Hah, I just noticed that I am reviewing today’s movie almost exactly 1 year after it came out in theaters in Japan. Well, anyways, we are drawing closer to the release of the new Godzilla movie so lets continue with my reviews of the recent animated trilogy. Now when Godzilla: Planet Of The Monsters came out, there were some mixed thoughts coming from the Godzilla fans. Me personally, I enjoyed it and couldn’t wait for the next movie to come out and as soon as it did, I had Netflix on and was watching Godzilla: City On The Edge Of Battle as soon as I got home from work.
The plot: In orbit above the Earth, the captain of the Aratrum listens to the communications from the ground crew as they encounter the original Godzilla. When their data says that Godzilla is over 300 meters tall and his heat ray can reach their ship, some of the crew want to retreat to the moon’s orbit but the captain refuses to simply abandon Haruo and the others, ordering drones to search for survivors for the next 48 hours before they do so. Back on Earth, Haruo regains consciousness and and finds that his wounds have been healed by some strange powder. As he looks around his surroundings, a girl appears bringing a bowl of fruit but when she sees Haruo is on his feet, she drops the bowl and runs out of the hut. Haruo chases after her, discovering the hut he is on is on a cliff, beneath a dense layer of fog. Haruo climbs up the ladder built into the side of the cliff but loses sight of the girl. Haruo tries to see if anyone else from his crew survived but when he is unable to contact them, he heads off in the direction his locator points him towards. The strange girl follows after him and when he starts to walk through a pit, she yells out to him causing him to turn back. Haruo tries talking with the girl, teaching her how to say his name, but when he tries to learn her name, the girl runs off and he follows after her, making contact with Yuko as he does. Yuko, Adam, Belu-Be, and another crew member are being attacked by a girl that looks like the one that healed Haruo. When Haruo arrives, they find themselves surrounded by more members of the girls tribe and are taken prisoner. The group is taken to the tribes village, which is built inside a mountain, and placed in a room, where they find Martin, Galu-Gu, and several other members of their team are being held, but Haruo is saddened to learn that Metphies is not among them. As the group discuss their captors, and whether or not they are descendants of humans, Haruo says that they need to figure out how to escape and locate the landing ship his scanner picked up, then find what weapons they can. When guards escort them from the room, they discover that the girl that healed Haruo and the one that attacked Yuko and the others are twins. Haruo and the others learn that the tribe is called the Houtua and worship the egg of their fallen god. The twins, utilizing the egg’s powers, are able to speak telepathically to Haruo and the others, asking them why they burned their lands and attacked them. Haruo apologizes for the misunderstanding and says that they were there to kill Godzilla. This shocks the tribal elders, as their god had fallen in battle to Godzilla, and the girls say they will not be held captive. The group is taken to another room, where one of the stressed crew members blames Haruo for what has befallen them. Back on the Aratrum , the captain and his crew notice that Godzilla is moving around, seemingly to reclaim his territory. Back on Earth, Haruo and the others are escorted outside and they make plans to rendezvous with the landing ship, with the twins coming with them. As they make their way through the jungle, they learn that the girl that saved Haruo is called Miana, and the one that attacked Yuko and the others is called Maian. Yuko, feeling jealous of the attention Miana is giving Haruo, goes ahead and discovers the pit that Haruo had seen earlier. Going inside, Yuko is attacked by some strange vines and when she screams, the others try to save her but their bullets have no effect on the vines. Miana and Maina shoot the vines with their arrows, which kill them, and Galu-Gu asks to see the arrows but when he goes to touch one, they warn him that it is poisoned. Suddenly, the flying creatures attack the vines and group but they are saved by Metphies, who has arrived with some armored units. Regrouping at the landing ship, they make contact with the Aratrum , who sends a landing ship down to retrieve the survivors. Metphies tells Haruo that the committee has voted to leave the solar system again and asks him what he wants to do but before he responds, Galu-Gu and Belu-Be ask to speak with Haruo, telling him that they can beat Godzilla. When the landing ship arrives, Haruo assembles everyone to tell them the situation. Galu-Gu then tells everyone that the Houtua weapons are made from nanometal, which could only have come from the armor of the Mechagodzilla that they had been building to combat Godzilla, and that they must be harvesting it from somewhere. Haruo gives everyone a choice on whether they want to stay or leave, and the majority of people choose to stay and fight, with only 3 men going back to the Aratrum. As the twins lead Haruo and the others through a tunnel to where the nanometal lies, Martin talks with Haruo and tells him his theory about how the planet seemed to have adapted itself to serve Godzilla’s interests. When they exit the tunnel, they are attacked by some of the flying creatures and they begin defending themselves when spikes suddenly appear out of the ground and kill the creatures, then begin transforming them into nanometal. The group suddenly see a massive city and discover that the city is completely made of nanometal and Galu-Gu says that Mechagodzilla was still alive and had been growing and adapting for the last 20,000 years to continue it’s order to kill Godzilla. The twins warn Haruo that the city is poison, then head back to their village while Haruo and the others move down to explore the city. As they do, they discover that the city had been producing the strange fog/cloud cover, which served as an active camoflauge, and that the atmosphere inside was breathable for them. Inside the main building, they are horrified to see that the nanometal had absorbed human bodies but Galu-Gu says that it could only have happened if the bodies were already dead, as nanometal is not supposed to absorb living humans. They eventually find that half of Mechagodzilla’s AI had survived and Galu-Gu powers it up, then uses it to rebuild a control center inside the room where Mechagodzilla’ head lie. Haruo makes contact with the Aratrum , who are upset that he is disobeying orders by continuing to fight. After reviewing the data they received from the mothership, they see that Godzilla’ pattern of movement has him circling the area, as if he senses something is happening. Galu-Gu and Haruo come up with a plan to kill Godzilla but Martin voices some concerns about the Bilusaludo’s plan to work without rest on the fortifications and new attack mechs, the Vultures. Back in the Houtua village, the elders give the twins a cryptic warning about what is happening in Mechagodzilla City, saying a snake is waiting to strike inside. Back in Mechagodzilla City, Yujo test flies the first of the new Vultures and Galu-Gu says that as long as she stays within 5km of the city, she will have an endless supply of power. That night, Yuko confesses her feelings to Haruo and moves to kiss him but he pulls back as his wounds begin aggravating him. Later, Martin talks with Haruo and says that some of the crew, particularly those that the Houtua had treated for injuries, were feeling sick since they entered the city but when he took them out of the city, they felt better. Haruo goes to talk with Metphies, who is leading a sermon among some of the people that are beginning to follow the Exif faith, The two end up in a philosphical discussion concerning the Bilusaludo’s reliance on technology and Metphies tells Haruo there are worse monsters than Godzilla in the universe, telling him the name of the creature that destroyed his planet. Back on the Aratrum , the Bilusaludo on board refuse to leave the solar system and want to join with Mechagodzilla City to fight, while the Exif are converting more followers to the idea to join them and stay as well. Meanwhile, Godzilla’a movements suddenly change and Haruo alters his plans in order to try and make them fit the new timetable. Adam and some other crew members discover some of the Bilusaludo being absorbed by the nanometal and tell Haruo but Galu-Gu and Belu-Be say that the Bilusaludo are voluntarily joining with the nanometal to become one with Mechagodzilla. As Haruo, Martin, and Adam argue with Galu-Gu and Belu-Be over the issue, Yuko sides with the Bilusaludo, saying that they are doing it to help them fight Godzilla. Suddenly, the gas cloud covering the city begins to disperse and Godzilla, sensing the city, fires his heat ray at it but Galu-Gu manages to get the defenses up in time to deflect most of it. With Godzilla heading towards them and the fortifications needing more time to be completed, Belu-Be volunteers to pilot one of the Vultures with Yuko, and Haruo says he will pilot the third, telling Galu-Gu quietly that they need to show a united front in spite of their earlier argument. The three Vultures begin attacking Godzilla, luring it into position for their trap and they begin acting as bait but when Godzilla fires it’s heat ray at Haruo, he is able to dodge at the last minute thanks to a telepathic warning from the twins, who are watching the battle from a nearby mountain. When Godzilla reaches the capture point, the seal off the area and pour liquid nanometal into the area, trapping Godzilla in the space, then begin firing their weapons at him. Their assault seems to succeed and they manage to shoot 2 EMP harpoons into Godzilla in order to kill him but instead of exploding, Godzilla suddenly begins heating up. As the temperature continues to rise, Martin says it is getting to dangerous and orders an evacuation but Galu-Gu says that they need to calm down and merge with Mechagodzilla in order to finish off Godzilla. Outside, Haruo, Belu-Be, and Yuko attempt to attack Godzilla and get it to fire it’s heat ray so they can finish it off but their attacks have no effect. Galu-Gu says they should head up to the troposphere and use a suicide bomb attack to finish off Godzilla. Galu-Gu then initiates the nanometal in the Vultures to take over Yuko and the others but Haruo is somehow immune to the nanometal, due to the healing effects of the Houtua. Metphies contacts Haruo and tells him he needs to take out Galu-Gu’s control center, as it would stop the nanometal from spreading and save Yuko. As Galu-Gu and Metphies argue over what Haruo should do, Godzilla begins to recover from the assault and Haruo, not willing to sacrifice his humanity in order to defeat Godzilla, destroys the command center. Godzilla recovers and begins to destroy the city while Haruo, carrying Yuko’s Vulture, lands and helps her from the cockpit only to find that she has become comatose due to the nanometal’s infiltration into her body. In a post credit scene, it is learned that the monster who destroyed the Exif planet is Ghidorah.
Once again, it was different and while it did seem like nothing more than a placeholder for the last movie, it wasn’t a bad movie overall. The voice acting was pretty good all around, with the addition of the Houtua voices adding a new dynamic in the tone of the movie. The story was very interesting on two fronts; the main focus with the battle against Godzilla and the subplot one on how much of one’s humanity should be sacrificed in the conflict. The fact that they made that struggle such an integral part of the final battle gave it a lot more emphasis. While the monsters were referenced. both directly and indirectly, I liked that they weren’t really introduced into the movie, as it honestly would have taken away from the whole man/monster struggle that they built up in the first movie. Mechagodzilla being nothing more than a semi-living city was actually a rather unique idea and I thought they did a pretty good job explaining how the AI had evolved over 20 centuries to reach that point. I also liked how they handled Mothra by saying that she had fought Godzilla and died, leaving an egg behind. I also liked the introduction of the Houtuas, who are essentially there to represent the inhabitants of Infant Island and the Cosmos, who were the worshipers/mouthpiece for Mothra. I also thought the idea that they are some sort of human/insect hybrid helped them fit with their worshiping of Mothra. The end credit scene mentioning Ghidorah was honestly a pretty cheap set up for the final movie, as it is obvious that the two monsters will end up fighting. The animation was great, with some muted colors at some points mixing well with the bright, vibrant colors, especially during the fight against Godzilla. I will say that the Vultures looked too much like some of the mechs from the Gundam anime series, which kind of took away a little of the awe from me. It’s a good movie but I wished that it was able to stand on it’s own a little more.
Rating: 4 out of 5