Upon successfully resurrecting King Ghidorah and Mothra from the dead with new updates to compliment the new series of movies, it was only a matter of time until Toho decided to do it again. They wasted no time in this as they decided to craft their next movie around MechaGodzilla, but instead of being a mechanical clone created by aliens, this artificial monstrosity was created by the government’s newly formed agency, the Godzilla Force (G-Force).
The movie starts off with the G-Force locating Mecha-King Ghidorah’s corpse and use the technology found within his remains to build a giant robot dinosaur deemed MechaGodzilla. In the meantime, scientists discover what they believe to be the egg of a pteranadon on an island and bring it back to Japan to study it while Godzilla and a giant pteranadon by the name or Rodan battle each other to the death. Back in Japan, the egg hatches and out of it emerges a baby Godzillasaurus. Godzilla rises out of the sea and battles MechaGodzilla, only to defeat him with ease and a new plan is devised to defeat the monster using what scientists have discovered by studying the baby Godzillasaurus. With Rodan back in the game MechaGodzilla repaired and upgrade thanks to a ship called the Garuda, a three way battle ensues as Godzilla returns for his baby. Overall, the plot is simplistic but good, although flawed. Having a baby Godzillasaurus could have made the movie kid friendly, but fortunately it did not. Godzilla is still a menace to be had and the idea of having a robot monster to fight Godzilla works. There are a few things that do not work with the plot though, and those are Rodan and the secondary brain of Godzilla subplot.
First, there was no reason for Rodan to even be in this movie. I am a big fan of the monster, but he just feels like he was thrown in just so Toho would feature an updated version of him. I do like his design but the treatment given to him is just insulting compared to how big of a character he was during the Showa era. They could have named this monster anything and it would not have made a single change to the plot of the movie. I am not even sure what Toho’s aim was to have him in here as I doubt he really made that big of a difference at the box office back in 1993. My second issue, dealing with the secondary brain of Godzilla, just feels tacked on and a reason to give the G-Force some hope in defeating Godzilla after their first encounter. It does feel kind of crappy to force Miki to be the one who has to carry out the plan, but at least they showed her struggle with the mindset to do it as she is not a blood thirsty character at all. In fact, she has never once wanted to outright Kill Godzilla, just prevent his attacks.
Outside of Miki though, the rest of the characters of kind of forgettable. Aoki and Gojo are pretty much just there to get the plot moving along and keep it moving. The G-Force pilots are just there to be pilots and nothing else. The only other character who really matters is General Aso, and that is because he returns for the remaining movies of this series rather than being a stand out character. Nevertheless, it is nice to see someone who will be back even if he is just a generic military leader.
As mentioned before, the movie features three monsters and one ship named after a mythological beast, the Garuda. Rodan’s design is done well, he looks menacing, but that is all that can be said in a positive manner regarding him. His wings look great when they flap, but it seems like he is floating half the time instead. Thankfully he looks more lifelike compared to Mothra in the past movie. It is just a shame they treated Rodan like garbage here as he just does not make sense, especially in the second half of the movie. In fact, he might have worked just being in the first encounter with Godzilla and being killed there. The “fire” upgrade is nothing special outside of changing his colors and giving him a beam cannon blast attack. Why he needed one is unknown, but he has one. Godzilla’s design is similar to what was scene in the last few movies, but the issues found in “Godzilla vs. Mothra” seemed to have been nearly fixed. Godzilla still has moments of lifelessness to him, but he does snare and blink at times during the movie, making it feel more natural that the last time. Something does still look off about the snout though. Regardless, there is nothing to really complain here about Godzilla’s appearance or execution. MechaGodzilla, on the other hand, is a different story.
Unlike the Showa design of MechaGodzilla, where it looked way too busy, here, he is way too bulky. The suit does not seem to be able to move that well, giving us a lot of shots of MechaGodzilla just standing around as he shoots. Even some of his flying scenes in the final battle of the movie come off as lazy. On the defensive, MechaGodzilla is a robot, so he does look like a robot and move like a robot, but it would have been nice if Toho had found a balance so he would at least walk better without it looking so clunky and forced. The Garuda itself is fine as far as ships go. It is much better looking than either Super X, but also seems to be very weak just found Rodan’s blasts alone. However, the main attraction to the Garuda is watching it connect with MechaGodzilla. It also somehow has the ability to make MechaGodzilla look completely new when attached as the broken eye and battle damage seems to have disappeared from the motorized titan’s body at that time. I am not sure how that works, but at least he looks cool.
The effects in this movie are also a vast improvement over those found in the last movie. They still have not reached the levels found in “Godzilla vs. Biollante,” but they are just as good as the ones in “Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah.” Godzilla no longer looks lifeless, Rodan’s wings move a bit more, and the tanks and planes look good. The city sets do not seem to be as detailed or lit up as they were in the past during the night battle, but the action does more than make up for it. In fact, this is some of the best action the Heisei series has to offer thus far. Godzilla is on screen within the first 20 minutes of the movie and continues to show up for longer periods than we are used to. I also need to mention one of my favorite little moments is when Miki and the pilots are in their escape pod and the computer announced that there are no survivors. Why would it say something like that and who would be there to hear it if there really were no survivors?
Overall, there are issues with the plot, Rodan is pointless, and the characters are forgettable, but the action makes up for it. It is not the best of the Heisei series (that is still Biollante), but it is definitely the best Godzilla movie released in the 1990s. Not to mention it also has some of the best music of the series as we get an incredible MechaGodzilla theme along with a nice update to the Rodan theme (probably the only good thing out of him being in this thing). I give the movie a 7/10.