Mechagodzilla makes everything better. More proof lies in the Heisei version of him. Let’s see the robot smackdown in #22: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II!
So, some more familiar monster faces return for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (only so titled as to distinguish it from the 1974 film). Rodan will be back, although Rodan looks very different; this time he is a proper pterodactyl. We’ll also get a newer, decidedly less annoying version of Minilla in the form of Baby Godzilla. And, of course, we’ll have everyone’s favorite pimp, Mechagodzilla, back in all his awesome glory. Have I mentioned that Mechagodzilla is the best thing ever? Because he is.
This film largely ignored the events of the previous film (that’d be Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth) and skips right to the Mechaghidorah we saw two films previous. Using technology from that monster’s robot head (as we all would), humanity has designed a super-sized Godzilla-shaped tank they call Mechagodzilla, piloted by a team of experts. In the Showa continuity, Mechagodzilla was always under the control of evil aliens. Since Godzilla remains a villain in the Heisei era, it makes sense to turn Mechagodzilla into a human-owned weapon. Although this means Mechagodzilla is little more than a giant tank.
There is also a super-weapon in the form of Garuda, and the Garuda’s pilot (Masahiro Takashima) is upset that Mechagodzilla is being used instead of his cool flying machine. Eventually, the military will use these machines to team up and explode Godzilla. Godzilla’s rampage this time are actually motivated; human explorers have uncovered a nest of Godzilla eggs on a remote island, and Godzilla’s young, a human-sized dino with big eyes, is being studied by Miki. Godzilla will not stand for this, and stumbles into the city, looking for his baby. Again, it is not explained where the baby came from or who Godzilla mated with.
It occurred to me while watching Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II that humanity has essentially reconstructed everything in its ethos to include monsters. The military has counter-monster units at the point, giant future weapons are de rigueur, and the entire destruction of a major metropolis is a regular occurrence. Has it occurred to anyone that the sudden appearance of giant monsters might be a sign of the apocalypse? That we’re living in the end times? That Hell has cracked open, and demons have been unleashed? If a Fire Rodan and a Godzilla were rampaging for the fifth time in as many years, I’d think so.
The climax of the film involved the new Mechagodzilla beating up on Godzilla and the new Rodan (called Fire Rodan), while the Garuda pummels them from behind. We learn that Godzilla has two brains, and one is located in his butt. Godzilla beats up Mechagodzilla, but the humans quickly attach Garuda to Mechagodzilla, and he re-ups as Supermechagodzilla, a different monster according to Toho. Eventually Godzilla emerges triumphant, and Baby Godzilla heads back out to sea with him. It’s a sad moment. Miki cries. Miki cries a lot in these movies.
Godzilla is becoming more sympathetic as the Heisei era passes. And while he might not ever be the bouncer he was in the Showa era, he will certainly be seen as the survivor. The next two films will see monsters even more evil – and much larger – than he is, so he will have to become a defender by default. They’re also both pretty dang cool, and will feature some obscure cameos, the growth of Baby Godzilla, and the most awesome death scene in cinema history.
Up next: Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla (1994)