Starring Takehiro Murata, Naomi Nishida, Mayu Suzuki, Hiroshi Abe, and Shirô Sano
One of the first movie reviews I ever did for my website was for the 1998 Americanized Godzilla. Well, apparently the Japanese didn’t like the Yankee take on their classic character. So, it wasn’t long before they rushed an old school Godzilla movie into production. It came out in Japan back at Christmastime, and was a huge hit! So, how did the makers of the Yankee Godzilla react to this? Well, they bought the overseas distribution rights, and put in theaters in North America! How about that?
As I said, this is an old school Godzilla movie, so does plot really matter? We are introduced to two scientists who are at odds with each other. The good one (who looks kinda like late Canadian superstar Bruno Gerrusi) is head of the Godzilla Protection Network, who believes that Godzilla is something that should be studied. Of course, he has a cute daughter, and hooks up with a cute reporter who’s after some primo photos of Godzilla. The bad one is head of the CCI, a government agency who believes that Godzilla is a threat that must be destroyed at all costs. This bad guy is also in charge of salvaging an old meteorite from the bottom of the ocean that’s emminating strange power signatures. Well, the good scientist soon discovers that the source of Godzilla’s indestructibility is a healing factor, which he dubs Regenerator G-1. At about this time, we learn that the meteorite is actually a downed UFO, and this UFO soon goes on a destructive rampage. Turns out the pilot of this UFO wants to adapt to the Earth’s atmosphere so he can conquer, but he needs Regenerator G-1 to help him do it. So, before long the alien emerges from the UFO and surprise! It’s another giant monster. Can Godzilla take down this giant alien and trash a city in the process?
What can I say about this movie? It’s good, goofy, giant monster fun. What I like is how they are trying to incorporate modern special effects techniques with the classic guy-in-a-rubber-suit. There’s this one scene where Godzilla emerges from the water and walks along the beach, where you realize it’s the real ocean and a real beach! They had the guy-in-a-suit walk in front of a blue screen. Oh, and they even do a few little homages to the Yankee Godzilla by doing a few small recreations of scenes from that film. (Oh, and some of the UFO scenes were reminiscent of that other movie by the makes of the Yankee ‘Zilla, Independence Day.) But ultimately, how can you hate a movie with that classic B-Movie ending? You know, where it flashes on the screen “The End,” and then adds a “…?” As I said, good, goofy fun.