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Top 10 Godzilla Battles - Page 2

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla

The very first iteration of Mechagodzilla is definitely the most hardcore version we ever see. In the aptly named Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, the alien-crafted mecha practically rips Anguirus' jaw off before Godzilla comes to avenge his friend, which leads to a stalemate that sets the stage for the final battle. Before Godzilla has fully recovered, the humans awaken another monster, King Caesar, a difficult-to-describe beast that emerges in a rocky explosion and wails on Mechagodzilla with amazing speed. Mechagodzilla eventually tips the scales of the battle back in its favor, but by then, Godzilla comes out of the ocean and joins in. Mechagodzilla has many new tricks up his sleeve, like the ability to fire in two directions at once and create a shield, but Godzilla--embued with the power of lightning--also has a new trick, the ability to draw metal to his body like a super-powered magnet. Once he has Mechagodzilla at his mercy, Godzilla twists the mecha's head clean off and roars in victory. That's a satisfying end to a bad-ass confrontation.

Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla

Generally speaking, the Heisei series is known for its ridiculously convoluted and silly plots that culminate in some of the best battles in the entire Godzilla library. I can think of no greater example of this than Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, which involves a mutated alien/Godzilla hybrid, SpaceGodzilla, that defeats both Godzilla and humanity's best weapon (M.O.G.U.E.R.A., a mecha that can fly into space and separate into two different vessels) before setting up camp in the city of Fukuoka. In Fukuoka, SpaceGodzilla levels most of the big buildings, sets up dozens of giant crystal formations, and uses the giant Fukuoka Tower as a kind of energy beacon that powers him up. Godzilla and M.O.G.U.E.R.A. meet him there and fight him together, even though the pilots within the mecha fully intend to kill Godzilla once they are done with SpaceGodzilla. SpaceGodzilla is no easy prey, though, as he can create a reflective shield around himself, can launch the giant crystals like enormous ballistic missiles, and has a powerful atomic breath that homes in on its target. After being nearly defeated, Godzilla and the two halves of M.O.G.U.E.R.A. concentrate their efforts on toppling Fukuoka Tower, and then SpaceGodzilla becomes vulnerable, though no less deadly. It's a long, brutal, and exciting battle that doesn't end until M.O.G.U.E.R.A. is completely destroyed and SpaceGodzilla detonates in a huge atomic explosion that levels what little is left of the city. Godzilla, of course, stands victorious in the fallout.

Godzilla vs. Destoroyah

There's a lot going on in the climax of Godzilla vs. Destroyah. In the midst of it all, we get a quiet moment where Godzilla, his body going into nuclear meltdown, approaches the dying body of his offspring, Godzilla Junior. Junior had lost his own battle against the deadly Destoroyah, a precambrian lifeform infused with the power of the Oxygen Destroyer that grew to become the biggest and most demonic-looking villain to ever appear in a Godzilla movie. Godzilla faced Destoroyah as well, and paid a heavy price in blood to defeat both it and its many offspring. But in the aftermath, the camera gives us a touching P.O.V. shot of Godzilla's approach to Godzilla Junior that accentuates the grief and anguish of this giant monster we'd grown to know and love during the previous four decades. Godzilla attempts to breathe life into his child, but it doesn't work, and as Godzilla Junior closes his eyes one last time, Godzilla is suddenly attacked by Destoroyah, who was assumed dead moments earlier. At this point, Godzilla--broken, bloodied, and literally minutes from his own death--has nothing to lose, and he gives his enemy all he's got. It's a fierce and primal battle, and it famously ends with Godzilla's death (that's not a spoiler, since it was a selling point for the movie when it was released, kind of like how the Death of Superman was telegraphed well in advance).


The first two-thirds of Destroy All Monsters is not a particularly good cinematic experience, but the climax that follows involves Godzilla, Minilla, Mothra, Rodan, Gorosaurus, Anguirus, Kumonga, Manda, Baragon, and Varan all teaming up to defeat King Ghidorah. Do I really need to say more? It's a ridiculously one-sided fight--frankly, King Ghidorah doesn't stand a chance--but it features some awesome moments, like King Ghidorah trying to fly away with Anguirus dangling from his neck, Godzilla stomping one of Ghidorah's heads into the dirt, etc. Still, despite its blissful self-indulgence, the kick-ass battle royale of Destroy All Monsters is not the greatest battle in Godzilla's history...

Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.

The battle in Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. is one of the biggest, most creative, longest, and most intense battles of them all. There are several great moments--like the time Mechagodzilla fires missiles around both sides of a large building, hitting Godzilla, who then fires his atomic breath through the building, knocking Mechagodzilla out--and several delicious bits of eye candy, like the shot of Mothra exploding in a ball of fire in front of her offspring. More than all that, though, this battle manages to incorporate a tense human moment without it feeling forced or out-of-place. Yoshito Chujo, the conflicted mechanic, goes to repair a downed Mechagodzilla but, due to the damage, can't get out. He decides the only thing he can do is confirm that he's out (even though he's not) so that the people operating Mechagodzilla won't hold back knowing that they'd probably be killing him. This adds a clever emotional spin on the final Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla fight, because we the audience know that, with every knock and explosion, our unlikely hero is flopping around inside, at the mercy of all the violence. For my money, the combination of a creative battle full of never-before-seen moves, human drama, and large-scale Tokyo destruction makes the hour-long battle in Tokyo S.O.S. the greatest Godzilla brawl of them all.

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-e. magill 5/6/2014


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