"Dr. Yuhara." "Yeah?" "Relax, we're with the government."
During a typhoon Godzilla reappears and starts stomping on Tokyo. It’s been 45 years since the monster first appeared. A weapon designed to kill Godzilla called a maser cannon is deployed. Lieutenant Akane Yashiro mans the weapon. During the attack Godzilla destroys the maser and everyone in the deployment except Akane. She is blamed for the loses and is transferred to desk duty.
The military realizes that their maser is not enough to kill Godzilla. The military needs a better weapon should Godzilla return. They gather the best scientists in Japan for a special project. One of them is Tokumitsu Yuhara. The military recovers the skeleton of the original Godzilla that was destroyed in 1954 and uses the bones and DNA of the monster to create a bio-robotic super weapon. The Mechagodzilla is named Kiryu.
Akane is taken from desk duty and returned to being a pilot. Many of her squadron blames her for what happened during the last fight with Godzilla, especially Second Lieutenant Susumu Hayama who believes she is responsible for the death of his brother. Her squadron leader, Colonel Togashi, requested her specifically because of her expertise.
Finally Mechagodzilla is ready. Kiryu is shaped like Godzilla. Its main weapon is a gun called the absolute zero gun. It emits a ray that freezes the target to absolute zero degrees. Mechagodzilla can be remotely charged and controlled. While Mechagodzilla is being explained to the military and heads of state the real Godzilla shows up.
Kiryu is deployed. During the battle the new Godzilla roars. The roar of the new Godzilla affects the part machine, part biological Kiryu and awakens the essence of the original monster. Godzilla retreats to the sea and Mechagodzilla now terrorizes the country. The Japanese military is helpless to do anything about it. Kiryu is more powerful that Godzilla himself.
“Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla” was released in 2002 and was directed by Masaaki Tezuka. This is probably one of my favorite Godzilla movies. It is the fourth Godzilla movie in the third series and the 27th Godzilla movie. The film was intended as a standalone film, however, after completion Masaaki Tezuka came up with an idea for a sequel. The next year “Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.” 2003 was filmed.
Mechagodzilla's nickname is Kiryu, which means machine dragon or mechanized dragon. Director Masaaki Tezuka has an ala Hitchcockian cameo at the end of the film as a maintenance worker who walks past Akane in the scene following the end credits.
The movie is fast paced with some great special effects and lots of mayhem. The monsters were really good. I liked the look of Kiryu. He and Godzilla both looked good. The suits were well done. Yumiko Shaku as Akane was also quite good. Somehow she managed to bring both strength and vulnerability to her character. She may have seemed aloof but there was warmth to her that was compelling.
I was also pleased with the plot. There were a few camp moments but not enough to break the pace. Some aspects were a little farfetched but hey it’s Godzilla, what do you expect. All in all it was a bunch of fun.
There is a little stock footage from prior movies including “Godzilla”, “Mothra” and “War of the Gargantuas”.