Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)

Class: User
Author: Hank Xavier
Score: (3.5/5)
July 16th, 2006 [Review May Contain Spoilers]

The Heisei Series was becoming popular in the mid 90's with the big box office hit Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992). And so Toho decided to continue the franchise, although they first had the idea to end it with this movie. The resultant film is somewhat a rushed work, but at the same time a good way to tell a story that was seen years later with Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974). Although titled as Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, this is in fact a semi-remake to said movie, which once again pits Godzilla against his mechanical double. This time around we get a more serious plot, along with convincing special effects, and an amazing soundtrack.

It all begins when a group of scientists from G-force, find the wrecked remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah. They naturally bring the android back to their base, and start working in it to make a newer and deadlier robot. The result is Mechagodzilla, basically a clone to the Big G, but equipped with a bombastic arsenal and piloted by some campy soldiers. In the meantime, another expedition finds a gigantic egg on the mountains of Adonoa Island. They get too close and are attacked by Rodan, who keeps anyone from attacking the egg. Then Godzilla arrives at the island and begins fighting Rodan. The human group takes advantage of the situation and decides to take the egg back to Japan. There, the egg hatches, and Baby Godzilla is introduced to the story. Shortly after, Godzilla comes into the city to claim his son, and the G-force sends Mechagodzilla after him. Will Japan ever be safe from this menace?

At first, this movie may look like a copied idea, going from hand to hand; but it's evident that it finally got into the right hands, as this new version is way better than the original movie. Perhaps the screenplay is not as epic, but the execution is smart enough to consider this one of the best in the series. The new plot seems to resemble the older sci-fi flick Toho make during the early 60's, instead of the mystic atmosphere the 1974 film had. Mechagodzilla looks just kickass, and the return of Rodan to the big screen was pretty much welcomed. Instead of having 2 monsters against 1, everyone fights everyone, and the sense of destruction is even more adequate than the old idea of having Mechagodzilla as the part of an ancient prophecy.

Acting is as usual a bit floppy, but the characters are likeable, especially Miki; who also appeared on the other Heisei movies. The main characters feel a bit repeated from other Toho movies, and that is a real threat when watching this flick. Luckily enough, the monsters are given an important expression this time. You can note Godzilla is worried about his son, and when you see Baby Godzilla's face you can't avoid feeling bad for his captivity.

Special effects were decent, not only the monster costumes. The miniature work is detailed, and the explosions are done almost perfectly. My only complaint was the Self-Defense Force weaponry; tanks, cars, helicopters, planes; all looked fake as the ones seen in the 60's, mostly because of the way they move. On the other hand, the costumes were excellent. Mechagodzilla looked metallic enough, with believable flying effects and fine-looking beams. Rodan was the weak point, it had strings holding him most of the time, and the wing movement didn't seem like he was flying. Godzilla looks good as usual. The costume has been modified briefly; the only real noticeable change was a smaller head, and more teeth. Photography is also impressive, with many nice landscapes the monsters fight in; and a very appropriate light, for the night scenes.

But what really makes up for this movie, is the music; by maestro Ifukube. He delivers the widely known Godzilla's theme, and brings up a new and raising march for the G-force. Rodan's theme also makes a return, and is once again put together with Godzilla's, as done in the Showa Series. Mechagodzilla's theme sounds much like a reworking from Kong's them in King Kong Escapes (1967), although it still helps the movie a lot.

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla is a superior reworking on the campy adventure filmed in 1974, and it's worth seeing both for its entertainment value and its talented execution.