Millions of years ago Godzilla apparently hooked up with Rodan, the big pterodactyl monster, because this film is about the two having a custody battle over their infant son. Seeing the destruction they cause, social services – that is to say the Japanese government – step in and attempt to keep the child away from his dysfunctional, violent parents using Mechagodzilla as a weapon against them. Knowing that they can never actually kill Godzilla, humanity’s plan is to therefore shoot him in the brain and permanently paralyse him from the neck down, which might be the cruellest damn thing ever conceived in one of these movies.
Indeed, while feeling quite vannilla on the surface, Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II is subtly one of the weirdest movies out there if you actually think about what is happening. But this isn’t one of the Godzilla movies where you’re supposed to do that. Because, as in both previous films featuring Mechagodzilla, the only way Godzilla overcomes his mechanical foe is through the power some insane bullshit that is never previously established in the movie, and then deploying it at the tail-end of a losing battle to destroy his superior.
But do not take this tone as a complaint. I love it. I eat this up. Were this film not self aware or trying at all to take itself seriously, I might be critical of this absolute nonsense. But it isn’t. It knows it’s dumb, doesn’t know how to realistically end itself after making Godzilla’s adversary so powerful, and just whips out the first thing it can think of to bail big G out of a tight spot. Basically, Rodan just so happens to die on the paralyzed body of Godzilla and then Godzilla, for no reason at all and without any explanation or prior set up, absorbs Rodan’s life force to heal his brain, regain control of his limbs and get a new breath attack so powerful that it destroys Mechagodzilla in only a few hits, despite his robotic counterpart being completely immune to said breath attacks throughout the rest of the movie.
Ultimately this is Son of Godzilla meets Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla from the Showa Era. An unlikely blend, but one that works to make the monkey part of your brain say “ooo, look at the pretty colours!“, and “ooo, look at the cute baby dinosaur!“
The film concludes itself when baby Godzilla walks up to big bad Godzilla and gets so scared and frightened of him that his dad, with the help of a telepath (whose telepathy was presumably established in a previous film), becomes empathetic to the point that he leads the little baby away from Japan and into the ocean where it’s safe. Which means, yes, if humanity decided not to act as social services and instead let Rodan and Godzilla kill each other on some island somewhere, the victor would take the baby and never have reason to attack civilisation for the foreseeable future.
But as I say, don’t think about it.
It’s not the best Godzilla film, nor the best Mechagodzilla film – I prefer the design and weaponry of the 70’s Mechagodzilla – but it is a very fun one. An undoubtfully silly one. And, finally, a delightfully light one. In fact, my biggest complaint is about the misleading title of this movie: Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II. Don’t be fooled, this film is a sequel… A sequel to the 1992 film, Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, but NOT a sequel to any other film featuring Mechagodzilla. It has absolutely no connection to the Showa Era movies previously featuring him, which means the title is the laziest thing in the world.
Thankfully not much else is lazy. The production value is good, the sets look great and the monsters look as good as can be, save for a few shots where Rodan couldn’t look more like a puppet.
It’s good to be watching Godzilla films again – Heisei Era ones that I’ve not seen at that! Here in the UK (the cesspool that is region 2), it’s hard to get Godzilla films that play on our devices. But for Christmas I happened to get a region-free DVD player, presumably found by archaeologists in the ruins of the moss-covered foundations of a care home, and so I can continue being an unashamedly bias Godzilla reviewer just like I was when I started the blog. They might be slow coming, but expect more Godzilla reviews in the future!
I liked how they had to put the registered trademark symbol, twice!, right in the freaking title. I don’t remember much about this one but a poetic passage where the lady flies on a scooter over Baby Godzilla’s pen. That was nice.
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Toho would trademark the genre if they could!
And yeah this one has some cute character moments like the one you mentioned. I dont know when this entered production, but I’m pretty sure they were trying to get on the Jurrassic Park hype train with this iteration of baby Godzilla too.