5.30.2009

Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla : 3 of 5

I can't believe I'm already up to the 26th Godzilla movie, released in 2002. This is the fourth Godzilla film to feature Mechagodzilla (hence the somewhat awkward title), so I was really curious to see how he would be re-imagined this time around. It turns out he's just a massive weapon developed by the Anti-Megalosaurus Force (AMF) to fight Godzilla, and he even gets a name this time, Kiryu. The twist is that he's controlled by advanced "DNA computers", and they use bits of Godzilla's own DNA (obtained from his actual bones after his destruction in 1954 - yes, this is yet another reboot!). This one little fact sets up the best scene in the movie - when Kiryu hears Godzilla's roar, his DNA goes berserk and Mechagodzilla goes on a rampage (definitely a little embarrassing for the AMF)! The characters are a little sappy this time, since Akane (an AMF soldier looking for a reason to live) has some moments with the scientist's daughter that seem pulled right out of a Japanese TV drama, but the kaiju fighting is fantastic (I've become a connoisseur by now!). I loved the fierce contact and the rotating camera moves, which must have been really difficult to pull off, but unfortunately it seemed all of the aircraft were completely computer-generated. Kiryu's ultimate weapon is the Absolute Zero Gun, and there's an incredible shot where a misfire takes out three buildings instantly! There are also a few special scenes for Godzilla fans of all types, including flashbacks from Mothra and War of the Gargantuas, a cameo by Kumi Mizuno (my favorite Godzilla actress), and even baseball great Hideki Matsui knocking one out of the park (of course, his nickname is Godzilla!). Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla is a fast-paced, action-packed film, and although I prefer a slower, more menacing pace, I could definitely watch it again anytime. Two more Godzilla movies to go!

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