Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle in Shinjuku. Photo by Brett Homenick.
(Some spoilers are contained below, but given all the clickbait websites that are already blaring spoilers in their headlines, you probably know everything that happens by now.)
I'll admit it: I chuckled when I went to buy my ticket for Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle about half an hour before it screened and saw that less than 10 others had bought tickets. Perhaps everyone else knew something the eight or so of us didn't.
If you read my review of Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters, it more or less applies to this film, too. Stylistically, the film is exactly the same. Haruo screams a bit less, so that's an improvement. But the animation seemed even weaker here than in the first movie. One step forward, two Anigoji-size steps back.
Once again, nothing really happens of note. All the drama and even the action are tied up in the same bland characters, none of whom I cared about, and most of whom I still couldn't identify. Even after finishing the second entry in the trilogy, I still don't know who any of these people are (except for Haruo and maybe his love interest, Yuko), and I'm not interested in finding out -- there isn't anything to find out.
Full disclosure: I started dozing off when the humans (in their Vulture mecha) were attacking Godzilla at Mechagodzilla City, so I may have missed something important. But the big tease that we were all expecting simply doesn't happen. The post-credit sequence teases King Ghidorah's appearance in the third film, but I'm still waiting for Mechagodzilla's. Wasn't it supposed to be in this movie?
There are some obvious Mothra references in some of the characters we're introduced to (two in particular), but other than that, I'm already out of things to say. The thing that surprised me most is that Godzilla seems even less relevant in this movie than in the first one. Oh, sure, he's the factor that motivates the characters to do what they do, but when Godzilla shows up, it's like he's just woken up from a deep sleep -- probably because that's exactly what he does in the movie. His lack of enthusiasm sure is contagious.
Long story short: The napping father and the restless boy sitting next to me ought to sum it all up for you.
Personally, I loved the fan-translated title "Godzilla - Decisive Battle: Mobile Breeder City" and hoped they'd keep it. Sounds like quite a title to Netflix and chill to.
The next movie is due out sometime in November. Here's hoping it gets a bit better.