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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment presents
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (Gojira vs Mekagojira) (1993)

"Reptiles or humanoid, we all fight to protect our offspring."
- Kazuma Aoki (Masahiro Takashima)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: February 08, 2005

Stars: Masahiro Takashima, Ryoko Sano, Megumi Odaka
Other Stars: Yusuke Kawazu, Kenji Sahara, Akira Nakao, Kenpachiro Satsuma
Director: Takao Okawara

MPAA Rating: PG for Sci-Fi monster violence and some language
Run Time: 01h:45m:35s
Release Date: February 08, 2005
UPC: 043396089891
Genre: fantasy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B BA-B+ D

DVD Review

One good rule of thumb for evaluating Godzilla movies is that the more time Godzilla spends either destroying Tokyo or fighting other monsters, the more entertaining the picture is. Although there isn't a huge level of destruction on display, there is plenty of giant rubber monster conflict here as Godzilla not only takes on his old foe Mechagodzilla (though in a new guise) but also Rodan the monstrous pteranodon in this 1993 sequel.

A team of scientists, including Kazuma Aoki (Masahiro Takashima) use the ruins of the Mecha King Ghidorah (destroyed in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)) to build a Mechagodzilla, this time under the control of the Japanese Counter-G Bureau instead of malevolent aliens as was the case in the 1974 original. Meanwhile, an exploration team has found pteranodon fossils on a waste disposal island, as well as a gigantic egg. When Rodan comes to protect the egg, Godzilla appears and claims the egg as its own. The humans, including Azusa Gojo (Ryoko Sano) make off with the egg as the monsters battle. Before long, the egg hatches a Baby Godzilla and mama Godzilla comes to claim it. Not only must she face Mechagodzilla, but Rodan is also itching for a rematch.

While humanity is frequently dispensable in these films, that tendency is even more severe in this case. The only real interesting moments involve Azusa as she tries to cope with the hatchling Godzilla, and her insistence that it's some other species. In addition, G-Force soldier Miki Saegusa's sympathetic reluctance to administer a killing blow to Godzilla is a refreshing change from the usual gung-ho attitudes on display in these pictures. The theme of maternal instincts is dominant, and it can be used effectively, such as in the case of Gorgo (1960). Here, it's pretty much just an excuse for the monster fights. Not that that's a bad thing. The action level is much higher than usual here, and the production values are generally pretty good, although Rodan looks like solid rubber in its closeups.

The secondary theme, of industrial nuclear pollution, echoes the concerns of the original Godzilla (1954), with its subtext of anxiety and resentment over the atomic bomb. The callousness of humanity for the environment is expressed not only in the setting of the mutated egg in an area used for nuclear waste disposal, but in Mechagodzilla consisting essentially of a nuclear reactor on legs, sent into battle with inadequate testing and controls.

The battles between Rodan and Godzilla are appropriately spectacular. Unfortunately, the title bouts tend to feel a little repetitive and have a tendency to look a little cartoonish with their reliance on animated rays. As such, it's a pretty good entry in the 1990s or Heisei sequence of Godzilla films, though it has its limitations.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The anamorphic widescreen picture looks quite nice. This appears to be the correct aspect ratio, a departure from the usual Tohoscope widescreen process used for most Godzilla movies. Color and detail are excellent, with nice black levels. There are a few speckles but nothing serious to detract from the enjoyment of a very filmlike experience.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Japanese, Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Dolby Surround tracks for both the execrable English dub and the original Japanese are provided. There's some good directionality and vivid use of surrounds during the combat sequences that help sell the rubber-suited action. Akira Ifukube's score sounds terrific.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
4 Other Trailer(s) featuring Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S., Mirror Mask, Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid, Steamboy
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: There's nothing here but some random trailers. Alas, the subtitles are again "dubtitles" transcribing the dub instead of providing a proper translation of the Japanese. But it's still much better than just being stuck with the English dub.

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

Giant monster battle fans will not want to miss this action-heavy episode of the long-running series. The transfer looks fine, but as usual there are few extras. Original language and widescreen presentation don't hurt one bit.

 


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