The fifth entry in the Heisei series of films, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II would not be a direct sequel to the original, though it would share the same name and be an extremely solid outing for all including Godzilla, Rodan and Mechagodzilla. It would even bring back Minilla, the baby Godzilla but not be called as such, instead simply named Baby.
The story would see a new government force come together called United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Center, their goal clearly stated in their name and one that would stop at nothing to destroy the monster. As such, they salvage the mechanical head of King Ghidorah and use it in the construction of both their latest Mechagodzilla model and a new ship called Garuda. What follows is the introduction of Rodan, of a new baby Godzilla, battles galore between Godzilla and the various forces that oppose him and the realisation that thinking they can stop Godzilla and actually stopping Godzilla are two different things and the UNGCC may not be as prepared as they think they are.
While there are a few moments where it seems like the film might be a little overlong, particularly when it came to the human cast, for the most part it would fly by as the butting of heads between both monsters and humankind made for extremely good viewing. The fight scenes in particular were absolutely epic in nature, with Godzilla getting hammered time and again for much of the picture. Eventually he would always fight his way back, but it would hardly last as it would either be Rodan or Mechagodzilla who would end up putting him down after just getting up. Things would only change when Baby cried out, thereby summoning Rodan for the final time and after having been essentially taken out of the equation, Mechagodzilla would take Rodan out for good, but not before the Pteranodon-like creature would land on Godzilla and end up transferring all of its energy to the King of the Monsters. What is seen next in the film is probably the most impressive Godzilla up until this point in the film series, a Godzilla so supercharged that his normal nuclear breath turns red and is far deadlier than ever. Every battle up until the last one is amazing in and of themselves, but it is that last stand where Godzilla gets up after having been defeated and where he essentially destroys Mechagodzilla that gives the film its epic feel, ending on the highest of notes.
Having come for the monsters, for that is what everybody wishes to see when going to a Godzilla film, the human story is probably one of the better ones to be found as well. It might have been a little better off without the introduction of Baby Godzilla, but it never managed to hurt either and it was good to see the Japanese government continue to try and evolve and get better after the last time Godzilla showed up and caused a multitude of damage. Overall, the film did everything right and was highly entertaining from beginning to end. With two films left in the series after this one, Toho would definitely paint themselves into a corner trying to top it, but it would not stop them from trying. Highly recommended.
4.5 out of 5