Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002)
aka Gojira X Mekagojira
Article 5675 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Masaaki Tezuka
Featuring Yumiko Shaku, Shin Takuma, Kana Onodera
What it is: Kaiju
When a new Godzilla shows up in Japan, authorities build a mechanized version of the monster around the bones of the original Godzilla and use it to do battle with the new one.
This is not to be confused with the similarly-titled movie from the Showa series from 1974 nor the similarly-titled movie from the Heisei series from 1993; this one is from the Shinsei series, and it’s the first movie I’ve covered from that series. The odd thing about the Shinsei series is that they weren’t sequels to each other; rather, they were all individual sequels to the original 1954 GOJIRA which ignored the other sequels. This one also references MOTHRA and WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS. There are several ways to evaluate Godzilla movies, and one is as to whether the movie holds the interest when the monsters aren’t on the screen. This is very much the case with this one; the human characters are well-defined and have interesting (albeit sometimes unsurprising) story arcs; I cared about them. The monster battles are also excellent, and there are a few interesting twists to the story as well. I also like the fact that since Mechagodzilla is built on the bones of the original Godzilla, he actually has something in the way of character and personality; he’s not just a machine. I found this one a thoroughly satisfying entry in the Godzilla canon.