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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle


Note: Spoilers abound for Godzilla: Monster Planet!!!

The second movie in the animated Godzilla trilogy, City on the Edge of Battle has arrived on Netflix, and it corrects the main issue I had with the first movie. Mainly it is a little more exciting throughout and better paced, whereas the first one was infodump after infodump in space. While the setting is interesting, it becomes a bit of a slog to sit through all of that at once. This movie picks up right where the last one left off, with Harou and his team defeated and scattered by the counterattack of the real Godzilla. When he comes to, he is in the care of a strange girl who can’t speak  his language but looks remarkably human. He finds that they have saved some of his comrades as well and can communicate with him via telepathy, which they use to ask why they were dropping bombs on their land earlier. It turns out that making a parking spot for your ships and fighting Godzilla has a way of upsetting the indigenous wildlife.

Once all of that is cleared up, the natives—who are called the Houtua—agree to release Harou and his friends so they can continue on their way. The strange girl and her twin sister follow along and, when they fight off a monster with some special arrowheads, the alien Bilusaludo realize that the metal that the weapons are made from are pieces of Mechagodzilla. With this information, a new plan is devised. When they get to Mechagodzilla, they find it has grown into a city that can produce weapons of its own that can be used to fight Godzilla. But does using this new weapon come with a deadly cost? And why are the Houtoa so afraid of it? And the most important question—can they get everything operational before Godzilla notices and comes to kill them all?

City on the Edge of Battle is an entertaining middle part of the story, with enough action and intrigue to keep the story moving along. It is nice to see more of the aliens this time too, as we learn more about their methods and beliefs as they fight alongside the humans. We also get to see more of Godzilla, who is truly a beast in this movie and his power is incredible. When you have people in space worried about what might happen if the monster notices you, you know you have a truly terrifying threat on your hands. I would say my only quibble is that the poster and some of the promo materials hint that Mechagodzilla will join the fight, but other than using it as a factory to make weapons, he never does show up. That’s a shame, because I kept hoping the city would transform ala Trypticon and we would get a gigantic royal rumble.

As with the first movie, it does end on a cliffhanger (that hints at an even bigger threat than Godzilla!), so if you’re the kind who needs closure on their story, you may want to wait to watch them all until the third one is released.

It’s on Netflix now. Check it out.

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