Godzilla vs. Mothra (Review)

Godzilla vs. Mothra

aka Gojira vs. Mosura aka Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth


Directed by Takao Okawara
Written by Kazuki Omori

This is the most popular film of the Heisei Godzilla series, in that it did the best at the box office due to the cross appeal of Mothra with girls. It spawned the Mothra Trilogy as an offshoot (though technically not in the same universe) and helped set up sequels down the line in the Heisei series. And it wasn’t released in the US until years later, thanks to fallout from Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. Thus, I ended up with a full-screen dubbed VHS release around 1998 or so when the movies started to show up at the local Suncoast (now bankrupt.) Isn’t that grand? So as Godzilla has been rebooted, it is time for familiar monsters to start reappearing. Since Ghidorah already did his part, now Mothra will show up to kick some Godzilla butt. Mothra is also joined by Battra, the Dark Mothra. Wow, how original. Will Dark Godzilla then show up? What about Light Ghidorah? What if we had a Godzilla who was black on one side and green on the other? Then he fought another bi-colored Godzilla, except his colors were on the opposite sides! This is a Star Trek joke, for those of you who are 13 and stumbled across this while Googling for “Godzilla boobs” or something.

Someone will find this review by Googling “Godzilla boobs”

Back to the films, we have typical Heisei stuff with the army being useless, that psychic girl Miki Saegusa showing up, and a bunch of new main characters who have to spend the film repairing their marriage. Important stuff, to be sure. This is also the deput of the Heisei Shibojin, or the Cosmos as they get renamed this time around. And they are not real twins, just two Idols that Toho had lying around.

Originally, Mothra was to fight a monster known as Bagan in a film called Mothra Vs. Bagan. Then Godzilla vs. Biollante tanked and Toho realized that no one knew who Bagan was. Instead of having Mothra fight Bagan all across Asia (including battles in Shanghai and Bangkok) Mothra was reworked into the Godzilla series. Mothra then got so popular she headlined her own trilogy of films. Bagan appeared as the final boss in the Super Nintendo video game Super Godzilla, and almost fought Godzilla in Godzilla vs. Bagan, but that film became Godzilla vs. Destoroyah. So Bagan gets the shaft again!

Takuya Fujito (Tetsuya Bessho) – Indiana Jones has been reincarnated as a Japanese tomb raider. That’s what happens when you die in a fridge as a nuke goes off. Takuya Fujito spends so much time stealing ancient artifacts he divorced his wife and hasn’t seen his young daughter. This all changes thanks to the power of Godzilla. Sure, thousands died, but Takuya rekindles his marriage!
Masako Tezuka (Satomi Kobayoshi) – Ex-wife of Takuya Fujito and mother of their young daughter. Reluctantly gets her husband out of jail to guide a mission in Infant Island in search of the giant egg, and being around each other during tragedy helps them get back together.
Miki Saegusa (Megumi Odaka) – Don’t you know who she is by now? Miki Saegusa spends most of the film hunting down tiny girls.
The Cosmos (Keiko Imamura & Sayaka Osawa) – The Shobijin are now The Cosmos, because of…uh…um…stuff. So they are still two tiny girls who speak in unison, have psychic powers, and give warnings to people. They also get kidnapped by evil corporations all the time, because evil corporations are dumb and think two tiny slave girls will lead to an increase in sales of octopus-flavored Pocky. Maybe it would, this is Japan we are talking about. The Cosmos were created by the lifeforce of the Earth
Kenji Andoh (Takehiro Murata) – The Secretary to the President of the Maritomo Company. Sort of a jerk, but becomes less of a jerk when he stands up to his boss. Then he gets fired and exits the movie. Takehiro Murata also stars as Yuji Shinoda in Godzilla 2000, as a newspaper editor in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, and has cameos in GMK: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack and Godzilla X Mechagodzilla.
Professor Fukazawa (Saburo Shinoda) – Professor of being a suave Japanese Professor, also volcanoes or something. Will return in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah
Marutomo Head Takeshi Tomokane (Makoto Otake) – Evil CEO of an Evil Corporation who is Evil. And also a dork. Look at him, with his dorkiness. Conspires to cut down all trees, enslave the environment, kidnap tiny girls, and fire anyone who disagrees with him. His stockholders love him.
Godzilla (Kenpachiro Satsuma) – Godzilla? Never heard of him.
Mothra Larva (puppet) – Another Mothra pops out of an egg and immediately is involved in a fight. For someone who loves peace so much, Mothra sure gets into fights as a newborn a lot. Mothra has a fight in the high seas, trashes a city searching for The Cosmos, and then morphs into moth form after a cocoon on the Diet.
Mothra Moth (puppet) – Moth form of Mothra hasn’t changed much except to get bigger than the Showa form. And she has beam weapons now. And she can make little tiny Mothras, though we don’t see that in this movie so just forget I mentioned it.
Battra Larva (Hurricane Ryu Hariken) – Battra first appezred 12,000 years ago to trash civilization because they made a weather control device and Earth was mad. Battra and Mothra fought each other during that time. You remember all of this from history class so there is no need to add details. Battra then slept and was supposed to awaken in 1999 to destroy a meteor, but Godzilla woke him up earlier. So now Battra Larva is running around doing Battra Larva things. Is 90 meters long and weighs 20,000 tons
Battra Bat (puppet) – Battra then grows up without the need of a cocoon. First Battra hates Mothra, but eventually the two team up to attack Godzilla. This results in the death of Battra, who hasn’t been back unless you count Godzilla Island episodes. Adult Battra has a length of 73 meters and weights 30,000 tons, with a wingspan of 180 meters and can fly at Mach 3. Battra is the Black Mothra.
Yuzo Tsuchiashi (Akiji Kobayashi) – A grey-haired guy in G-Force who is some of these Heisei films yet he wasn’t featured in a Roll Call because these Heisei films have like 90,000 characters. He went back in time in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and helps plan defenses against Godzilla in multiple films. He is a friend of Environmental Planning Board Chief Jyoji Minamino. Actor Akiji Kobayashi is famous for the Kamen Rider X series, and also cameos in Gamera 2: Assault of the Legion.

A meteor hits the earth, and the resulting storms uncover the Mothra egg! We all know it is the egg because we remember the old movies. Also, the egg was washed into the clear by weather before! Lame.

As the actual plot starts, some Indiana Jones wannabe named Takuya Fujito is poking around the Ankor Wat ruins in Thailand and he steals a golden elephant god statue, only to have the whole place come down on top of him. And then he gets arrested. Why not just hire Harrison Ford for this part? At this point his career hadn’t tanked yet, so I guess he is out of the pay range. They could have gotten him in 2006. Officials bring in Fujito’s ex-wife Masako Tezuka and talk to him about retrieving an item for them. What item could this possibly be? The official with Masako is Andoh the Secretary to the President of the Maritomo Company, which plans to exploit the island. Fujito refuses at first, until he finds out he’ll be in jail for 15 years unless he helps.

Meanwhile at the Environmental Planning Board, they have a big command center that monitors the environment, and have discovered Godzilla woke up because the meteor crashed right next to him. Stupid meteor, uncovering eggs and waking up monsters.

Takuya, Masako, and Secretary are going to Infant Island. The inhabitants there are such babies. The three whine about environmental damage and how man will destroy the environment and Japan. This is a common theme in Japanese giant monster movies, and is odd because the world has gotten progressively worse since they started this stuff in the 1960s. I blame it all on daikaiju movie backlash!

We did Raiders of the Lost Ark, so let’s to Temple of Doom, as a suspension bridge on Infant Island breaks and they fall and land on the side of the cliff, except this time instead of climbing up they jump into the river. All the while the happy ex-couple bickers constantly. If I was the Secretary Guy, I would jab a knife in my ears. Seriously, shut up unhappy couple! At night, the three enter a cave, and find cave paintings of Mothra and Battra. Then the film remembers it hasn’t stolen from Indiana Jones lately and has the sun shine through a Mothra symbol in the cave pointing the trio in the direction to go. They follow and find a giant egg. Then the Cosmos start telling them how they keep the Earth in balance and 12,000 years ago Mothra guarded the Earth. Who are the Cosmos? I explained it up above, weren’t you paying attention? Fine, the Cosmos are the names of the tiny Mothra girls (formally known as the Shobijin) who are now different thanks to the Heisei reboot. The Cosmos continue to tell that an advanced civilization created a climate control device, which ticked off the Earth and it made Black Mothra, aka Battra, who fought Mothra and smashed a lot of stuff. Mothra won, but the climate device was destroyed and floods happened all over the Earth.

Wait a minute. So the Earth is alive and has feelings? Noah made his ark to save animals after Mothra and Battra fought? Our three main characters are only slightly bewildered by the appearance of chatty tiny girls?

Now Battra is awake, so Mothra will probably wake up soon also. Guess who is in the egg. Guess. I give you one chance.

Meanwhile, some hippies are protesting a construction site. The Marutomo company CEO is all “screw dem hippies, I don’t wanna lose face!” He’s evil because all CEOs in Godzilla films are evil. Look it up, I don’t lie. They decide they are going to move the Mothra egg. The Cosmos agree because they are going to trust the humans. Suckers! The egg will be moved by boat, while elsewhere…

Battra attack! Jets are ineffective, and Battra lands and starts blasting some stuff up. He has lasers out of his horn (red) and eyes (purple), then he leaves like your dad left your mom when you were six.

Meanwhile, something big is approaching the ship with the egg. Battra was busy, so guess what else is in the film. Takuya wants to drop the egg barge so the ship they are on can go faster and escape, but the Secretary guy fights him over it. The egg starts to hatch as Takuya drops the barge. It finishes hatching, and baby Mothra jumps out as Godzilla blasts the egg. Godzilla must have some sort of psychic power to know where his enemies are before they are even born!

The two monsters are in the water. We get tail grabs, breath blasts, web shooting the familiar sight of Baby Mothra flying through the air as a breath blast hits near her; all of this is par for the course in a Godzilla vs. Larva fight. Godzilla blasts Baby Mothra again, and then Battra swims up! Does all these monsters have like a GPS system to locate each other? Do they hit up Twitter and be all @BigG1954: I’m on Infant Island, you iguana! ? That must be it.

Battra tosses Mothra aside and starts blasting Godzilla, who blasts back. Monster beams fly like it is Star Wars or something. Between them both is the egg barge, which gets more and more destroyed and set on fire with each blast. Poor egg barge. The battle continues and leads to a nice “underwater” fight sequence. Mothra just goes home. Good for her, letting her enemies kill each other. Battra and Godzilla keep fighting, then a volcano goes off. That always happens in Godzilla movies also!

Back on land, Andoh the Secretary Guy steals the Cosmos that night in the hotel. The CEO is happy, and will get the tiny girls a doll house. Ex-wife Masako Tezuka realizes Mothra will come to save the Cosmos, and thus trash the city. When she meets daughter Midori at the airport, Takuya disappears in lieu of seeing his daughter. The CEO won’t let the Cosmos go, so they sing the Mothra song!

Hooray for the Mothra Song!

The Cosmos are gone the next morning, but Mothra is still coming to get them. We get some very nice action shots of Mothra Larva vs a fleet of battle cruisers that would probably be much better in widescreen. This is one of the better looking ship battles in a Godzilla film. The ocean is even set on fire as Mothra busts some battleships up. Masako, her daughter, and the psychic Miki are driving around searching for the Cosmos when Miki hears the Mothra song in her head. It looks like her head is picking up 106.3 KMTH, All Mothra Radio! Takuya took the Cosmos from the company and was going to sell them, but he is interrupted by his daughter and Masako.

Mothra is smashing all sorts of stuff up. To defend the Earth you must destroy it! Too bad Mothra doesn’t speak, then she could just broadcast why she is upset and solve the problem quickly. Get to evolving the power of speech, Mothra! Mothra starts smashing the hotel they are in, so they need to get outside to show the Cosmos to Mothra. They show her the Cosmos, then Mothra leaves, only to get shot at. Military, you idiots! Mothra then crashes into the capital building (the Diet Building) and begins cocoon preparations.

Meanwhile, Professor Fukazawa discovers that magma pressure is building up and there will be another eruption and an earthquake soon. Now we know why science is so well funded in this alternate universe, there is a natural disaster every week! Heck, the US is probably being attacked by giant hobos as we speak. Mothra is blasting webbing into the air as a choir sings and then Mt. Fuji erupts. Hey, sexual suggestiveness all over the place! They’re trying to be as perverted as Godzilla vs. Biollante!

Ando finally gets some balls and stands up to his stupid boss, who fires him. Ando…I hope you used the company printer to make some resumes before you leave. But as the CEO will be dead soon, maybe he won’t have time to process the paperwork…

Godzilla arrives in Tokyo by coming out of the erupting volcano of Mt Fuji. The movie tries to explain on how Godzilla swam through thousands of miles of molten lava, then just says “This is beyond our present knowledge or understanding!” I have never seen a Godzilla movie just give up on an explanation like that before. The writer just said “Check THIS out!” and had Godzilla lava surf. Then we have to deal with it. That is another of Godzilla’s magic powers that exist for one film only.

Mothra hatches to the Mothra song and flies off, to go all Moth Fu on Godzilla or something. Battra is still alive, and is seen as a larva in the ocean, but soon he jumps in the air and transforms into the adult Battra in a shower of electricity. Battra is the Mothra from hell. Like a Battra out of Hell would be a good title for another Meatloaf album.

Let’s attack Godzilla to try to change his direction! Okay, sure thing. You do it. They use the Masers, the double masers, and the masers on jets. Japan has recruited the future Terminator army or something. The battle is pretty cool. The best part is the attack music suddenly stops dead as Godzilla blasts a maser jet out of the sky and walks off to no resistance.

Mothra reaches Battra and they begin to fight, which is soon over a city. Bats, moths, can we just get along? Mothra starts getting kicked, Battra just laser blasts the heck out of her, and soon Mothra is crashed down and on fire as Yokohama burns. Mothra, why do you fail? Did we not sing the Mothra song loud enough?

Oh, here comes Big G! Battra just starts to blast him. That isn’t a very good idea, Battra. A building falls on Godzilla, but Godzilla erupts out and starts blasting Battra, who falls. Yeah, Battra, you knob. Mothra then wakes up and starts antenna shooting Godzilla! Why didn’t you use your antenna blasts on Battra? Mothra is no Napoleon. Mothra is no Napoleon Dynamite.

Mothra goes up to Battra and conferences, then starts transferring power over as the Cosmos sing. Now Mothra and Battra are buddies. I guess Mothra is Napoleon Diplomat! Godzilla returns, and Mothra goes to meet him, dropping gold dust and shooting yellow electricity out of her wings down on Godzilla, who can’t fire back thanks to the dust. But he gets one out and Mothra reels, she is almost killed by a falling giant ferris wheel until is is caught by Battra. Battra slams the ferris wheel into Godzilla, then both start to blast him. You know, the fights in this one are pretty good. The two blast and blast, soon Godzilla falls. Battra swoops down to grab Godzilla, but is bitten in the neck and soon yellow blood is dripping down Godzilla’s face. What is Godzilla, some sort of freaky vampire? That’s what you get for grabbing Big G with your juicy neck right next to his mouth.

Mothra grabs onto Godzilla’s tail, and both flying monsters carry off Godzilla. Godzilla breath blasts Battra again over the sea, and Battra dies. The two monsters fall into the water together, and Mothra circles overhead dropping gold dust, which forms the Mothra symbol. Mothra then heads to meet with the army, because they scheduled a meeting or something? I guess the Cosmos set it up.

There is a meteor headed to Earth that will hit in 1999, and Battra was going to destroy it, but is dead, so Mothra will do it instead. Is Battra evil or just a jerk who hated moths? Whatever, Battra, you never get seen again except for on Godzilla Island, where you are just evil, so maybe you don’t have a personality.

Everyone says goodbye to Mothra and The Cosmos, who depart by saying “If the world lives to see another century, please remember what Mothra did for you and the planet you live on” Remember we said IF, people, because Godzilla is gonna kill you all dead! Okay, maybe they didn’t say that last line, but they should have.

Interview time!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today we are interviewing Battra! Howdy Battra!
Hello tasty morsel! Battra am Battra, the Dark Mothra who does heroic stuff.
Yes, we just saw. Please tell us how that makes any sense!
BuHAHAHAHAHA!!!! You try to make sense of Battra! Battra thinks you are a fool!
That’s all you have to say? You were made to destroy advanced civilizations by the planet, only to fight with the other defender of the planet. Why does Earth keep making random defenders?
Battra is only a tool in the Earth’s constant attempts to destroy itself. Battra knows Battra’s place, but Battra is happy to do Battra’s part. Battra does not question the Earth, but follows unquestioningly because Battra has honor. Unlike Mothra, who only has Battra’s money thanks to alimony.
Wait, you were married to Mothra?
Battra and Mothra were once husband and wife. Each time Mothra died and was reborn, Battra would marry her. One day, Mothra decided that Battra didn’t buy her a good enough Mini Couper and slored around with Baragon. Now Battra loses all his money paying for Mothra and bastard child that is not even Battras!
This is shocking news!
Mothra broke Battra’s heart, now Battra has gone bad. Battra will get revenge by living well. Mothra cannot take that away from Battra.
Ring Ring!
Hold on….Battra here. Yes. Yes. But… But.. Battra loves his truck. It the only thing Battra have left! Why does Mothra want to take Battra’s truck? Mothra only do this to hurt Battra! Battra angry! Battra even angrier that Battra has to pay lawyer’s fee after losing Battra’s truck! Battra will destroy the world and all who live in it!! MURARRRGGGHGHHH!!!
Well, on that note, we must be going. Tune in next time on TarsTarkas.NET! March of Godzilla 4 will continue…

Rated 8/10 (Tristar?, I am arrested with attitude, I am also cool, Migrane or psychic power?, I am outta here!, concentrate, concentrate, I overpower you with my Japanese girl cuteness!)

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