Godzilla Against MechaGodzilla (2002)Director:
Yumiko Shaku ... Akane Yashiro
Shin Takuma ... Tokumitsu Yuhara
Kana Onodera ... Sara Yuhara (Tokumitsu's daughter)
Koh Takasugi ... JSDF Lieutenant Togashi
Yûsuke Tomoi ... JSDF 2nd Lieutenant Hayama The Plot:
The Year is 1999, forty five years after the first Godzilla attack of 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 it should it return. Scientists are forced to build a bio-mechanical robot from the original Godzilla's skeleton. Four years later, the cyborg, called Kiryu, is finished and inducted into the Japan Self-Defense Forces along with its human pilots as the Kiryu Squadron. Lieutenant Akane Yashiro is congratulated by her captain as the new "Kiryu" (main pilot). However, memories of Akane's actions during the original engagement in 1999 still linger, and one of her squadron mates is openly hostile towards her, blaming her for the death of his brother in that same fight.
A while later, Kiryu is shown to the world, and the complete system that controls the unit is explained. The Unit is controlled remotely from a control craft that resembles a very large jet fighter with VSTOL capabilities. The Unit 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 the Kiryu unit. For the end of the presentation,the Absolute Zero cannon is shown. Then everyone is shocked when it is tested on a building. The building is surrounded by a block of ice. As Kiryu hits his tail on the ground, the building is obliterated. At the same time, Godzilla shows up once again, even though the JXSDF seemed to finally defeat him. Kiryu is released at the same place of Godzilla. In the midst of the first battle, Kiryu's soul is awoken by Godzilla's roar and brings with it the memories of his death years ago. This action makes Kiryu extremely angry and he proceeds to destroy the city around him. Horrified, the Kiryu Squadron can only watch in terror and alarm as the rampaging cyborg destroys more city property than Godzilla did. It takes 1 hour for Kiryu's energy source to run out. Kiryu is brought back to headquarters for further work.
Meanwhile, Kiryu's main pilot, Lieutenant Akane Yashiro, tries to settle matters involving 2nd lieutenant Susumu Hayama, scientist Tokumitsu Yuhara and his distressed daughter, Sara; who sees Kiryu as a being with a right to life and that it should befriend Godzilla rather than battle him. Lt. Andre pops the seat out of his jet and flys out and plants a tracking bomb on Godzilla in the ocean. He also gets injured. Later, Godzilla attacks again. Afterwards, a nearby hospital is evacuated. A nurse quickly realizes a baby girl is still in it. Godzilla then creeps up on the hospital and charges for an atomic beam. Just then Kiryu is released from the air, and hits Godzilla with immense speed, saving the nurse and the baby. At this point, Godzilla and Kiryu 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. During the course of the fight, Kiryu 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, Lieutenant Akane orders the pilot to land his command craft so that she can make her way to Kiryu and take control from its internal backup cockpit. Now under direct human control, Kiryu rises from the ground one more time and closes with Godzilla in a final blow, hoping to use the absolute-zero cannon at point blank range. The Two titans collide, and the lieutenant uses the thrusters on Kiryu 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 away from the city and back into the sea. Kiryu is heavily damaged, missing its right arm, and the Absolute Zero cannon shown to be devastated.
The closing image of the film shows Lieutenant Akane standing on the shoulder of the heavily damaged Kiryu, watching Godzilla slowly retreat out to sea with a respectful expression on her face.My Thoughts:
As with most of the Godzilla films after 2000, this film follows a continuity that has this as only the 2nd time Godzilla has appeared. All other films are forgotten. This is a point of annoyance to me. Toho essentially reboots the franchise with almost every film. Rumor has it it will happen again with an upcoming film in 2012-13. This film, for me anyway, suffers a little with the non-monster plots. Every G-film has them, sometimes they fit into the story other times they are completely outside of it. This one deals with issues that steem from the main plot, but I find myself not really caring. They do little to make me feel for Akane and her problems and her relationship, if you can call it that, with little Sara feels completely forced.
I did want to mention this film this week because not only does it depart form the continuity of the previous films events even happening, but it also leaves behind the idea of Godzilla being the "anti-hero". He is the enemy plain and simple with no other motivation or reason for his rampage other than purely being a monster.
I don't really like that. I much prefer him as the guy you may not want around, but you are sure glad when he is.