Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II (1993)
Three is a very big crowd.
It strikes me as strange to be honest that this movie came after Godzilla vs Mothra. I guess it works, as one can assume that some time would have passed while Japan messed around with robotic parts from Ghidorah to make it - which is a turn over the "robot parts built on top of a Godzilla skeleton" that graces one of the other Mechagodzilla flicks, but considering how tied it is to that it seems as though it would have come first. Well, regardless of when the movie was delivered, can the movie prove to be massive scale metal, or does it prove to be nothing but a toy?
Our plot starts off with Japan harvesting the technology from the deceased King Ghidorah. Using that technology, they plan to create a weapon that even Godzilla can't match - mechagodzilla! On an Island elsewhere, a group of scientists find fossils of a pterosaur, and a fully intact egg! While camping at the site and preparing to take the egg back to a more equipped lab environment, a giant mutated pterosaur (called Rodan), makes it's appearance, doing a number on the science camp. With their backs against the wall (or ocean in this case), and Rodan approaching from the other, the remaining scientists appear to be in a bind - and then find themselves in a harder place when Godzilla shows up.
Escaping in their helicopter with the egg while Godzilla and Rodan do battle, we get to see the battle in all it's glory. At home, a series of events causes a member of the psychic institute to find out that the plants that came with the egg seem to be emitting a sort of song. Upon sharing the taped song with the scientist researching the egg, it hatches and reveals quite the shock: it wasn't a pterosaur egg, but a godzillasaurus egg! The baby sees the lady scientist as it's mother, her having spent so much time around the egg, and science sees the potential that this little creature could carry. Unfortunately, it would appear that the baby also has a psychic link of sorts with Godzilla, who starts rampaging his way straight into the heart of Tokyo to find it.
This marks the first deployment of Mechagodzilla to fight his non-mechanical namesake. A quite visual battle takes place, and in the end a miscalculation causes Mechagodzilla to be taken out of the fight, allowing Godzilla to continue on his way. With the help of a isolation room in the basement however, the crisis is averted (at least for the scientists) and Godzilla returns to the ocean. As Mecha-G undergoes repairs, a new plan is hatched using what science can learn from the baby godzillasaurus, and Japan once again gets ready to try and rid itself of their nuclear nemesis. The questions remains, however, if this time they can finally win against Godzilla.
Monsters look fabulous this time around. Godzilla has an even more intricate hero-head (for all those emotional close ups), allowing for more emotions in said close ups than previously (making it a lot easier for me to mentally add what he's thinking into the movie). Mechagodzilla is quite sleek, while still retaining that visual comparison and profile as Godzilla himself. Baby (as it is so called through the entire movie) comes off quite detailed as well, to the point of having light-up eyes when it gets frightened. Of them all, Rodan ends up feeling like the weakest link - although it looks good, movements tend to feel rather stiff and unnatural (watch it try to get up after falling down).
Visuals are incredibly clear this time around, again making me wonder how sometimes the movies seem so much more modern in presentation than those around them. Effects here are abundant, with numerous battles cropping up for the quota of explosions and lasers. The small toy tanks also look more convincing this time around, with their little track movements adding to the amount of detail. Shot imposition also feels much improved this time around, with moments of detachment seeming limited to a very small amount - which is good, as it's used quite a bit, and not just when a monster is on screen!
Audiowise it's on snuff with the others, possibly slightly better. Actors do a good job, although some of the characters are just over-the-top in how they act and the random switches to using english can be a bit jarring. I understand the idea of it, as there are (limited) english-speaking members in the cast this time around (a scientist, a couple of the G-Force members), and it seems easier to train others english than it is to teach primarily english-speaking folks japanese. That doesn't mean that even the english folks delivering english lines doesn't feel a bit jarring due to pauses or just the phrases ("Yes, life vs... artificial life") seeming a bit odd. When the japanese members deliver the english lines, it wavers between being fine and being hard to understand, but thankfully most of the film (at least my copy) was straight japanese with subtitles for me to read and understand in english.
While the music doesn't quite hold up in a comparison to the last entry, this one totally feels as though it's trying to up it's game in the quality department. The battles are absolutely slathered with explosions and good looking lasers, and details on the suits are stellar. If you haven't liked any of the other Godzilla movies, then I can't forsee you enjoying this one any more than the others (except maybe for the inclusion of the super-cute Baby), but for fans of the format the numerous battles will really feel like a treat this time around. In a way, I guess you could consider the plot and soundtrack a bit of a trade in on the better visuals and battle scenes.