Monday, 20 April 2015
Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla 2 (1993)
The title above is the one used for this film in the US. It's problematic on two fronts. First, because this is the third Mechagodzilla movie. Second and more importantly, because the "2" implies that this is a sequel in some way, which it most definitely is not.
The original Japanese title omits that "2", which solves the above issues but creates some confusion since it leaves the film with exactly the same title as the 1974 film, and this is no more a remake of that film than it is a sequel.
With a less-than-friendly Godzilla still on the loose, the UN has established a 'Godzilla Countermeasures Centre', also known as 'G-Force'. Anyone who grew up with Battle of the Planets is probably giggling about now.
G-Force's first attempt to combat Godzilla was a fast-moving, airborne unit named Garuda, but this lacked the firepower to get the job done, so instead they began construction of a massive war robot: Mechagodzilla.
So whereas in the original Mechagodzilla movies the robotic version of Big G was an alien plot to conquer the planet, it's now humanity's principal means of defence. Like I said: definitely neither a sequel nor a re-make. In any case, Mechagodzilla is based on 23rd century technology recovered from the time travellers in Godzilla vs King Ghidorah. This is one of two references in this film to the earlier movie. So I guess something decent eventually came out of that turkey: you see, this is a pretty fun film.
Absolutely crazy. But pretty fun.
The film starts with the discovery of two prehistoric eggs of unusual size. One has hatched, and will be revealed to have birthed Rodan, a pteranodon-kaiju, while the second is still intact. Expecting that it is another mutant pteranodon, the human researchers take the second egg away, though not before witnessing a battle between Rodan and Big G that apparently ends in the former's death.
Once the humans have the egg back in Japan, they uncover a psychic emanation from some plant samples they found at the same site. With the help of some telepathic children, they convert the psychic signal into a song, which causes the egg to hatch.
Yes, you read that right. Trust me, this is halfway up the film's Insanometer.
Of course, as you may have guessed, what comes out of the egg is not a baby pteranodon, and the new arrival is both an opportunity and a danger to the humans who hold it.
After that? Well, I'm not going to spoil the heights of crazy this movie intends to scale. I think they're a part of its charm and should be discovered through personal experience.
This is a fun kaiju film with with lots of well-staged action scenes to break up the various bits of exposition. If guys-in-rubber-suits movies are something you enjoy, check it out.