#1  
Old 11-27-2008, 01:48 AM
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla

This is part 12 of 29 of the Adam J. Hakari/Count Chocula GODZILLA retrospective. We will be reviewing all of the Godzilla flicks over the next few weeks/months/years. For the sake of convenience, the films will not be reviewed in chronological order. Hey, we're just two losers doing a lot of writing for free, so don't expect brilliant journalism. Okay, enough bullshit. Sit back and enjoy...



Toho reached their fair share of silly points with the Godzilla series, but Godzilla vs. Megalon was the last straw. It was a film that brought their great green cash cow to a ridiculous new low, kiddifying the hell out of a franchise slowly obtaining a cult status overseas. A movie was needed to maintain the monster's lighthearted new visage while retaining a few shades of badassery, and thus, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was born. Here we have a flick tailored for the kid at heart, packed with all sorts of flashy images and things that make a mighty big kaboom. Is it almost unfathomably goofy at times? Absolutely, but the Big G has rarely pulled it off as well as he has here.

After the discovery of a strange mural in Okinawa, a number of bad omens strike Japan. Earthquakes plague the country, ominous clouds churn about in the sky, and to top it all off, Godzilla has returned to throw the mother of all hissy fits. But there's something a little off about the big guy, something that's soon revealed following a fight with little Anguirus. As it turns out, it's not Godzilla at all but rather Mechagodzilla, a robotic version of everyone's favorite giant lizard designed by monkeys from outer space (just roll with it) to take over the world. The real Godzilla comes out of hiding to tangle with this high-tech foe, but a brutal beatdown forces both parties to retreat to their corners for a breather. But just when it looks as if the aliens have gained the upper hand, hope comes along in the form of King Caesar, an ancient monster summoned to help lay the smackdown on the intergalactic imposter.

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla is either one of the coolest or most puerile entries in the franchise. Any way you slice it, it's one nutty film, though for the most part, it's entertainingly so. Once a symbol of the horrors of nuclear war, Godzilla has since metamorphosed into Japan's own private superhero, with the filmmakers adapting accordingly. He's actually awarded quite a bit of personality here, approaching his first battle against Mechagodzilla with a sort of swagger befitting the likes of Clubber Lang. If Godzilla looks a little shabby and worse for the wear, that's because the filmmakers cast him as the underdog in this cinematic brawl. Director Jun Fukuda and crew put most of their efforts towards showing what a bad mamma jamma Mechagodzilla is, and boy, do they ever succeed. Tricked out with a slick look and an arsenal to put entire militaries to shame, Mechagodzilla is more than suitable enough to take on his scaly counterpart. In fact, I'd say Mechagodzilla is my favorite of Godzilla's opponents, if only because they give him so many damned cool gadgets without making it feel like the deck is stacked in his favor.

The kid-friendly spirit that had tainted so many prior pictures is kept largely at bay in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, though there are times when it does rear its corny little head. The story is a pretty preposterous mess, replete with all sorts of nonsense about Japanese royalty, mystical statues, and, of course, monkey men from space. It's far too complex than what a Godzilla film needs, and it painfully drags things out as it progresses, but it provides enough of a cheesy spirit for the flick to get by on. But the film's biggest letdown easily has to be another new contender, King Caesar (pronounced "see-zahr"). This guy is given so much build-up over the course of the movie, from a pivotal subplot to his own theme song, you're ready to see the monster to end all monsters. Instead, what you get is a cross between a dragon and my dad's Lhasa Apso, a pretty pathetic beast whose only ability is to be more limber than past kaiju. Needless to say, the impact is underwhelming, especially when he spends most of his screen time getting beaten to a pulp by Mechagodzilla (yet still retaining his fearsome reputation with the characters -- go figure).

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla is usually regarded as one of the best in its series. Though it was too sluggish for me to fully appreciate, I'd say this status is well-earned in the eyes of kaiju fans. With a diverting balance of bite and childishness, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla has no trouble keeping seasoned Godzilla buffs and franchise newcomers occupied.

MY RATING: ** 1/2 (out of ****)


Check out part 11 of the GODZILLA retrospective here...

http://www.joblo.com/forums/showthread.php?t=125827
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2008, 09:41 AM
Probably my favorite Godzilla flick as a kid. I actually owned the CHS and watched the hell out of it. Mechagodzilla is my favorite Godzilla foe. He's such as badass. Missile fingers, missile toes, the dudes packing major heat.

Terror of Mechagodzilla is pretty badass also if I remember correctly.
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2008, 10:38 AM
Yeah, Mechagodzilla fucking rocked in this one...

*Mild spoilers ahead!*

...it's too bad King Caesar was an epic pussy. He barely helped out in the fight at all, and at the end, he still slinked back into his hiding place as if he were saying, "My work here is done." Definitely a disappointing monster.

My next review will be one from the "VS." era...
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2008, 11:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam J. Hakari View Post
Yeah, Mechagodzilla fucking rocked in this one...

*Mild spoilers ahead!*

...it's too bad King Caesar was an epic pussy. He barely helped out in the fight at all, and at the end, he still slinked back into his hiding place as if he were saying, "My work here is done." Definitely a disappointing monster.

My next review will be one from the "VS." era...
Eh, King Caesar rocked in my book. He didnt help much but he was at least cool looking.

Plus, he has an awesome theme song
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  #5  
Old 11-27-2008, 02:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam J. Hakari View Post
Yeah, Mechagodzilla fucking rocked in this one...

*Mild spoilers ahead!*

...it's too bad King Caesar was an epic pussy. He barely helped out in the fight at all, and at the end, he still slinked back into his hiding place as if he were saying, "My work here is done." Definitely a disappointing monster.

My next review will be one from the "VS." era...
VS. era???

All three series are comprised mostly of "vs." films.
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2008, 05:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Dud View Post
VS. era???

All three series are comprised mostly of "vs." films.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heisei_era_(daikaiju_eiga)
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  #7  
Old 11-28-2008, 01:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam J. Hakari View Post
That link sent me to a page that apparently doesn't exist yet, but I'm not doubting you're right that you're referencing the Hesei series.
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2008, 02:18 PM
For some reason, the link decided to leave out that last parenthetical mark. But yeah, the Heisei era is what I'm talking about.
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  #9  
Old 12-01-2008, 06:32 PM
Sorry to say, Netflix has delayed my Godzilla intake. I should be back on track in a few days.

I'm not a big fan of any of the Mecha-movies. Toho ran the gimmick into the ground. Terror of Mechagodzilla is passable, but to me, Mechagodzilla is a boring foe.
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  #10  
Old 12-04-2008, 01:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by countchocula View Post
Sorry to say, Netflix has delayed my Godzilla intake.
Fucking Netflix!

Keep up the good work guys!
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2012, 06:20 PM
This is one crazy-ass film! (And I'm making one crazy-ass Bump!)

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but my God, how many off-the-wall ideas can be tossed into one film!? Space-monkeys, spies, ancient prophesies, Godzilla!! This really does have it all, and is one heck of a cheezy flick! My biggest complaint about the film is that the characters are all practically interchangeable and the film drags its feet in the middle portion, but when there is action to be seen its some for the books. I particularly liked the first few fights leading up to Mechagodzilla's "big reveal." I found it amusing that when Godzilla and Mechie were fighting in that one industrial setting the only people there were the citizens themselves, as if Japan no longer cares about the terror after their umpteenth assault from the Big G.

I've been reading these Threads quite a bit lately, and I'll probably Bump them as I watch each entry in the 'Zilla series., eclectically.
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2012, 01:26 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MisoGenie View Post
This is one crazy-ass film! (And I'm making one crazy-ass Bump!)

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but my God, how many off-the-wall ideas can be tossed into one film!? Space-monkeys, spies, ancient prophesies, Godzilla!! This really does have it all, and is one heck of a cheezy flick! My biggest complaint about the film is that the characters are all practically interchangeable and the film drags its feet in the middle portion, but when there is action to be seen its some for the books. I particularly liked the first few fights leading up to Mechagodzilla's "big reveal." I found it amusing that when Godzilla and Mechie were fighting in that one industrial setting the only people there were the citizens themselves, as if Japan no longer cares about the terror after their umpteenth assault from the Big G.

I've been reading these Threads quite a bit lately, and I'll probably Bump them as I watch each entry in the 'Zilla series., eclectically.
Yes! More Big G discussion!
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  #13  
Old 02-02-2012, 08:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Dud View Post
Yes! More Big G discussion!
I agree! I've just recently reignited my interest in this series, so I'm eager to discuss the various films! So far the original American Godzilla King of the Monsters is still my favourite, but I plan on watching some more once my schoolwork calms down some.
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  #14  
Old 02-02-2012, 09:41 AM
My favorites (in chronological order):
Gojira (obviously)
Mothra vs. Godzilla
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
Destroy All Monsters (I know the film itself doesn't hold up as well, but it's still a good time and knowing what all went into that final battle just makes it amazing as hell to behold)
Godzilla vs. Hedorah (I know, I'm demented)
Terror of Mechagodzilla
Godzilla vs. Biollante
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II
Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
Godzilla vs. Megaguiras
Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack! (Probably my favorite Godzilla film after the original and my fifth favorite kaiju film after the original and the Heisei Gamera trilogy, which is amazing, pick up the Blu Ray of it ASAP! Seriously, it's only about 8 bucks for the entire trilogy! Do it!)
Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla/Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (Kiryu is my second favorite kaiju behind Spacegodzilla and Akane is possibly my favorite human character)

Worst:
Godzilla Raids Again (boring as hell)
Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (every single scene in this movie sets off my bullshit receptors)
All Monsters Attack (I know it's made for kids, but still, even as a kid I hated it. Hell, my three year old barely had any interest in it)
Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla (which pains me to no end, as I said above, Spacegodzilla is my favorite kaiju. This is a fully phoned in movie across the board. Transforming Mechagodzilla into Mogeura? Ugh. Add to that the painful asteroid field battle and you've only scratched the surface of this horrid movie.)
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