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GODZILLA SEASON: Film Review No.304: Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla 2


Godzilla-Vs-Mechagodzilla-2-2

Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla 2 is not the sequel to Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla. The sequel to that film was Terror of Mechagodzilla. Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla 2 exists in the different era from the previously mentioned films and is therefore not connected to that timeline. In fact, this film is referred to as Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla in Japan, which is the same name used for the 1974, which was initially called Godzilla Vs The Cosmic Monster in the US. So yeah, basically, the Heisei era is all about confusingly titled films. It gets simpler after this. It’s all Spacegodzillas and demonic crab monsters after this. There is 2 films to go just called Godzilla though… There’s a reason I always refer to the original film as Gojira. After you’ve had a lie down from taking in all that nonsense, why not click the link below for my review of this here film, which I think is Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla 2 but not because it’s the first in the new series so… Click the link.

In Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla 2 the governments of the world have gotten a little fed up with all these giant monster issues, despite how cool the last battle was, and have constructed themselves a giant, pilot driven, mecha known as Mechagodzilla. This robot is capable of reflecting Godzilla’s atomic breath back at him and is filled to the brim with all kinds of flashy light show based weapons. A while later a giant egg is found on an island, along with a giant Pterodactyl known as Rodan. Godzilla comes to the island and fights Rodan. The egg is taken back to Japan by the team that discovered it and before long it hatches. Inside the egg is not a baby Rodan though, but a small baby Godzillasaurus. A member of the research team named Azusa (Ryoko Sano) is given the task of looking after the Godzillasaurus, now named Baby, after it imprints on her. This would be fine, but Godzilla himself appears to be on a warpath to track down Baby and Mechagodzilla has just lost its first attempt to stop the King of the Monsters from reaching Kyoto.

Of the Heisei era films covered so far this easily has the most monster action. It’s actually really light on the human side of the story. On trap some Godzilla films get into is having far too many unrefined plot threads going at once for the human characters. Too many separate stories to try to follow that are often not complex or engrossing enough to be entertaining on their own grounds. Whilst this film does have a much reduced human role the story that does play out is fairly well crafted and gets to the point whilst having a few moments of levity. The bulk of this story follows Pteranadon enthusiast and the pilot of Mechagodzilla’s predecessor the Garuda, Kazuma Aoki (Masahiro Takashima). He’s been drafted unwillingly from the now outdated Garuda project to be a pilot on Mechagodzilla. A role he has no interest in due to he connection to the Garuda. Oddly his obsession with Pteranadons doesn’t seem to surface in a desire to see Rodan, At least not during the final battle where Rodan is present. You’d think that would have been a big deal for him. He forms a relationship with Azusa as she bonds with Baby and that’s pretty much it for the human element. He gets told off for being lazy by his superiors and then proves his worth in the end. Standard stuff.

Naturally Mechagodzilla always brings his own set of stadium lights with him.

Naturally Mechagodzilla always brings his own set of stadium lights with him.

The film really does waste little time getting to the monster battles. It’s only around 20 minutes in when we get Godzilla Vs Rodan. This is followed soon after with a fight against Mechagodzilla, sequences of Godzilla trashing Kyoto in his search for Baby and a huge scale finale involving the three main creatures. Mechagodzilla is still a cool design for an opponent of Godzilla’s. A sort of Godzilla doppelgänger. The design itself isn’t too far removed from the original 70s one although it has a noticeably more solid appearance than before. Rodan has been shrunk down somewhat, now a puppet rather than another man in a suit. This does help Rodan have a more accurate Pterodactyl look but I’ve always quite loved the odd proportions of the original design. The fights themselves are all well staged and feature plenty of individual action beats but there is a little reliance on Rodan pecking things and Mechagodzilla firing bright light beams. Some more punching and throwing would have been appreciated.

Flipping Mechagodzilla to the role of a protect of Earth is a nice alternative to how the robot is usually depicted. It is noticeable though, that at this point in the series, Godzilla is being seen as not just a destroyer of worlds. Miki Saegusa (Megumi Odaka) is back again and becomes and becomes a somewhat unwilling participant in the final battle as she is required to use her psychic powers to help locate Godzilla’s second brain so that Mechagodzilla can paralyse him. This puts the roles of the two main monster sin an odd spot, as we’re now rooting for Godzilla to not be defeated as a sympathetic character is swaying you to his side more so than usual for the Heisei series. There’s even an heroic act fro Rodan during the final battle that really effects just who you’re meant to be rooting for. If anything it leads to a more interesting final battle than usual because the good vs evil divide has a few shades of grey in there.

First ever red atomic breath right there.

First ever red atomic breath right there.

The film does feature a number of quite entertaining little dialogue quirks. As the Mechagodzilla project is an international one there is a number of English speaking characters. But there’s also more Japanese people speaking very broken English. English that is often subtitled in English because, at times, it approaches Y.K. Kim levels of indistinguishable. There’s a few times where the subtitles doesn’t even match the dialogue despite both being in English. I did also notice a number of small translation errors from the Japanese, which I really shouldn’t be spotting as I have a very limited vocabulary. I am pretty sure, however, that “hello” and “yes” are not the same word, as one miss-subtitles line claims. There is also a wondrous performance from Leo Meneghetti as Dr Asimov who, as an Italian speaking English, appears to have a few problems combining sentence structure and an American accent. The accent is passable but making sentences that sound like anything an English speaking human would say appears to be a struggle for him. Also, he looks a little like Grandpa Seth.

In the end Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla 2 is a fine and enjoyable film that makes sure to not draw too much attention to how little human story there is by making those scenes run with a lot more efficiency than normal. The Akira Ifukube score is as you’d expect it to be, which is great. The tone has been kept the right side of silly whilst retaining the threat and danger of a Godzilla attack. Special effects are about as decent as a medium budget Japanese film from the mid 90s can be. Japanese special effects have always seemed to have existed about 10 years behind the rest of the world, so think of this a quite nice looking 80s special effects film. All in all, a jolly good time can be had here. The next film I’ll cover will be bringing us the only appearance of Spacegodzilla!

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About lvl54spacemonkey

Just a dude who likes movies and games and has delusions of working in one of those industries. Write screenplays and work on short films in my spare time. Most of which never get finished. View all posts by lvl54spacemonkey

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