Mosura tai Gojira (Mothra vs. Godzilla) Reviews
Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964, 2.5/5)
The characters are very well written and the monster designs (and the titular fight) during the first and second acts are excellent, but the third act brings the movie to a screeching halt, introducing a new level of bullshit with Mothra's two larval forms defeating the Big G.
Godzilla vs. Mothra: The Battle for Earth (1992, 2/5)
This one is slightly worse than the previous one due to a lack of anything new to introduce, but I have to admit: the miniatures were great and Battra was the redeeming value that saves it from being the worst Heisei movie.
I mean, I don't how much we're to expect out of a crossover between Mothra and Godzilla in the first place, but this film's story can't even be that meaty, being a lot of dramatically inconsequential chatter, punctuated by action sequences that come without any real sense of consequence over spectacle. That's the usual kaiju premise, and exactly ten years after this monster film genre was established, by way of "Gojira", it was already being worked to death, so, on top of being thin to begin with, this film's story concept is hardly anything new, crafting typical human characters, following a familiar beat and path, and ultimately hitting a number of other fluffy conventions, plenty of which are not the right ones, if you know what I'm getting at, people who saw "Mothra". The "Godzilla" series started out intelligent and reasonably grounded, with some real substance over spectacle, but "Mothra", a more stereotypical Japanese pop piece, carried many a silly aspect that returns here (Those stupid tiny twins), further taking you out of an already somewhat unengaging premise, backed by cheese on the writing that probably shouldn't be there. A lot of the dialogue is cornball, and the humor, while plenty charming and often quite amusing, breaks what tension there is in this rather dated, even if there is always a consistency in a lack of subtlety, which bloats a lot of the popcorn traits, and still not as much as it probably should to really liven things up, at least when it comes to pacing. Running not even 90 minutes, this film is almost as short as those stupid tiny twins, and it's not much of anything beyond dragging, taking what feels like a long, long time to unveil Mothra, and an even longer time to unveil Godzilla, let alone get into the action, and focusing a lot of talk that is colorful, but backed by a subdued air that is occasionally rather dulling. Too much talk has always been a problem with these kaiju classics, but this film, in particular, cannot afford to bore, especially not after "King Kong vs. Godzilla" fell flat as more of a snoozefest than the inconsequential fluff piece that it and this film aims to be. Fluffy, familiar, silly and draggy, this film stands a very real chance of falling to the level of "King Kong vs. Godzilla", but it ultimately gets by as entertaining and, well, focused, for what it is.
Even with all of the over-reliance on chatter, this film doesn't have much pretense about what it is: a fluff piece, and while that establishes a whole lot of natural shortcomings that are made all the more distancing by silly story traits and some cheesy writing, but quite frankly, this premise is plenty of fun, and Shinichi Sekizawa's scripted interpretation does add to that through some charming comic relief, and perhaps even more charming characters. The human characters are genuinely memorable, and every one of them are played the way they ought to be, making them even more charming and endearing amidst all of their aimless chit-chat, and with the help of a competent director. Ishiro Honda, the director who started it all, finally returns to the "Godzilla" franchise, but brings with him sensibilities more in the vein of his directorial performance on "Mothra", complete with more limp pacing than ponderous thoughtfulness, and more emphasis on style over substance, although that is not a huge criticism, considering that Honda often manages to keep the pace tight enough for you feel some, maybe a little too much extensiveness, backed by an adequate deal of flare. Akira Ifukube adds to this flare with a formulaic, but lively and occasionally emotive score, whose underusage keeps it from being as recurrent of a compliment to aesthetic value as Hajime Koizumi's somewhat flat, but colorfully sound and, therefore, handsome cinematography. If nothing else can be admired about the visual style of this film, it's its scope, which immerses you into a number of distinguished, often lovely locations and settings, and creates a sense of scope that further adds to the fun factor of this popcorn piece, especially in the heat of action. We're ultimately here for Mothra and Godzilla, and they take a long time to show up, arriving as effects that have become terribly dated, like a couple of other effects in this film (Those stupid tiny twins didn't always blend in, and those tanks look like the toys they are), yet are still unique and flashy enough to sell, at least as components to spare, but grand and nifty action sequences that are worth waiting a long time for. As things progress, the film does grow livelier and livelier, after plenty of slow early phases, but, honestly, the final product is almost always some degree of entertaining and colorful, keeping up enough charm and entertainment value to satisfy as a fluff piece, even if only that.
When the battle is done, this fluff piece finds its natural shortcomings as an inconsequential story that goes further plagued by familiarity and a silliness which is itself exacerbated by cheesy scripting moments that still don't manage to liven things enough to prevent a surprising amount of dragging and slow spells from threatening the final product's decency, ultimately secured by an at least entertaining premise's being done enough justice by colorfully charming humor, characters, performances and direction, and by charged score work, handsome cinematography and settings, and thrilling, if dated effects and action sequences to make Ishiro Honda's "Mothra vs. Godzilla" a fun, if inconsequential "first" crossover between two of Toho's biggest (Figuratively and literally) icons.
2.5/5 - Fair
The characters here actually matter and are legitimately likable, and the story is legitimately entertaining. Plus some of the green screen and practical effects for the time are actually pretty impressive.
Its only problems is......surprising, its Godzilla himself. I mean, sure its cool to see him wreck shit and stuff but he just kinda......appears into the story for no reason really. And most of the time he's just kinda.....there.
And the monster fights aren't that great, ether. Plus the movie just.....stops.
But I'll still take this over Gareth's abomination any day.