aka Gojira Ni-Sen Mireniamu (Original Title)
99 min., 1999
Written by Hiroshi Kashiwabara/Wataru Mimura
Directed by Takao Okawara
My rating: ★★★
Godzilla’s back! This time with no wires, but the effects are actually worse!
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So Godzilla’s back and we have an organization that is following him. It’s called the GPN or Godzilla Prediction Network and it’s run by a father and daughter duo, Yuji Shinoda (Takehiro Murata) and Io (Mayu Suzuki). They are trying to study Godzilla and see if there is anything that can be learned or taken from him. So they chase him around and they have a new person along for the ride. Yuki Ichinose (Naomi Nishida) is a photographer who is just trying to get some really good shots of Godzilla. On the other end is the CCI or Crisis Control Intelligence, which is headed by Mitsuo Katagiri (Hiroshi Abe) who is just trying to destroy Godzilla once and for all. The CCI finds a meteor that fell to Earth about 60 million years ago and they pull it from the bottom of the ocean. After a little time in the sun the meteor starts to fly around and it then confronts Godzilla and after a little battle it turns out that it is a UFO. Now Godzilla has to face a UFO and its monstrous pilot, Orga!
The acting is actually really good in this one. Everyone is taking their roles seriously while at the same time having fun with them. The overall story is serious with touches of silliness tossed in and that makes for a fun Godzilla film. One of my favorites is Hiroshi Abe. He plays his part with so much conviction that it’s almost creepy, and then toss in his stare of death and you have a great (if not the greatest) “human villain” of a Godzilla film. The other thing about the acting that I liked in this one is the realistic relationship (at times silly) that Shinoda and Io have. They have great chemistry and they really do feel like a father and daughter.
Now comes my big problem with the movie. The goddamn effects! Growing up a Godzilla fan, I know that seeing wires are (overall) common and you can’t get too mad about them (except SpaceGodzilla) and I was expecting the jump from wires to CG with this movie, but what I wasn’t expecting was the terrible use of blue/green screen. There are way too many shots that use it and it just looks stupid. Actually I shouldn’t say stupid, because it just looks extremely amateur. It was the year 1999 and they are giving us that bad of effects, really? The bad effects really dropped this one down a full grade for me. On the other side of the effects are the models and monsters. The models are incredible! There were times I thought that they actually shot the city and digitally placed them in the middle of it, but no the models are just that good. They fall apart like real buildings and everything that gets destroyed just looks a ton more realistic. Then we have Godzilla and Orga. Awesome! Godzilla looks nasty in this movie. He looks mean and nasty. Actually the same can be said for Orga. Both monsters look ready to create havoc and throw down, with us humans able to do nothing but watch the rumble and get squished in the process.
Now comes my favorite part of any Godzilla movie. The MONSTER BATTLE!!!! This time it’s an alien that is trying to become like Godzilla. So first Godzilla has to fight the alien space ship, but then out of the ship comes Orga, first in a strange manta ray (with tentacles) form and then after absorbing some of Godzilla’s cells he turns into a towering monster with huge claw-like things and a fucking cannon in his shoulder. The fight is crazy and awesome! One of my favorite parts is where Orga opens his mouth (it’s very strange) and it cuts to Godzilla who is just looking at him like he is wondering what the hell are you doing? It’s great because it shows Godzilla does more than just attack things, and that he actually does some thinking before he acts.
This is an overall fun movie. If you can ignore (trust me it’s difficult) the bad blue/green screen usage, you will actually see an enjoyable Godzilla movie. The other effects are actually great and the acting is some of the best in the series. It’s worth a watch for the battle alone but it also has some other good things going for it. Check this one out if you have a chance.Have You Read...?