Humanity's desperate battle to reclaim the Earth from Godzilla continues. The key to defeating the King of the Monsters may be Mechagodzilla, a robotic weapon thought to have been lost nearly 20,000 years ago.
In the distant future, humans are declared "illegal residents" and hunted to near extinction by murderous robots. One day, a group of human scavengers come across a strange man named Killy, who may be the key to humanity's survival.
Following their crushing defeat at the hands of Godzilla Earth, Haruo Sakaki and his allies encounter a mysterious aboriginal tribe descended from the humans left behind on Earth 20,000 years ago, and uncover a mechanized city-sized fortress formed from the long-lost anti-Godzilla weapon Mechagodzilla.Written by
This film features Mechagodzilla, Godzilla's mechanical doppelganger that was first introduced in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), and made its most recent appearance in Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003). Mechagodzilla was originally a weapon constructed by alien invaders, but in subsequent films has typically been portrayed as a human-built weapon created to defend the human race from Godzilla and other monsters. The version of Mechagodzilla in this film combines both portrayals, with it being built by the Bilusaludo aliens but with the purpose of defending the Earth from Godzilla. See more »
The characters reason that the Hotua tribe must stem from the human race since they closely resemble humans. This logic is undermined by the fact that in this universe, both the Bilusaludo and the Exif aliens also look just like humans apart from a few very minor differences. The Hotua don't look any more human than they do. See more »
The 2nd chapter of the Godzilla anime trilogy, "City on the Edge of Battle", has finally arrived. Last time on "Monster Planet", humanity lost against the kaiju and escaped into space with 2 alien races. Failing to colonize another world, they return to reclaim Earth only to find that it has changed in their absence and Godzilla is still king. Now, picking up where Part 1 left off, our heroes hide with a surviving human remnant, the Houtua tribe, after suffering a crushing defeat. After more exploration, they soon stumble upon a mechanized city, created by what's left of Mechagodzilla via advanced alien nanometal. The human-alien forces plan to use it to kill Big G once and for all, but things are not as clear cut they seem.
While the first film had lots of set-up time and had both a dull color scheme and a static cast, here the drama is more engaging and a greater variety of color is used. Characters have greater emotional range and are a bit fleshed out more, including protagonist Haruo who is just starting to undergo a change beyond his "We must kill Godzilla" mentality that frankly made him stale first time around. More world-building is brought in and it's pretty interesting, particularly the Houtua culture and the further look into the aliens' views and backstories. There's also a conflict that happens between the characters that shifts the dynamic of their campaign, which I found engaging. There are fascinating themes at play with elements of evolution, religion, individualism, nature vs technology, and what truly separates man from monster. As for Godzilla, whenever he's on-screen, he is still both powerful and intimidating, not to mention pulls a couple of unexpected moves.
Sadly, weighty flaws hurt Part 2. First off, the film repeats the same basic story beats of Part 1 down to a similar climax. Like before, Godzilla doesn't come around until the climax, so waiting is in order. There's also misleading marketing in that Mechagodzilla, despite all the advertising, plays no active role; in fact, he's barely seen. Evidently, the filmmakers don't entirely know what they got on their hands, not taking full advantage of this world they made (the prequel novels seem to have more going on in them). Characters tend to repeat things over and over and most (Haruo aside) don't change much from their starting roles and personalities. Moreover, there's a romantic subplot that I don't feel entirely works, mainly because the relationship between the lovers in question isn't fleshed out.
"Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle" can be best summed up as one step forward, one step back. The new stuff is mostly good, the action is entertaining enough, and there's more going on thematically and drama-wise, but the film's reluctance to go further and instead repeat what was done before, coupled with the absence of substantial character progression, held it back. The after-credit scene promises the arrival of a classic Godzilla foe, putting pressure in the final entry of this trilogy to really deliver, which I hope it does.
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