or Godzilla's 20th film, Toho brought the old
stalwart MechaGodzilla out of mothballs to serve as the Big G's adversary.
This could be problematic, as MechaGodzilla has appeared in two previous
films and two more since. Surprisingly, the result is not the stale
monster rehash you'd expect, but rather a fresh and entertaining entry in
Seeking to create the ultimate weapon against
Godzilla, the United Nations recovers the body of Mecha-King Ghidorah.
Utilizing the salvaged futuristic technology, they create MechaGodzilla,
tricking it out with a nasty array of weaponry. Meanwhile, a prehistoric
egg is discovered on a remote island being guarded by Rodan. When Godzilla
arrives to battle Rodan, the egg is spirited away, where it hatches in
captivity as a baby Godzilla. The military plans to use the baby as bait
to lure Godzilla to his death, but when Rodan arrives it becomes a kaiju
For "Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II", the lead monster is given a
more parental look; he doesn't look as fearsome as before, and instead
Godzilla looks ready for fatherhood and not so inclined towards rampant
destruction. Rodan also gets a makeover, looking more detailed with highly
vibrant colors, with the only drawback being that Rodan is now a
wire-controlled marionette instead of a monster suit. This causes him to
frequently move stiffly and a bit unrealistically.
A huge improvement over Minya, baby Godzilla looks
presentable and a realistic kin for Godzilla. Bluish and cute, you'd be
hard pressed to suppress the urge to take him home, even if he's liable to
destroy your town when he grows up. But the biggest improvement is
MechaGodzilla II. No longer a gimmick dreamed up by Toho to sell tickets,
MechaGodzilla is now a deadly and sleek weapon, boasting armaments such as
Mega Buster ray, Plasma Grenade, Shock Anchor cables, the lethal
G-Crusher, and an artificial diamond coating to absorb Godzilla's
Writer Walter Mimura may be a rookie to Godzilla movies, but you'd never
know it. His script is a roller coaster ride that wisely focuses on
monster action and relegates the less interesting human characters to the
background. His finale is a masterpiece of kaiju action, a perfect end to
the 107 minutes that could double as a monster highlight reel. His smart
concept of Godzilla possessing a 2nd brain is quite imaginative and
believable, since many large dinosaurs had the same extra gray matter. But
why does Rodan sacrifice himself to save Godzilla? If they were mortal
enemies, you'd think he'd rejoice in Godzilla's death, instead of trying
to prevent it.
Back for a second time, director Takao Okawara only improves on his
previous effort. "Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II" zips along with
few dead spots. Okawara also presents the theme of technology vs. nature,
giving the movie a deeper meaning than had it just been a monster version
of Extreme Fighting Championship. More importantly, Okawara shows a new,
softer side to Godzilla. We're also given a visually scenic final moment
that is almost heartwarming.
Akira Ifukube's score is, in a word, brilliant. The master delivers a
fantastic performance that proves he hasn't lost his ability with age. The
musical themes range from haunting, stirring, and slow war marches. His
music accentuates the action and does nothing but positively contribute to
the film. Once again, Mr. Ifukube deserves a standing ovation.
Special effects by long time contributor Koichi
Kawakita and director Takao Okawara are also well done, making you believe
that you're actually watching giant creatures fighting it out. Highly
realistic, "Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II" features more monster
blood than previously, giving the film an extra feel of realism.
A high point in the Godzilla series, "Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla
2" is sure to please even the most hard to please fans. While not
always logical, it deftly covers up its faults with a heavy does of
slam-bang action. If you like monster movies, this one is for you. If
you've never seen a Godzilla film, this is one to start with.