Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla II (which is a title that blatantly makes no sense seeing as it’s a reboot) is the Heisei series of Godzilla movies crown jewel. Where the previous movies would heap on story point after story point resulting in fun yet surprisingly dense plots, this film strips everything down to it’s leanest essence. Observe.
Scientists have found a large egg on an island in the Bering Sea that gives off a telepathic signal which has also attracted the giant pterodactyl known as Rodan. Adopting a sort of cuckoo kind of relationship with it the reptilian bird comes into contact with the famously moody Godzilla who also drawn to the egg and surprise, surprise; they fight. While Rodan signs his name for a Godzilla sized ass-whupping, the scientists manage to spirit the egg away to Kyoto to study it where it hatches to reveal a baby Godzilla sporting the sleepy haggard eyes of a meth addicted serial killer. Luckily, instead of trying either meth or serial killing, it instead imprints on a female scientist who studies it to find any weakness in it’s biology that could be used on it’s much larger, much angrier parent. At the same time the two year operation to build a weapon has born fruit with MechaGodzilla, a sleek anti-Godzilla fighting machine piloted by a crack team, and Garuda, a flying battleship deemed a failure by the higher ups. Soon – and somewhat predictably – both a revived Rodan and a Godzilla with his parenting instincts kicking in with impressive ferocity, arrive to claim the baby like two divorced parents arriving on the same day to pick up their child up from school. Can Mechagodzilla break up this domestic from Hell before Japan pays the ultimate alimony?
GVMG II seems to have a clarity of vision rarely seen in Kaiju movies where not only are the monster and human plot threads directly linked but there seem to be actual SUBTLE themes here aside from “man needs to stop fucking with nature!”. For example, there’s an obvious case to be made for the notoriously dickish Godzilla mellowing out some due to his new parenting instincts focusing his rage purely onto his biological need to be drawn to the infant. In the past his gargantuan dummy spitting has been focused entirely on everything and everyone around him but here it’s unleashed either on Rodan, Baby Godzilla’s adoptive parent or the city where the infant is kept. It’s an interesting character switch in a film full of them (Mechagodzilla is now a good guy, Rodan is far more tragic, almost a victim to his misfiring mothering instinct) and it really adds more layers to a series – a whole genre in fact – that has an unfair reputation for it’s depths usually being puddle deep.
The battles are epic, dramatic and surprisingly unpredictable with more last minute resurrections than the bible (but less then Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen) and carry real weight with Mechagodzilla firmly maintaining his place as one of Godzilla’s most powerful foes ever despite being created relatively late in the Godzilla time line.
The best entry into the 90’s string of ‘Zilla movies and therefore one of the best of all time, Godzilla Vs Mechagodzilla II contains all the exciting, cool and craziness you’d come to expect from the radioactive breathing elder statesman of a long running genre but with a few extra tricks up his sleeve to make this movie linger longer after the credits roll.
This Mechagodzilla is Godzilla Mecca.