Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II
Special Effects by
Masahiro Takashima – Kazuma Aoki
Ryoko Sano – Azusa Gojo
Megumi Odaka – Miki Saegusa
Yusuke Kawazu –Professor Omae
Akira Nakao – Commander Aso
Kenji Sahara – Minister Segawa
Leo Meneghetti – Dr. Asimov
Koichi Ueda – General Hyodo
Shelley Sweeney – Susan (Mechagodzilla Pilot)
Shinobu Nakayama – Yuri Katagiri
Kenpachiro Satsuma – Godzilla
Wataru Fukuda – Mechagodzilla
Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II (1993) is a film which many fans tend to underrate, often because they dislike its reinvention of Mechagodzilla and Rodan. However, overlooking this matter of preference, the film itself is actually quite polished, and an improvement over the rather average Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla. (1974)
Wataru Mimura’s refreshingly concrete plot is a breath of fresh air after Kazuki Omori’s wildly uneven scripts for Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991) and Godzilla vs Mothra; (1992) it is better structured, and contains far less contrivance and plagiarism. Director Takao Okawara has improved as well, delivering smoother pacing this time around. The acting is a mixed bag, with the non-Japanese actors giving typically awful performances, but the character development is decent, with Miki Saegusa finally receiving some much-needed depth and growth, as her contact with Baby forces her to reconsider her views on Godzilla.
The action sequences are mostly well done, and are abundant throughout the film.
Godzilla’s clash with Rodan on Adonoa Island deserves a special mention, as this fast-paced, savage and creatively choreographed duel remains the best kaiju battle in the series to date.
The special effects are a step up from the previous two films, though they lack the sophistication and detail of Kawakita’s debut work on Godzilla vs Biollante. (1989) As with Godzilla vs King Ghidorah and Godzilla vs Mothra, the realisation of the monsters becomes an issue, with Godzilla, Rodan and Baby lacking somewhat in lifelike movement. On the other hand, the pyrotechnics and matte work are mostly well done, and the rotoscoping of the various energy beams is excellent. Overall, a competent effort from Kawakita, though with some room left for improvement.
By far the best aspect of the film is the spectacular musical score by Akira Ifukube. From his powerful and ominous theme for Mechagodzilla, to the haunting and beautiful psychic chorus, every track fits and enhances its respective scene. Overall, this is Ifukube’s second best work on the series, surpassed only by his magnificent swan song score for Godzilla vs Destoroyah. (1995)
While it doesn’t quite have the depth and power of the best Heisei films, Godzilla vs Biollante, Godzilla vs Destoroyah and The Return of Godzilla, (1984) Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II is still a solid entry in Godzilla’s portfolio, and in such an inconsistent series, ‘solid’ is a good thing.
Max’s verdict: 7/10