Wednesday, October 14, 2015

GODZILLA VS MEGALON

So far after "Destroy All Monsters" we've had three Godzilla films that go from being god awful to worth a look. Does the next Godzilla film bring the series back on top? This is...

"GODZILLA VS MEGALON"
Image result for Godzilla vs Megalon poster

An undersea civilization called “Seatopia” has been affected by nuclear testing’s by the human’s, and are so mad at the humans living above them that they send a giant monster named Megalon to destroy all of man-kind. They also send agents from their city to steal a robot named Jet Jaguar from an inventor to guide Megalon to the cities that he’s supposed to destroy. Eventually the inventor along with his friend and nephew, regain control of Jet Jaguar and order him to get Godzilla to help them defeat Megalon. The Seatopians find out about this and call the aliens from the last movie to send Gigan to help them get rid of all of humanity.

Image result for Jet Jaguar and Megalon

Despite the film being a Godzilla film, Godzilla isn't really our main hero or focus; it’s more focused on his side-kick Jet Jaguar. The reason for this is because Toho was originally going to make a film about a Superhero based on the best Superhero drawing drawn by a kid in a contest that they set-up, so that they can cash in on the anime Superhero and giant Robot TV shows that were popular at the time. The winning drawing was a Superhero named Red Arone who was a mix between two popular heroes at the time, which were Ultraman and TranZor Z. Toho then took the design; altered it; changed the name to Jet Jaguar; and started the development of making a film with Jet Jaguar fighting against Megalon who was originally going to be in the previous Godzilla film, but was cut out for budgetary reasons. Toho however felt that the film wouldn't make much money, nor felt like Jet Jaguar would be good enough to carry the whole entire film and decided to throw in Godzilla and Gigan to attract audiences.

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With Godzilla being shoehorned into the movie, this is sadly one of his worst appearances. Instead of being cool and tough, he acts like a dim-witted confused monster with a silly and cheap looking costume design which was made in only a week, making it the fastest Godzilla suit to have ever been made. Jet Jaguar on the other hand while not having a costume design as cheap as Godzilla's, its pretty obvious that Jet Jaguar is supposed to play-out to little kids that are into those popular anime Superhero and giant robot shows at the time with a colorful and campy toy-like design, along with having a cheesy theme song that sounds like something you'd hear out of an intro to a Superhero TV show for kids. He also flies like how a live action TV Show Superhero would fly and while the effect for him flying looks good half of the time; he would on many other occasions look as stiff as King Ghidorah when he flew in the previous film. Throughout the whole film until the climax, Jet Jaguar would be the size of a human and the scene where he grows into giant monster size happens out of nowhere and the reason for it is complete B.S.! As B.S. as his transformation to giant monster size is, I will say that Jet Jaguar and Godzilla make a better team than when Godzilla teamed up with Anguirus since Jet Jaguar puts-up more of a fight with the monsters than Anguirus did.


Image result for Megalon and Gigan

Our new monster Megalon has to be one of the best monsters that I've ever seen in the series. Everything about the monster is awesome. The bug-like design and color scheming for the monster is creative; his abilities to fly, hop, spit out napalm bombs, shoot lighting from his horns, and use his drill hands to fight and dig underground is amazing; and having him team-up up with Gigan makes for just as good of a duo as when Gigan teamed up with King Ghidorah. The sad thing about the monster is this is sadly the only Godzilla film that he’s ever been in, which really disappoints me. As for Gigan, he sadly feels just as shoehorned into the movie as Godzilla is. His design looks a lot different to his previous design since he has a bigger head with a less intimidating look. And never uses the Buzzsaw that's attached to his stomach which is disappointing since that was one of my favorite abilities from this monster.

 Image result for godzilla vs megalon seatopia

As for the human characters, remember in the last film when I talked about how much I enjoyed them? In this film they're boring as crap. None of our leading human characters come off as characters that you care about or interested in what they are saying. I’ll admit, the kid comes close to being interesting and likable, but he's still a complete bore never-the-less. The Seatopians are also really lame and badly written characters as well. The costumes that this underwater civilization is wearing are goofy. I can understand that the people behind the costume designs are trying to bring that Ancient Greek Atlantis look to these character, but they look as silly as the people living in the fictional country in "Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster" that don’t look at all invested in their roles. This civilization also has women who look and act like strippers wearing a sexy KKK outfit. What the hell is that all about?! But the biggest problem that I have with this underwater civilization is the fact that these are characters that are not trying to destroy the world out of evil, they just want to destroy the world for how humanity has affected their lives; and instead of trying to talk to the humans to form a peaceful solution before deciding to release their monster, they just release their monster without any second thoughts or cares. How am I supposed to feel sorry for them if they’re just going to flat-out destroy all of humanity with a giant monster than trying to make a peaceful negotiation?  Well the crazy part is we hardly ever spend any time with them to get a feel for their culture and out-look of humans affecting them with their nuclear bombings, which is disappointing considering how well other Godzilla films did with that concept, like the Native Tribe living on the Island full of radiation where Mothra lives for example.

Image result for Godzilla vs Megalon


When it comes to effects and action sequences, much like the last film there's very few good ones as most of the film heavily relies on stock footage which is just as bad as the stock footage used in the last film and “Godzilla’s Revenge”. The suit designs keep changing; the scenes constantly keep changing from night to day; almost everything that Megalon destroys is a city created by stock footage; Megalon's ray is sometimes added into the stock footage which doesn’t look at all convincing; the scene when Megalon is destroying Jet Planes is stock footage from when Gigan is destroying the Jet Planes that is so painfully obvious that Megalon's drills turn into Gigan's metal hooks; and the film literally opens with stock footage of "Monster Island" from "Destroy All Monsters" (How many times are we going to see stock footage of "Monster Island"?!). So as you may have guessed, the film's use of stock footage is awful. Even the scenes of watching Megalon destroying stuff are just as boring and unexciting as watching Gigan destroy stuff in the last film, that only have very few cool shots and moments. It’s not Megalon's destruction scenes alone that are unexciting and have very little cool moments, but everything else in the film that involves action is pretty much the same as those scenes. The Earthquake at the beginning wasn't tense, despite the good effects; the car chases aren't that exciting, despite some of the good stunt work; and the fight scenes between the humans and the Seatopian spies are lame, despite one or two cool moments, my personal favorite being when the kid has the strength to throw a Model Jet Plane hard enough to make a guy bleed. The only best part in terms of action is the climatic fight at the end, even though that too isn't all that great by having some very fast editing; occasional use of stock footage; and having a few awkward moments, like when Godzilla lifts Megalon by the tail in slow-mo. The fight at the end is also most famously known for Godzilla doing the impossible by jump kicking the monster, which at first was cool, but then got as lazy as watching Anguirus' special move since they re-use the same footage back to back.

After seeing this film, I gotta say that this film isn't really all that different to the last Godzilla film that I reviewed. It has pretty much the same amount things that are good and bad. In terms of good things that this film has to offer it has some occasional good shots and effects during the scenes of action and chaos; the team up with Godzilla and Jet Jaguar is better than Godzilla's last team-up with a monster; and Megalon is just as awesome as Gigan is. Sadly the film still has nearly the same amount of major flaws as the previous film had. The use of stock footage is lazy; the human characters are boring; the Seatopians aren't interesting or sympathetic characters; Jet Jagura is pretty uninteresting compared to other monsters in the series, despite being a good ally for Godzilla; the suits for Godzilla and Gigan are just as bad as Godzilla and Anguirus' suit in the previous film; and most of the action are scenes are not as exciting as they should be. Still, much like how I feel about the last film, for the good things that it does have, it's still worth a look.

RATING 2/5

Now if only we can get another film from Toho that would bring back Megalon and make his appearance a lot better than his appearance in this film. 

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