In the wake of a late-90s attack on Japan by Godzilla, the government orders the construction of a weapon that will be able to stand up to the monster. To this end, the bones of the first Godzilla (killed in 1954) are brought up from the sea-bed, DNA is extracted, and this DNA is used to operate computers in the robotic Mechagodzilla (also named Kiryu). The project takes years, and the completion of the weapon ironically seems to trigger the monster’s first attack in all that ti…e. A battle royale ensues. Operating Kiryu is a young woman who blames herself for the death of her superior officer during Godzilla’s 90’s attack.
Of the recent spate of Godzilla releases, Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla does notquite reaching the heights of the superb Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (which could well be the best film since the 1954 original), but is tighter and more exciting than Godzilla vs. Megaguirus. A bare minimum of time is spent between spectacular monster battles and large-scale, ritualistic destruction. What is particularly fascinating is the flexibility the Godzilla character is now showing. There is no continuity between the last four movies. Each one starts the story up again more or less from scratch, re-imagining the monster and what he means. The result is a continuing freshness and a growing symbolic richness. Oh yeah, and plenty of stuff goes boom very satisfyingly too.
I’m amazed the walls of my home are still standing. The bass on the 5.1 sound is astounding.Godzilla’s roars and footsteps shake foundations and rattle bones. The explosions are huge, andthe music, while majestic, recedes into the background, crushed by the power of the beasts. The environmental effects are great too, such as the pounding rain of a typhoon. And it is not necessary to disrupt the atmosphere with bad English dubbing!
For so many years, fans have had to put up with washed-out, re-edited, full screen versions of the films. While the picture is a bit grainy, it is (along with the transfers on the other two new releases) in every way a quantum leap over what has been available in the past. The aspect ratiois a full 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, the colours are rich, the flesh tones superb, the blacks gothically deep, and there is no visible edge enhancement. Enjoy.
As with the other new Godzilla films, nothing to speak of here. On this disc: trailers forThe Medallion, Returner, Tokyo Godfathers and Tube. One word about the subtitles: they reproduce the dubbed English dialogue, rather than being straight translations (as is clear even if you don’t speak Japanese). The menu is basic.
The package may not be perfect, but it is, along with its sister releases, the best NorthAmerican release of Godzilla in, well, fifty years. Long live the King!
Special Features List