After having a nice break, Toho brought Godzilla back with a strong intro into what became known as the Millennium series. Unfortunately, its second entry it less than stellar. The biggest problem with this movie is just that it is flat out boring to watch. Everything about the movie is boring from its plot to its characters and even to its nemesis for Godzilla to fight. There was so much potential here, and yet, the execution was poor.
First off, the plot is just so bland, but I have a feeling it is more because of the way this movie’s story is told rather than the plot itself. The movie starts off with a recap of Godzilla attacking Japan in 1954, then jumps in time to another attack, then explains the concept of Plasma Energy and shows Godzilla attacking in 1996. Then it jumps to 2001 and we are introduced to the G Graspers without any back story on them outside of the stupid “Search, Study, Shelter” and they are there to hunt Godzilla. The movie excels in giving us a lot of exposition, but not in the sense that we need it. There is simply too much information missing from this universe to fully grasp what is going on with it. It just seems overly complicated. In fact, the whole Plasma Energy plotline really goes nowhere as even though it is supposed to be disposed of, it isn’t, but nothing comes out of that notion outside of the boss man getting punched in the face. Then there is the whole subplot with the child that was there none other than to serve the purpose of finding the Meganulon egg. He was such a useless character that they had to give us an “ending” to his story after the credits of the movie.
Secondly, either the actors were bored out of their minds when the movie was being filmed or they are just one dimensional characters. Either way, I am unable to determine which character I like least, as they are all pretty unlikable. Tsujimori is so emotionless that any time she smiles it feels forced. I wonder if Misato Tanaka is Japan’s equivalent to Keanu Reeves because I was just waiting for her to do the infamous Keanu “whoa!” line when she was climbing onto Godzilla’s back. Kudoh is no better and I’m not even sure what he was doing there. I get that his former teacher is working for the G Graspers, and that he is great at electronics, but that is no reason for him to suddenly become an instant member of the group. Again, I feel there is some back story missing to his character just as much as the movie’s universe is missing story. The rest of the characters are pretty much just background noise, so I won’t even bother talking about them.
Now we come to the monsters and how boring they are. Godzilla’s design is quite solid, but that is also because it is the same design seen in the previous movie, just a little bit greener with more pinkish dorsal fins. There are no complaints to be had there. I also did think the scene in the water when Tsujimori hung onto Godzilla’s fins was pretty awesome too and it was just incredible to see the scale difference from an alternate point of view. On the other hand, I’m not exactly sure what is going on with Megaguirus here. He sounds great in concept, but again, the execution was poorly done. There was a lot of potential that could have been done with the meganulons, but instead, they just became horse flies for Godzilla to swat at with his tail and toast. Megaguirus himself is laughable. The costume looks terrifying when it isn’t moving, but that is about it. In fact, the movements look fake as he glides more than his wings flap and there is not much you can do with a monster that has no legs. This is something you can say about Mothra too, but the fight in the 1964 movie felt natural, here it just looks like a toy being used in whatever way possible. This is probably the movie’s biggest short comings as the big battle is just as stale as the movie. The flooded city is also a joke as I doubt the city could be THAT flooded and not have a single building collapse. How did it even get that flooded to begin with? There could not have been that much water in the sewers. And why are people just evacuating now? You would think people would start evacuating the moment the water got more than a few inches deep because someone had to have known something was going on.
Overall, this movie sucks! The only thing that is not boring is its music, as Ohshima’s new Godzilla theme is well done and the music fits with the movie. It is a shame that the second entry into the Millennium series ends up being the worst of the era and gets a disappointing 3/10.