Welcome to Tokusatsu Gesundheit, where we’re continuing our extended look at the Heisei-era Godzilla series with Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla II.
G-Force, the U.N.’s military answer to the ongoing Godzilla problem, has two super-weapon projects in final stages: Garuda, a high-tech fighter/bomber meant for fighting kaiju, and Mechagodzilla, a 100% robotic Godzilla based on Mecha-King Ghiddorah. Both of these vehicles will prove necessary when the chance discovery of irradiated Pteranodon eggs on an otherwise uninhabited island lures both Godzilla and Radon to Japan!
This flick was originally intended to be the last in the series, making way for the then-upcoming TriStar feature. Toho would learn about the ponderous pace of the American studio when they made THREE Godzilla movies in the time it took to get that one off the ground, but this epic monster mash featuring the return of Rodan, Mechagodzilla, and Baby Godzilla definitely has a bit of a finale feel to it.
- Mechagodzilla goes from being an alien WMD to a weapon in humanity’s arsenal, where it has (more or less) stayed up to the present day. This builds on the Super X warships of previous films and gives humankind their strongest hold on self-defense against kaiju to date.
- Rodan is, for the first time, portrayed via puppets rather than suitmation. This works well, since (like Mothra) Rodan is not meant to be particularly humanoid.
- Baby Godzilla, the son of the original, reappears for the 1st time in Heisei continuity! He’s designed to be less cute and cuddly than his Showa counterpart (doesn’t last) and is a little bigger than a human basically right out of his egg – one of the few things the Baby Zillas share with their Japanese counterpart.
I am a big fan of the giant robots being human inventions in Toho’s Kaiju Universe, which was introduced in this flick (since Mecha-King Ghiddorah is from the far future, I’m not counting). Rodan’s role in the plot feels a touch unnecessary, but overall this movie’s a worthy addition to the canon.
Come Back Next Week for 1 Out of 5 – Would Recommend! Assuming, of course, I get through the animated Titanic movie with my sanity intact.