Godzilla against Mechagodzilla, is the 26th installment in the Godzilla franchise and the fourth film to feature Mechagodzilla. The continuity of this movie is so convoluted it’s hard to imagine the initial pitch meeting. Like much of the Millennium Series, this film is yet another reboot ignoring all Godzilla films except the original. However Godzilla against mechagodzilla also takes place in continuity with other Toho films, notably, Mothra, War of the Gargantuas, and Space Amoeba. Mechagodzilla is actually called Kiryu in this movie as well to add to the confusion. We are in the final stretch of our Godzilla review marathon we began so long ago.
The plot is compelling. It revolves around Lieutenant Akane Yashiro, a laser-cannon technician, fails to kill a new member of Godzilla’s species during her first combat engagement, she is made a scapegoat for the military’s losses during the battle and consequently transferred to a desk job. During the battle, it was discovered that Godzilla is immune to laser fire, rendering all of the Japanese military useless against him should he return. Because the Japanese only fight with lasers? I don’t know they don’t go into detail on this point. The military then are gathered to build a bio-mechanical robot from the original Godzilla’s skeleton. Four years later Akane Yashiro is recruited into the pilot program for Kiryu, she intends on redeeming herself and kill the monster should he return. I love her I think it’s fantastic that we are getting these awesome female characters recently. She is a wounded character with relatable fears and interests. She isn’t superwoman she had compelling faults but she is determined. This is telling of how far the genre had come because mostly women were delegated to damsel in distress in the old Kaiju films.
There is an insane subplot that deals with, there is no easy way to say this, bone memory. Apparently the skeleton of the original Godzilla that is inside the MechaGodzilla remembers its past and fights the control of the pilots, to once again cause destruction. There is also a great deal of screen time given to dealing with the running of the mechanical beast. It’s a bit refreshing to see a different reboot on the series that has mostly focused on throwing extravagant monster bashes for a few too many films and let the human characters fall to the wayside. We see them working on the monster constantly, they fuel it, arm it move it, and there is a lot of technical dialog thrown in. some might find this movie boring in fact because it takes a harder science fiction stance.
I like the tone of this movie, it seems they were a lot more in touch with what they wanted to accomplish compared to the last one. The destruction is well shot and very poignant. In fact I would go as far to say this movie shows the destruction almost as effectively as some in the original series. The crowds run in a frantic but orderly patter resembling what we saw in the first film. The fights are less about seeing to monster struggle as it is about seeing the struggle of the humans to preserve Japan. I like this one a lot actually, even though the continuity is ridicules, and besides the main character the acting is all mostly subpar. The music is very interesting some of the pieces harken back to the original series giving it a nostalgic edge over the last few predecessors.