Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

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Masaaki Tezuka

Wataru Mimura

Max's Review

After creating the best Godzilla film to date with the controversial and brilliant GMK, (2001) Toho, apparently getting cold feet in the face of Shusuke Kaneko’s bold innovation, went back to formula for the following entry, Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla. (2002)

Where GMK took itself seriously, Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla is geared more towards cheesy entertainment. The plot does introduce some interesting concepts, such as Kiryu’s awareness, yet most of these ideas are dropped halfway through the film. The character development and acting are colourful, and the pacing is decent, moving the film along briskly and leaving few dull spots. Godzilla does lack personality here compared to the previous year’s entry, but he’s still treated more seriously than in Masaaki Tezuka’s previous film, Godzilla vs Megaguirus. (2000)

The special effects, while not quite on par with GMK’s, are still quite polished. The opening scene where Godzilla raids Tateyama during a typhoon is superb, and even the film’s lesser visuals aren’t terrible, as they were in Godzilla vs Megaguirus. The CGI looks good for the most part, particularly the new maser beams, though several shots, such as the divers examining Godzilla’s bones and the recreation of Godzilla’s 1954 demise, are rather poor. The matte work and pyrotechnics are competent, and the staging and presentation of the effects is aesthetically pleasing, with several beautifully done money shots, though none that can equal those Kaneko crafted in GMK. The biggest flaw is the Godzilla suit, which looks great during the aforementioned opening, where it is wet and cloaked in darkness, but frequently appears quite stiff and inorganic later in the film.

On the musical side of things, Michiru Oshima’s work is more refined here than in Godzilla vs Megaguirus, (2000) and lends the kaiju scenes an appropriate sense of grandeur. Like everything else in the film, it doesn’t quite match the brilliance of the previous film. Still, it’s a good score overall, and never detracts from the film.

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla is a step down from GMK in every aspect, yet it’s still a decent Godzilla film in its own right, and the second best entry in the Millennium series.

Max’s verdict: