to keep it a secret, a wonderful message to all kids out there.

He does.

He also keeps a secret that he sees a giant dragonfly, and finds a football sized egg.  When his never seen dad is transferred, he brings the egg to newly rebuilt Tokyo. It starts to get all oozy, and it isn’t garbage day.  Therefore he drops it in the sewer, where it proceeds to make a gazillion other eggs, which ooze enough to flood all of Tokyo.

Remember kids, don’t litter.

Lazy Nerd stops by the gym to flirt with Gung Ho Gal.  He’s made a tracer bullet to allow him to track her if she’s ever in trouble. She accepts it, and insults his manliness in the gym.  Jun sees some more giant bugs, but Gung Ho Gal stops by to comfort him about unleashing flying death on the world.  He explains the life cycle of the giant bugs to her.

Later, Jun sees another giant dragonfly, but keeps his secret. That’s kind of a shame for the slacker couple who get eaten by the giant bug nymph in the most disgusting way possible the same evening.

Godzilla is spotted on the thermal scanner, along with a giant bug of some sort.  G-Graspers scramble the Griffon.  It’s basically a Super-X crossed with Destroy All Monsters SY-3.  They fly out to Godzilla, and for reasons that I can’t explain, leave the safety of their plane to check for the King of Monsters in a rubber raft.  He surfaces under them to quickly to pull everyone up, leaving Gung Ho Gal in the water.  In what is unquestionably a first, she rides on Godzilla for a bit, before shooting the tracer bullet onto him.  Now they can easily track Godzilla.  Y’know, if they couldn’t find him on the satellite heat scanners that found him incredibly easily earlier in the film.

Back at HQ, the Dimension Tide Black Hole shooting satellite is ready.  Also, Gruff Scientist confirms everything Jun already told us about the giant dragonfly life cycle, adding that they were from the carboniferous period, to earn his paycheck.  I think that means the worm hole was a time window.  No one seems excited about this fact.

Lazy Geek has made their mini remote control sub, the SGS, even smaller, and it finds the gazillion eggs in the flooded Tokyo streets.  The army decides the blow up the eggs a little late, as there is a metric buttload of giant nymphs on the wall of a skyscraper in the middle of molting and zipping away in a flying monkey like moment.

They are flying to the same place the Griffon is.  Finally acknowledging that their weapons only tick Godzilla off, the Griffon is shooting torpedoes and photon rockets at the Big G to lure him onto an empty island, and give the Dimension Tide a clear shot.

That clear shot vanishes in a swarm of giant dragonflies.  Godzilla slow motion breathes on a many, which gets the whole swarm attacking him.  There’s a bunch of uncomfortable looking squishing and burning until the remaining ones fly off again. 

The Dimension Tide fires a black hole and Godzilla is GONE! 

No, he’s not. He was just hiding.  Ha Ha! 

He gives the Griffon a, “Yeah, that’s right,” look and leaves the island.

The rest of the dragonflies return to underwater Tokyo, infuse a big lumpy thing with the radiation they sucked out of Godzilla, and die.

Gung ho Gal and Lazy Nerd get into a one sided fight about whether the Dimension Tide was rushed, or he screwed it up.  Angry Physics Teacher calms everyone down, and refocuses the group. 

The Mini SGS, and a bunch of other electronics go down. Lazy Nerd says there must be a strong magnetic source nearby.  On cue, the lumpy thing under the water rises.  It is Megaguirus, a Godzilla sized Dragonfly with nasty multi directional teeth and a crazy big stinger.  Based on its proportionally tiny and slow wings, I’m guessing it flies based on that magnetism Lazy Nerd was talking about.

Megaguirus winds up to some fast flapping that causes high frequency interference with electronics.
(Wait, what?) And zooms off with everything it passes exploding for no reason.

Gruff Scientist explains that fossils of this thing were found “somewhere in China,” and it was very territorial and invulnerable.  (Yeah, you can tell that from fossils.  Maybe we should bring Jun back. ) 

Just pointing this out:  That means this isn’t some radioactively mutated creature, or from another dimension.  The worm hole pulled an insect big enough to challenge Godzilla and destroy civilization out of the past.

Tokyo is evacuated, and we see Jun and his mom for the last time in the film proper.  Godzilla shows up in Tokyo, and despite the fully original score, an Ifukube theme plays…’cause that’s what you do.

The Griffon is launched for luring once more while the Kaiju face off.  Godzilla is yet again knocked over repeatedly by a flying opponent.  The Dimension Tide is ready…until Megaguirus’ flapping…sonic…thing kills it’s power.

The giant bug’s fast flying confuses poor Godzilla, and while they’re wrestling she stabs her giant stinger into Godzilla’s belly.  This sucks out the energy of his atomic breath, naturally. Megaguirus then drags the Big G into a large building, and drops what’s left standing of it on his head.

Godzilla (of course) shakes it off, and the foes face for a couple of jousting runs.  The first severs one of Megaguirus’ many arms.  She tries speed flapping sneakiness again, but Godzilla defeats that plan by grabbing her with his prehensile tail. 

Yeah, he could never use his tail like that before, and here’s hoping he never does again.

In between all this, Lazy Nerd comes out of the hospital, (collateral monster damage earlier) to fix the Dimension Tide.  He does this by playing a goofy looking video game.

Back in Tokyo, another nasty belly sting is happening. This time, Godzilla is pretty fed up.  He pulls the stinger out, buries it in the ground, and executes a perfect Jimmy Snuka like “Superfly” on his buggy enemy.

The Kaiju face off yet again. We, and Godzilla, learn that Megaguirus can now shoot giant fireballs. How about that?  I’m not sure if it’s the explosion, or the shock that knocks the Big G down, but further battering doesn’t make it any better.  

Godzilla looks dazed and the giant bug goes in for the kill, and STINGS GODZILLA IN THE FACE!!!!!

Oh wait. No he doesn’t.  The camera turns to reveal Godzilla has caught the stinger in his teeth. He bites in off, powers up the atomic ray, and blasts the snot out of Megaguirus, leaving a flaming stain on Tokyo.

The Griffon is still down.  HQ sends a chopper out while they desperately try to fix the Dimension Tide satellite.  Godzilla happily beats on Tokyo in the mean time.

The G-Graspers get the Griffon flying again, and it meets up with the chopper.  There we learn why Godzilla came back, Business Guy who founded the Anti Godzilla team kept a Plasma Reactor in the science institute, because he was greedy.  Wow, a greedy business guy, what are the odds?

Gung Ho Gal decks Business Guy and jumps back into the Griffon.  The Dimension Tide is working, but still falling.  She and Lazy Nerd determine that it would be much easier to lock onto her plane than a gigantic radioactive dinosaur. 

Maybe it IS controlled by a bad video game.

Gung Ho Gal salutes her late commander’s dog tags and power dives the Griffon onto Godzilla, where it explodes nicely before the black hole hits.

She ejects out beforehand without a parachute, but lands safely in a swimming pool outside the event horizon of the black hole that sucks up Godzilla and a large section of the city.


Everyone at HQ cheers enthusiastically.
“YAY! We got rid of the only thing that saved the planet from the swarm of flying death we brought to our world through the worm hole we made.”

Gung Ho Gal lets her hair down while staring triumphantly at the giant crater that used to be much of Tokyo.

And we’re back in Lazy Nerd’s shop, with Gung Ho Gal recruiting him to come back again, in case seismic activity is Godzilla returning.  She shows her softer side by actually apologizing after punching his broken arm.

After the credits we see Jun and his bug collection.  This made me happy as he vanished from the movie and I figured the G-Graspers had him killed to protect their secret.  There’s an earthquake and he looks in shock out the window as a familiar roar plays over the freeze frame.

For those not paying attention, that means not only did Godzilla dodge two black holes, but the “good guys” destroyed a large swath of Tokyo for nothing.

Man do I miss Miki.

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