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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: REBIRTH OF MOTHRA 3 (1998)

Just joining us?  My 11-year-old son and I have been working our way down THIS LIST of some eighty-plus films before the new Godzilla film opens in May.  We're almost done.

Today's movie is Rebirth of Mothra III (aka Mothra 3: King Ghidorah Attacks; 1998).

I'll go first:
The end of the Mothra trilogy goes out with a bang.  Comparatively. 
Yes, these movies have been made with kids as the target audience.  This one is no different.  Ah, but there is a difference.  For the first time, kids are in peril.  And not just the two or three kids the tiny Elias Twins befriend.  We're talking thousands of kids captured, possibly to be devoured or worse.  No, I don't get off on such things.  In this film, though, it gives the proceedings more weight than anything else in this trilogy. 
Ghidorah arrives on Earth and heads for Japan, as monsters are wont to do.  As he flies overhead, thousands of children are teleported away from schools and into some sort of undulating orb in the forest.  Why?  Don't know.  But it seems as though they're going to be digested when a caustic blue substance begins to bubble within the sack. 
James had the most darkly hilarious line of the night.  At their first meeting (seen in the GIF up top), Mothra shoots Ghidorah repeatedly and KG doesn't shoot back.  When I questioned why this was, James said, "Maybe he can shoot Mothra with children's souls." 
Holy crap.  I laughed and then shook my head.  That's my boy. 
KG, we're told, came to Earth 130 million years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs (even though we all know they died out 65 million years ago).  The Elias then send Mothra back in time (Lightspeed Mothra being the same, appearance-wise, as Aquatic Mothra) to stop KG back then. 
This Cretaceous Ghidorah sure seems nimble, eh?  Anyway, he was more than a match for Mothra.  Even though the moth killed CG in a volcano, a bit of his tail came off, meaning KG could grow again from the tail.  Somehow. 
Rainbow Mothra, though, was mortally wounded, and three Cretaceous Mothra Larvae then coat their descendant in Silly String, meaning he can sleep for 65 (or 130) million years: 
When Mothra awakens, rested, he's now Eternal Mothra.  Fluffy, and ready to kick butt: 
The action that follows is pretty standard for these films.  Lots of beam weapons, biting of Mothra's wings, loads of glitter.  KG has a wicked move where he stomps Mothra and that's nice.   
There's some business with the Elias sisters ... one of the good ones gets possessed for a bit by KG, the evil sister is good all of a sudden ... it doesn't matter, really.  There's a nice scene with the lead kid who was bullied at school being told by the Elias that there's nothing wrong with being "sensitive," as she put it.  Frankly, I was just glad to have one of these films where the message wasn't environmental in nature. 
My main complaint with the film and, retroactively, the first of the trilogy, is the villain.  King Ghidorah.  In film one, they had Desghidorah, which is different from KG, even though DG has three heads, looks wicked, etc.  What I'm saying is ... even though we get a mighty mean looking KG, his impact feels diminished to me because Mothra already fought a three-headed alien prehistoric menace just two films back.  It feels like a retread.  That makes this movie suffer.  If they had just been a little more creative in the first one (maybe give Bagan a shot), it would have meant more now. 
Rebirth of Mothra III ... the best of the trilogy, for what that's worth.  3 out of five atomic breath blasts.
Here's my eleven-year-old son:
Well, i didn't like this one. So the third of the ghidora's is the king!! The reason I didn't like it is because, where's Godzilla? this is still in the same universe, right? But the mini puppet dinosaurs were cute. 
So rating wise, i'll say 1.9 out of 5 Atomic Breaths of Awesomeness
Up next, the American film Godzilla (1998).  Get your pitchforks.

(GIFs from tokumonster.)

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