Godzilla vs. Mothra Reviews
Final Verdict- Although it has flaws with it's special effects and characters, the movie is still entertaining to watch and is a descent Godzilla movie. If your a Godzilla fan, than you'll like the movie. If your just an average movie goer and want to watch something entertaining, then you'll might be entertained. I give it 3 stars out 5.
Anyways, this movie introduced Battra, who spiced it up a bit and made it more interesting to me. In the end, Mothra and Battra team up in the realization that they have to stop Godzilla, and even though I hate to see the big guy lose, it's a cool ending.
One of the virtually inherent questions regarding a film that could nominally be called a remake concerns the balance between old and new. In the case of "Godzilla vs. Mothra" the story borrows from the original, but not heavily. The most prominent similarities include an antagonistic business tycoon and a Mothra egg; every other similarity is superficial. Much of the narrative concerns the exploits of a trio of people and their dealings with the diminutive twins that Mothra guards, who explain that continued anthropogenic damage to the Earth will eventually bring monster inflicted calamities. Of course, several of those monsters appear, leading to some conflict between monster and human and some preaching about conserving the planet. While not terribly innovative as far as the genre is concerned, the story at least moves along at a smooth pace and manages to provide all of the build-up necessary for the inexorable monster battles.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the film is, believe it or not, the humans. The aforementioned trio is comprised of two divorcees and a flunky of the business tycoon, and over the course of the film we actually see the former two demonstrate a dynamic absent from virtually all of the Godzilla films, with some reminiscing of better times and the main character musing over the possibility of turning over a new leaf to improve his family relationships. It is ultimately melodramatic, but quite welcome in context and something that I was disappointed to not see in the 2014 re-imagining.
For most, the critical point is the portrayal of the monsters, an area in which "Godzilla vs. Mothra" mostly finds success. Godzilla remains the imposing force of nature established in the previous 3 films, while Mothra is given a more modern appearance, for lack of a better term. I actually liked the slimier surface of the larva and the recoloring of the adult form. Noteworthy is the contrast in focus between this film and the 1964 one. In the latter, despite the title, the movie was really about Godzilla and the threat that he posed, while in the former there is a clear focus on Mothra, with Godzilla mainly serving as the obligatory threat to overcome. This shift has the benefit of granting Mothra a full story, but also greatly removes the general sense of awe Godzilla brought to the original. In fact, the nuclear menace feels more like an extra in a movie that is supposed to be part of his series, largely due to the absence of any real objective. He appears twice solely because Mothra requires an opponent. Fortunately, the writers were sufficiently prudent to convey that Godzilla remains the most powerful monster in the film, which allows the climax a reasonable sense of challenge as Mothra and Battra team up against him.
Yet, despite the apparent uneven integration into the plot for the combatants, the monster battles remain quite impressive and varied. Unlike the first three movies of the pertinent series, the monsters clash on land, in the sea and in the air, a variety bolstered by the fact that two of the monsters change form over the course of the story. I particularly liked the tussle between Godzilla and the Battra larva underwater, which probably amounts to the second best underwater fight in the series. The action sequences also boast a wide array of neat looking beam weapons, enabling for some of the best shots, including one where the central characters watch from a balcony as Mothra, Battra and Godzilla fire at each other in succession. Godzilla's heat ray has a noticeably higher pitch this time around, very similar to the sound effect for Destoroyah's micro-oxygen spray that would appear 3 years down the line. I liked this change as it complements the blue color.
With the recent re-imagining of Godzilla, as well as the production of such ventures as "Pacific Rim", the door is wide open for the reintroduction of some of Toho's other famous properties. I'm not entirely sure if that is the best route to take, as Mothra has appeared in all 3 of the series' timelines, including a film trilogy that starred another member of the species. Personally, I think more effort should be devoted to creating new monsters, which is a strategy that worked quite well for the 90's Gamera series. Even so, there are elements from this film that are worth incorporating into future ones, and by extension those working on the planned Legendary Pictures movies would do well to take a bit more inspiration from the rest of the series, perhaps to restore some lost opportunities.