These titles… Jesus. The only true sequel in the entire run of Godzilla movies set in the Millennium era, GMM:TSOS contines the story started by Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla in which mankind utilized the bones of the original 1954 Godzilla to build Kiryu, a massive robot who could save Japan from constant attack from raiding giant monsters.
After a massive battle Godzilla was driven away and Kiryu was heavily damaged and as we pick up the action is undergoing repairs at the “Mecha G” home base. However, when the remains of a massive Kaiju turtle are washed ashore (it’s not Gamera, don’t worry), it becomes obvious that another attack from the King Of The Monsters is imminent and so loins are girded and sphincter are tightened and the human rush to get Mechagodzilla ready to fight in time. But there is a further snag in the shape of adorable furry bug God Mothra, who has decided to show her displeasure at the original Godzilla’s bones being used in such a way and through her tiny twin priestesses claims that the dead Kaiju’s soul is in torment and wishes to be returned to the ocean to rest.
It’s ironic that the very concept that separates this Godzilla movies from most others it what also bogs it down so much. You’d think that the spiritual nature of Mothra and her life cycle would be an interesting counterpoint to the technological origins of the gleaming Mecha of Kiryu, and maybe with a better script it could have been, but in practice the two prove to be an odd mix that never truly gel. Surprisingly faithful to the original 1961 Mothra, the film directly references it and even brings back a main actor in the same role to explain things, but it’s pretty much the same old story with the massive winged insect with it sacrificing itself so it’s larvae offspring can save the day by gobbing silk everywhere. On the Mechagodzilla side of things it’s practically the same as the previous film with the usual tension between the crew taking up the bulk of it’s running time mixed with shots of alarmed politicians when things go wrong or Godzilla gets the upper hand.
Ah yes, Godzilla. With nothing much to do except beat the fairy dust out of his fuzzy, flying nemesis and roar a lot, he’s somewhat relegated to the background by his own supporting cast like he’s Val Kilmer in a 90’s Batman movie.
It’s strange that a film featuring the rainbow winged Mothra proves to be so colourless but GMM:TSOS, despite it’s lean into the spiritual, ends up being a perfectly reasonable yet ultimately by the numbers monster movie which is further hampered by a somewhat underwhelming ending.
SOS here means: Sadly Ordinary, Sorry.