Monday, 13 April 2015
Godzilla vs Mothra (1992)
While the post-reboot Godzilla franchise moved pretty quickly from "Gozilla vs humans" to kaiji on kaiju action, it didn't anthropomorphise Big G in the way the films of the 60s and 70s had done; nor did it move him into an unequivocally heroic, "protector of the planet" kind of role. He remained aggressive and temperamental. Which is how I like my giant radioactive dinosaurs.
I do wish, however, that he was being aggressive and temperamental in a better movie than this one.
Like the previous entry in the franchise, this film brings back a classic Godzilla foe. We last saw Mothra back when Big G was still a bad guy, when the caterpillar/butterfly kaiju defended humanity. She hasn't changed her spots in this film, standing as a protector of the Earth, but things will be complicated by the intervention of Battara, a "black Mothra" that, while also a protector of the planet, has a rather more dim view of humanity's effect on the globe.
And this is the film fails for me: far too much screen time is devoted to the tediously unfunny "comedy" that is the search for Mothra's egg, and then to the backstory of Mothra and Battra's eons-old struggle. Godzilla ends up feeling like an extra in his own franchise, turning up first to inadvertently distract Battra from killing Mothra, and then again later to induce the two flying kaiju to put aside their differences in order to end his rampage.
The film does have some strong elements. Battra's two designs (larval and adult) are both pretty cool - much cooler than Mothra's, in fact - and the various scenes of cities being devastated and monster vs human battling are well done (the monster on monster action is ... less impressive).
Ultimately though, unless you're a kaiju tragic, you can skip this one.