The Earth is headed for disaster and when an archeological research team visits Infant Island to find out why, they discover two tiny women who reveal that the Earth is fighting back for all the harm humans have done here and sends out the evil Battra to destroy us. The Cosmos, as the girls are called, offer their help by calling Mothra to battle the creature. Unfortunately, Godzilla also appears and a three way battle begins that threatens to destroy Japan. Written by
Todd A. Bobenrieth <TAB146@PSUVM.EDU>
Mothra stars in the movie because a poll showed that she was the most popular monster among women, who made up the bulk of movie-going audiences. The lighter tone, the family-oriented romance story, and the first child main character in the franchise since the days of Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) were all put into the movie to cater to a crowd of women and children. See more »
When the squadron of jets attacks the larval Battra as it is heading for land several of the flares used to simulate fired missiles visibly bounce off the surface of the water. See more »
[Battra shoots lasers at Mothra but misses and hits Godzilla instead]
Oh no, they're getting pissed off!
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The film opens with the Japanese Indiana Jones pillaging some archaeological ruins. Just as he makes his way out of a perilously collapsing old temple, he's stopped by rifles pointed at his head. The armed men are from the government, and they're accompanied by his ex-wife. It seems that a strange meteor has crashed near a remote island, and he's been pegged to lead an expedition on the island. They encounter a strange egg, then they run into the Cosmos, two tiny fairy-like beings, who tell them that it's the egg of Mothra, who protects the earth. While taking the egg back to Japan, suddenly, Battra, another monster, shows up, as does Godzilla, in his first appearance of the film, and all hell begins to break loose, as is wont to happen in Godzilla films.
That's a bit more detailed than I usually try to present premises (although that's just the first fifteen minutes or so of the film), but I want to give you of how exquisitely bizarre Godzilla vs. Mothra is and at the same time, give some clues as to why I've titled this review "Godzilla vs. Steven Spielberg!" There are all kinds of Spielberg references (occasionally rip-offs) and Spielberg-like touches to this film. But imagine Spielberg on acid, making a live-action adaptation of some wacky kid-oriented anime, with the addition of monsters that are going to rip each other to shreds with death rays emanating from their eyes and mouths and biting each others' necks off while alien-colored blood spews out. That might sound like an atrocious concatenation to some people, but it's heavenly to me, which is why this particular Godzilla film is a 10 out of 10 for me.
It's worth noting that director Takao Okawara managed quite a few "poetic" touches in this film, including some beautiful cinematography, the wonderfully weird cocoon-building sequence, and the scene of Mothra flying out into space, trailing sparkly dust. What really works best here, though, is the bizarre combination of kid-oriented fantasy and the more adult-oriented, menacing tone of the typical Godzilla film. The design of Mothra in this film is the perfect example. It looks like somewhat of a cross between a butterfly, a Muppet, a teddy bear, an Ewok, and a Gremlin at their "cute" stage. Only it is a giant fighting monster capable of killing other giant fighting monsters, destroying downtown, or maybe even destroying the Earth. The effect isn't that far removed from the Sta-Puft Marshmallow man at the end of Ghostbusters. It's all wonderfully surreal.
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