Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla
|Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla|
Official Japanese poster
|Directed by||Masaaki Tezuka|
|Produced by||Takahide Morichi
|Written by||Wataru Mimura|
Tsutomu Kitagawa as Godzilla
|Music by||Michiru Oshima|
|Editing by||Shinichi Fushima
|Running time||88 min.|
Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, released in Japan as Godzilla × Mechagodzilla (ゴジラ×メカゴジラ Gojira tai Mekagojira ) is a 2002 Japanese science fiction kaiju film directed by Masaaki Tezuka, written by Wataru Mimura, and produced by Toho Co., Ltd. It is the 26th installment in the Godzilla franchise and the fourth film to feature Mechagodzilla. Unlike much of the Millennium Series, the film takes place in continuity with other Toho films, notably Godzilla, Mothra, War of the Gargantuas, Space Amoeba and its successor, Tokyo S.O.S.
The year is 1999, 45 years after the first Godzilla attack in 1954. When Lieutenant Akane Yashiro, a mazer technician, fails to kill Godzilla during her first combat engagement, she is made a scapegoat for the military's losses during the battle and consequently transferred to a desk job. During the battle, it is discovered that Godzilla is immune to mazer fire, rendering all of the Japanese military useless against him should he return. Scientists, including single father Tokumitsu Yuhara, are gathered to build a bio-mechanical robot from the original Godzilla's skeleton. 4 years later, the cyborg, called [Mechagodzilla], is finished and inducted into the Japan Self-Defense Forces along with its human pilots as the Mechagodzilla Squadron. Akane becomes the main pilot for Mechagodzilla. However, memories of Akane's actions during the original engagement in 1999 still lingers her, and one of her squadron mates, 2nd lieutenant Susumu Hayama, is openly hostile towards her, blaming her for the death of his brother in that same fight.
A while later, Mechagodzilla is shown to the world, and the complete system that controls the unit is explained. Mechagodzilla is controlled remotely from a control craft that resembles a very large jet fighter with VSTOL capabilities. It can be remotely recharged from the ground using microwaves that are relayed through a power system on one of the command aircraft, and then beamed back down to Mechagodzilla. For the end of the presentation, its greatest and most powerful weapon, the freezing Absolute Zero cannon, is shown. At the same time, Godzilla shows up once again, and Mechagodzilla is launched into battle. In the midst of the first battle, Mechagodzilla's soul is awoken by Godzilla's roar and brings with it the memories of the original Godzilla's death years ago. As if possessed by the original Godzilla, Mechagodzilla proceeds to destroy the city around it after Godzilla retreats to the ocean floor. Horrified, the Mechagodzilla Squadron can only watch in terror and alarm as the rampaging cyborg destroys more city property than Godzilla did. After 1 hour, Mechagodzilla runs out of energy and is brought back to headquarters for further work.
All the while, Akane tries to settle matters involving Hayama, Tokumitsu, and his distressed daughter, Sara; who sees Mechagodzilla as a being with a right to life and that it should befriend Godzilla rather than battle him. Later, Godzilla attacks again. After repairs are made, Mechagodzilla is released from the air and hits Godzilla with immense speed. At this point, Godzilla and Mechagodzilla face off in a head-to-head battle where each combatant sizes up its opposite and exchange powerful blows that also devastate the cityscape around them. Mechagodzilla gains the upper hand and beats down Godzilla. Mechagodzilla grabbed his tail, spun him around, lets go of his tail to let him go flying. Mechagodzilla proceeded to launch the Absolute Zero, but Godzilla fires his atomic breath. During the course of the impact, Mechagodzilla is disabled, and the remote piloting system completely taken offline. In an effort to continue the fight and press what advantage over Godzilla they still have, Akane orders the pilot to land his command craft so that she can make her way to Mechagodzilla and take control from its internal backup cockpit. Now under direct human control, Mechagodzilla rises from the ground one more time and closes in on Godzilla for a final blow, hoping to use the Absolute Zero cannon at point-blank range. The two titans collide, and Akane uses Mechagodzilla`s thrusters to propel it and Godzilla out to sea before the cannon fires, freezing a huge portion of the ocean around them. After the blast clears, Godzilla is shown with a huge gash in his chest, steadily walking back into the ocean. Mechagodzilla is heavily damaged, missing its right arm, and the Absolute Zero cannon shown to be devastated. While failing to kill Godzilla, the Kiryu Squardron feels victorious in being able to drive the monster away... for now.
The closing image and post-end credits scene of the film show Akane standing on the shoulder of the heavily damaged Mechagodzilla, watching Godzilla slowly retreat out to the ocean with a respectful expression on her face. Following the credits, an additional scene reveals that Akane agrees to have dinner with Tokumitsu and Sara and gives Mechagodzilla one last salute as it goes it goes into the ocean with godzilla
- Yumiko Shaku as JXSDF Lt. Akane Yashiro
- Shin Takuma as Tokumitsu Yuhara
- Kana Onodera as Sara Yuhara
- Kou Takasugi as JXSDF Colonel Togashi
- Akira Nakao as Prime Minister Hayato Igarashi
- Yūsuke Tomoi as JXSDF 2nd Lieutenant Susumu Hayama
- Junichi Mizuno as JXSDF 1st Lieutenant Kenji Sekine
- Kumi Mizuno as Prime Minister Machiko Tsuge
- Yoshikazu Kanō as Hishinuma
- Takeo Nakahara as JXSDF Chief Ichiyanagi
- Kōichi Ueda as Dobashi
- Midori Hagio as Kaori Yamada
- Akira Shirai as Shinji Akamatsu
- Naomasa Rokudaira as Dr. Gorō Kanno
- Shinji Morisue as JXSDF 1st Lieutenant
- Hideki “Godzilla” Matsui as Himself
- Tsutomu Kitagawa as Godzilla, the titled character, primary antagonist and King of The Monsters.
- Hirofumi Ishigaki as Kiryu, the primary protagonist and a cyborg built around the bones of the first Godzilla that attacked Japan in 1954.
- In this continuity, the original Godzilla's skeleton was not vaporized by the Oxygen Destroyer, and Gaira was seemingly destroyed by maser weapons.
- Mechagodzilla is mostly referred to as Kiryu throughout this film and the next. This was done to differentiate the character from previous versions.
- Japanese Baseball star Hideki Matsui has a cameo as himself in the film due to his nickname "Godzilla".
- As has been done since the early 1970s, Toho had the international version of Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla dubbed in Hong Kong. This dubbed version was released on DVD by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in 2004.
Budgeted at roughly $8,500,000, Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla opened in Japan on December 13, 2002, and earned $2,253,231 in its opening weekend. It went on to gross approximately $16,000,000 in Japan, making it the second biggest of the Millennium Godzilla films at the box office. It sold approximately 1,700,000 admissions.
Mike Pinsky of DVD Talk gave the film three stars out of five, saying: "While I did have some minor complaints, [this is] a fine entry in the series." Pinsky said "the plot is more interesting than most giant monster movies," and "the battle scenes, which are the main reason anyone watches these films to begin with, were great." Matt Paprocki of Blog Critics said the film is "pretty flawed, [but] those of us who still love seeing Japan get trampled are in for a treat."
Stomp Tokyo praised the "great monster fight action" but criticized the "[un]compelling non-monster scenes." Giving the film a "B+" score, Mark Zimmer of Digitally Obsessed said that it's "a good deal of fun and one of the better entries in the series." Digital Monster Island gave the film a "B" score, calling it "a fun and exciting film that should please most kaiju fans."
- Released: March 23, 2004
- Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla at the Internet Movie Database
- Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla at AllRovi
- Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla at Rotten Tomatoes
- "ゴジラ×メカゴジラ (Gojira tai Meka-Gojira)" (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-07-21.