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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Review: GODZILLA VS. MOTHRA (1992)

The movies are whizzing by as we head toward the final third of the big list (HERE).

Today's film is Godzilla vs. Mothra (aka Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth; 1992).

My son goes first:
Well, this one started as Indiana Jones in Japan and ended in Godzilla. The new guy, Battra, is the dark side of mothra. It's action packed and good, so yeah. 
So, rating wise, i'll say 3.7 out of 5 Atomic Breaths of Awesomeness!!!
My turn:
In Japan, this movie is the biggest earner in the franchise's history. 
I get it.  Mothra is huge and this movie even introduces a bad guy Mothra.  Plus, it's action packed.  Oh, and it's good. 
There's some not-so-good stuff, too.  For one thing, the lead male character is presented to us like some sort of Indiana Jones knockoff, complete with ancient temple raiding, golden idol taking, distinctive hat wearing and rope bridge falling. 
The dialogue has real clunkers and headscratchers, too.  Some are pretty funny, though.  Unintentionally, I'm sure: 
These are minor complaints, to be certain. 
The dubbing is a bigger complaint.  Unfortunately, they use the same actors over and over again.  Somehow, they've made some particularly annoying choices when it comes to the Cosmos and the little girl in this movie: 
And what's good?  Almost everything else. 
Right off the top, I'll mention that the great Akira Ifukube is back and his score is staggeringly awesome.  Perhaps the most rousing version of Godzilla's march is heard here.  And there are new variations on older themes for Mothra and the classic military marches. 
The special effects are also damned good.  The battle in the sea between the navy, the larvae and Godzilla is very nice, complete with well done undersea action between Big G and Battra.  Battra and Mothra both raiding cities.  Godzilla's triumphant emergence from a volcanic vent.  But I was most impressed with the battle in Yokohama Bay: 
The set is huge and the models are well done.  It's exciting stuff. 
Also, for a change, some of the human side of things are handled better than usual.  The dynamic between the the two leads is unique because they are divorced, so they snip at each other much of the time.  If nothing else, it's a change of pace.  Otherwise, things are pretty standard.  Suits in a control center, watching the goings on with varying degrees of horror and awe.  Greedy industrialists ready to damn the world to line their pockets.  Not unfamiliar territory for Godzilla fans. 
My only remaining question about the film isn't answered by any followups: what was the deal with the asteroid Mothra left Earth to stop?  It was supposed to hit in 1999 ... was this just a way to get Mothra out of the picture for the foreseeable future? 
Godzilla vs. Mothra ... the hits just keep coming.  4 out of five atomic breath blasts.
Here's the trailer:

Up next, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II.

(GIFs from speedrasirspacehunter-m and astoundingbeyondbelief)

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