Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993

Postby Space Hunter M » Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:46 pm

Rodan wrote:I'd even have taken a cheeky, "Well, technically it could have just been a tank, but the JSDF decided this way we could at least sell toys" throwaway line.

I'm snickering because Kenji Sahara has a very prominent Mechagodzilla doll on his desk.
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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993

Postby Rodan » Wed Feb 10, 2016 10:15 am

Space Hunter M wrote:
Rodan wrote:I'd even have taken a cheeky, "Well, technically it could have just been a tank, but the JSDF decided this way we could at least sell toys" throwaway line.

I'm snickering because Kenji Sahara has a very prominent Mechagodzilla doll on his desk.

They should've gone for it.

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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993

Postby Space Hunter M » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:14 pm

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SuperMonsterZero wrote:Mire Goji. That must be the Godzilla from the Italian Dogora poster.

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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993

Postby Rodan » Mon Feb 15, 2016 6:05 pm


This might be the best post on the forums, and the most accurate way to summarize the experience of watching this film.

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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993

Postby g2vd » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:20 pm

Rodan wrote:It doesn't matter because it's never explained in the film.

I'd even have taken a cheeky, "Well, technically it could have just been a tank, but the JSDF decided this way we could at least sell toys" throwaway line.

I think Bandai wouldn't be very happy with that though.
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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993

Postby Rodan » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:14 pm

g2vd wrote:I think Bandai wouldn't be very happy with that though.

I'm not watching these movies to make Bandai happy. Ideally they wouldn't be making them to make Bandai happy either.

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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Postby Zarm » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:26 am

The funny thing is, I remember this one pretty fondly. It was the last Heisei I managed to get ahold of, and I generally enjoyed it. But on this most recent rewatch, it just... didn't have that much there.

On the plus side, the human story- while still a bit broadly-sketched- is one of the more likably engaging human plots. The characters are still a bit broader than GvB and GvKG, but their relationship is also more enjoyable than the angst of vB, the shenanigans of vKG, and the cartoonish bickering of vM, at least to my mind.

And, heck, I like baby, and that plotline... Godzilla gets good action throughout, including a surprisingly-brutal fight with Rodan right near the start... this one ought to be a winner. But it came across as... just okay.

Part of it is, with the introduction of Baby, Godzilla becomes the sympathetic character; I'm not really rooting for Mechagodzilla. Also, the second-brain bit arguably (one could argue it started with ANEB, or even way back with the Oxygen Destroyer) introduces the trend I detest of 'We have this surefire Godzilla-killer (zapping the secondary brain, blood coagulant bullet, Dimension Tide, Absolute Zero Cannon, etc.), and we spend literally the entire movie just trying to successfully aim it at this slow-moving, skyscraper-sized target, or we use it but a Deus-Ex-Machina undoes the effects.' It makes Godzilla feel oddly vulnerable and weak- you're almost afraid for him, at the hands of humans, and that's not the right tone for a G-film- and it makes the humans seem incompetent, that they have a kaiju-killer but have to struggle through so many shenanigans and delays just to deploy it. As a plot device, it just doesn't work for me; and here, when it seems like they're practically torturing him (to try and finish him off), and essentially keeping him from his child (even though he doesn't actually decide to adopt until the end, with a little nudge from Miki)... well, I'm actively rooting for Godzilla to smash his doppelganger into scrap, and I don't think that's the way it should work.

It's fun to see Rodan here, and I'm of two minds about his use. Obviously, the Heisei suits don't permit the same running, kicking, and punching that the Showa era did- thus it's mostly full-body grapples and awkward tackles (perhaps this is why Shin Godzilla is downplaying his arms; he can't do much with them!)- and in that context, it's surprising how vicious and effective they manage to make the fight with Rodan. At the same time, they do feel the need to give him a beam-powerup, just like Mothra... and I think it goes to show how the old physical fighters of the Showa era just don't fit as well in this energy-heavy, ray-dominated era. They were infantry- but Heisei Godzilla and most of his new opponents are tanks. Well-armored behemoths shooting heavy weaponry at each-other. Scrappers need not apply.

Sadly, I think this is the weakest of the Mechagodzilla iterations, because the through-line of the plot just doesn't engage us. MechaGodzilla's not the unquestioned villain to be defeated; he's not involved in an interesting ethical dilemma... here, MechaG comes off as just kind of a jerk, yet ostensibly piloted by our 'heroes.' Godzilla is stuck straddling the line between evil-menace-to-be-stopped in the previous films, and sympathetic-parent/defender, as in the next one (or Showa series), and the off-balance emotional cadence of having trouble knowing who to root for really makes this one harder to enjoy than most, despite all the things it does well.
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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Postby eabaker » Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:52 pm

Zarm wrote:The funny thing is, I remember this one pretty fondly. It was the last Heisei I managed to get ahold of, and I generally enjoyed it. But on this most recent rewatch, it just... didn't have that much there.


In many ways, the fandom as a whole seems to have followed a similar trajectory with this movie. When it came out, the general consensus seemed to be that vs. Biollante was a bore, vs. Ghidorah was a mess, vs. Mothra was a slight but welcome return to Showa sensibilities, and vs. Mechagodzilla was the powerhouse triumph of the 90s. It felt epic and important, with big universal themes, a more humanized and sympathetic Godzilla who didn't feel softened or anthropomorphized as he had in the later Showa flicks, and Ifukube's score was rousing and passionate. Plus, the new Mechagodzilla and Rodan designs (so often derided now) were seen as bold updates on their classic incarnations.

But, really, as you suggest, there's not a lot of there there. Repeat viewings offer nothing new of substance, there are no subtleties waiting to be uncovered, and most of the emotional content just starts to ring hollow after awhile.
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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Postby Mr. Xeno » Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:45 am

Zarm wrote:Godzilla is stuck straddling the line between evil-menace-to-be-stopped in the previous films, and sympathetic-parent/defender, as in the next one (or Showa series), and the off-balance emotional cadence of having trouble knowing who to root for really makes this one harder to enjoy than most, despite all the things it does well.

For the record, I'm pretty sure all of that was intentional. This movie was clearly aiming to blur the lines of who was really the hero and villain, hence the whole "Life vs. Artificial Life" thing going on.
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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Postby eabaker » Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:32 pm

Mr. Xeno wrote:
Zarm wrote:Godzilla is stuck straddling the line between evil-menace-to-be-stopped in the previous films, and sympathetic-parent/defender, as in the next one (or Showa series), and the off-balance emotional cadence of having trouble knowing who to root for really makes this one harder to enjoy than most, despite all the things it does well.

For the record, I'm pretty sure all of that was intentional. This movie was clearly aiming to blur the lines of who was really the hero and villain, hence the whole "Life vs. Artificial Life" thing going on.


Yeah, I actually really love what the movie is going for there; however, it just does not stick the landing.
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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Postby Mechagigan » Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:37 pm

I find this one to be the most 'popcorn' installment of the Heisei series. A lot of fights, a lot of special effects, a lot of spectacle... a well-meaning, but poorly constructed plot, as is common with these types, but lots of fun to be had.

Fun-factor was absolutely where Heisei's greatest successes lie; when they found how to make the monsters as well as the characters compelling, even for mere moments, they struck gold.

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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Postby godzillalives88 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:30 pm

I still hold GvMII in a high regard even though its status in the fandom seems to have diminished a bit. I think it's one of the better action-adventure Godzilla films in that it's well-paced, has a lot of monster action, and benefits from a relatively straightforward screenplay (especially compared to the films immediately before and after it). Although I admire Kazuki Omori's subversiveness, I think losing him results in a film that's more focused and sure of what it wants to be. There isn't a hell of a lot of subtext to it (even though there is opportunity for some with the life v. artificial life stuff), but it's a very crowd-pleasing movie all the same.

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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Postby AbudJasemAlBaldawi » Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:30 am

I actually think this movie's themes would've benefited from Omori based on Biollante and GvKG, but Godzilla vs Mothra ugh
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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Postby Rodan » Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:27 pm

I think this could have benefited from Omori, as uneven a product as his ambition may result in. I'd rather have a slightly muddled movie with some real concern over "Life will triumph over artificial life," which is so nonsensical a moral that it feels like someone realized from Sekizawa and Kimura that the scripts were supposed to have some kind of metaphor and just went for the most ridiculous and obvious one they could.

I still find the movie to be a little muddled in terms of where the audience's loyalty is supposed to lie. I realize you're supposed to root for both Godzilla and the humans at some point, or for the humans to at least realize they're misguided, but the script doesn't do anything to highlight that conflict, so it winds up feeling distracting in what otherwise really is a very straightforward action film. If you're going all-in on "popcorn movie," at least make your intentions clear.

This is still sadly better than the two Heisei films to follow, even with Omori's return as a writer in Godzilla vs. Destroyah, a movie without characters.
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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Postby eabaker » Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:39 pm

Rodan wrote:I still find the movie to be a little muddled in terms of where the audience's loyalty is supposed to lie. I realize you're supposed to root for both Godzilla and the humans at some point, for for the humans to at least realize they're misguided, but the script doesn't do anything to highlight that conflict, so it winds up feeling distracting in what otherwise really is a very straightforward action film.


I think there are two respects in which the movie really blows its opportunities here (well, three if you could the ham-handedness of having a character literally say, "Yeah, life... against artificial life").

First, it never gives Aoki any kind of investment in the outcome of the battle. The girl he likes cares about Baby, and Baby maybe gives a damn what happens to Godzilla, we are left to suppose...? Since Aoki doesn't really care what happens to Godzilla, Mechagodzilla, or the rest of the G-Force team, why should we?

Second, it deprives Miki - the one character who takes any specific interest in Godzilla's well-being - of any convictions or even agency. She feels ways about stuff, sure, but then she just does as she's told. If she's going to protest in the first place, then something huge needs to happen in order to get her to cooperate. Godzilla's actions should result in a death that matters to her - and us - or a level of destruction unmatched in the earlier Heisei series, or (since they went so far as to have Godzilla in Kyoto for the first time) the loss of something symbolically important to Japan as a nation.

"Godzilla's dangerous, but killing him is bad, so I'll kill him, but I'm gonna frown while I do it" just isn't compelling drama.
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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Postby Anguirus » Fri Aug 26, 2016 4:38 am

One of my favorites, I love the music, Godzilla, Rodan, Baby Godzilla, and MechaGodzilla! Plus all the disaster scenes were great also!

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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Postby Tyrant_Lizard_King » Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:05 pm

Always found MG2 boring myself. Love the whole opening sequence and its got some really cool moments (Godzilla vs Rodan) but overall it's pretty meh.
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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Postby eabaker » Sun Aug 28, 2016 8:17 am

Tyrant_Lizard_King wrote:Love the whole opening sequence


That's pretty easily my favorite part of the movie. There are some beautiful miniature shots, the music is compelling, and pacing feels driven but not rushed. It's a great sequence that the rest of the movie can barely touch.
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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Postby Godzilla21 » Wed Sep 07, 2016 6:35 pm

So I was doing some rummaging through old G Fans the other day and this movie got some serious love back in the mid to late 90s. It seems to be in the top 5 of many "best of" lists. I remember at the time it being hailed as masterpiece. Kind of sad to see the fall from grace
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Re: Talkback Thread #20: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Postby Ookondru99 » Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:07 pm

Probably going to piss some people off with this one, but this is among my least favorite of the Heisei godzilla flicks. First the things I like. MG II's theme and the overall soundtrack is great. I personally enjoy Rodan's redesign although he could've been larger. The battle on Adonoa Island between Godzilla and Rodan is nice and seeing godzilla use the red spiral ray for the first time was pretty cool. I also enjoyed godzilla attack on an oil refinery (?) when he first arrives in Japan.
Now what I don't like. The Godzilla suit; easily the worst of the Heisei era. I see the 1994 goji suit get a lot of hate, but it's far better than this. (Super)Mechagodzilla is my least favorite interpretation of the character, although the reasoning for why he has so many fancy lasers and beams (being they reverse engineered futurian tech) works. Garuda is relatively pointless in my eyes. The idea of spending so much time and effort on a project that is essentially another Super-X is questionable. Actually compared to the first two Super-X's Garuda seems inferior in most regards. The entire baby godzilla plot is boring and throws the viewer off; I don't know if is should rooting for godzilla or against him whenever I watch this movie. Hell, the human cast isn't even sure. One minute they are trying to kill godzilla, the next they are letting him leave peacefully after wrecking their robot with an adopted kid (muttering some nonsense like 'nature always overcomes machines' or something like that). The human cast though not downright unlikable is very forgettable even when compared to its heisei kin. At the end of the day I would personally watch Spacegodzilla over this movie. Definitely at the bottom of my heisei list, along with GvM.
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