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Friday, April 25, 2014


If you're just joining us, my son and I set out several months ago to watch just about every kaiju/tokusatsu (that's Japanese-style scifi) movie we could get our hands on.  The result is THIS LIST of eighty-plus films.

Today's movie is Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002).

I'll go first:
Another movie, another redo of continuity. 
This time, however, more than just the 1954 film is included.  We get Mothra and War of the Gargantuas, too, but with some revisionist history.  It seems that mankind's weaponry, particularly the vaunted maser cannons, succeeded in eliminating those monstrous threats. 
At the beginning, we get a Godzilla attack and we're introduced to Akane, a maser cannon operator.  She fires and hits the beast, but Godzilla is unfazed.  Many soldiers die and she's brought before a hearing on her actions.   
This is a point that is confusing for me, and it may only be because of poor English dubbing.  Akane's superiors say she missed and she concedes the point.  Well, she didn't miss.  I'd be willing to let that slide, thinking the military was too confident in their weapon and Akane was too guilt ridden to argue.  Except ... in the very next scene, in the prime minister's office, the characters discuss Godzilla's imperviousness to maser beams.  Seriously?  I really hope it's a translation problem. 
A good bit of the next act is about creating Mechagodzilla and it's one of the coolest origins of any character in the franchise. 
They take the bones of Godzilla 1954 from the ocean floor and build a mecha from them.  Not only that, but they also take a cell and create a DNA computer for the machine.  This creates problems later. 
I mean, how cool is that?  Using Godzilla's ... cousin, perhaps, as a skeleton for their mechanical menace?  I love that. 
Even better?  It's haunted.   
When it first fights Godzilla, the Big G roars and something inside MG clicks.  The ghost, if you will, of the original Godzilla awakens and Mechagodzilla goes ... 

The destruction is great and Mechagodzilla's firepower is mighty impressive.  
The story of redemption for the pilot is rather by-the-numbers, but still well handled.  The admiring scientist and his daughter are pleasant enough.  The angry co-pilot, pissed at Akane for her earlier "failure," is predictable. 
So, Mechagodzilla is great ... 
... and Godzilla is boring. 
Yes, Godzilla's suit is the same (well, same design) as the one used in 2000 and Megaguirus, but it is, thankfully, no longer green with purple spikes.  It's well done and all the effects surrounding it are fine.  So why does it seem so rote? 
Godzilla exists.  He comes ashore and attacks.  He goes back to sea. 
Certainly, that's a formula we've seen time and again.  Why does it feel so lacking this time around? 
I think it's because the most interesting Godzilla in this movie is the one under tons of metal. 

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla ... Kiryu is so cool.  3.75 out of five atomic breath blasts.
My son's turn:
Well, this one is awesome! Godzilla bones are found, they make Kiryu, Fails to destroy Godzilla and instead destroys the city. they make Kiryu Version 1.5 and it works. I liked it because Kiryu is destructive, I don't because they used Godzilla 2000's suit. 
So, rating wise, i'll say 3.6 out of 5 Atomic Breaths of Awesomeness!! 
The trailer:

Next, Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

(GIFs from destructionmode and kholendx78)

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