30 Days of Godzilla – Day 19: Favorite Origin for Godzilla and Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992) Review
30 Days of Godzilla: Day 19: Favorite Origin for Godzilla: Probably the Original (the mostly used one) and the Heisei era. Both give a strong sense of tragedy for the Godzilla(s). A sense of suffering and how humanity was the creation of this destructive beast (Heisei’s though is a little out there but still gets the point across).
30 Days of Godzilla- Review: Gojira tai Mosura aka Godzilla vs. Mothra aka Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle For Earth aka Japanese Indiana Jones and the Moth of the Cosmos: Featuring Godzilla 1992:
This movie has Godzilla swim in magma and then get out by swimming up Mount Fuji. I think that’s more than enough reason to watch this movie.
Originally there were a couple things going on that lead to this film. Around the 1990, Toho had thoughts of bringing back Mothra in a film title, Mothra vs. Bagan, however the box office failure of Godzilla vs. Biollante combined with the uncertainty if Mothra could sell overseas as she was very much born from Japanese culture. In 1991 around the time Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah was finishing up, Special Effects Director, Koichi Kawakita and Minoru Yoshida proposed another script called Godzilla vs. Gigamoth which had Godzilla, Mothra, and an irradiated Mothra mutation called Gigamoth. At first rejected, but later Toho became interested in having Mothra and Godzilla in a film.
In 1992 after Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah was a success, Producers Shougo Tomiyama and Tomoyuki Tanaka, thought about making a direct sequel called, Ghidorah’s Counterattack. The film would of involved an Alien King Ghidorah invading Earth with Godzilla being the only hope. However this idea was scrapped when it was revealed that Mothra was a highly popular monster for women (According to a poll), who comprised the majority of the population. So Director, Kazuki Ōmori (who didn’t direct the film but was the screenwriter) reworked the Godzilla vs. Gigamoth script to Godzilla vs. Mothra and Gigamoth was transformed into Mothra’s dark twin, Battra. So that’s how we ended up here with this 1992 film.
Involving Mothra turned out to be a smart decision business wise as this film proved to be the highest grossing film of the Heisei-series. For the most part the Mothra elements are key to this movie. Building a new lore for Mothra as a protector of Earth accompanied by divine beings known as the Cosmos.
As Mothra watched over an ancient civilization, when that civilization created a device that could control the Earth’s climate, the Earth responded with Battra, the black Mothra. Who destroyed the entire civilization but was defeated and sealed by Mothra.
To sum up the basics, a meteorite apparently causes Armageddon as it wakes up Godzilla from his hibernation, unseals Battra, and reveals Mothra. The film implies that these series of events were coming, the meteorite setting off the time bomb that was nature’s rage. Godzilla representing nuclear destruction and Battra reacting to humanity destroying the environment and nature.
As a whole the film matches the quality of it’s previous three movies. Providing engaging drama and humans that make their story as compelling as the monsters we see. For the most part this film could be chalked up as a modern retelling of Mothra and Mothra vs. Godzilla, from the Showa era. But with new flavors and ideas introduced that keep it from being a carbon copy and more a it’s own thing.
New Director, Takao Okawara shows his stuff. Being able to tell of coherent story and cause the movie to flow smoothly. I haven’t mentioned this yet but these Godzilla films movie by so quickly in a good way. They give out so much detail and move from point to point without dragging for the most part. It’s always kind of disappointing to realize the film will end soon, because you’re having so much fun. Okaware was able to do the same and provide a nice boost of charisma to the scenes. Kazuki Ōmori, I mention he only did the screenplay for the film, but I mention him because Godzilla vs. Mothra continues his trend of using popular movies to influence these Godzilla films. For Godzilla vs. Biollante it was James Bond, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah it was Back to the Future and in Godzilla vs. Mothra it is Indiana Jones, because Mothra belong in a museum. However none of these things ever really stand out to me, they don’t interfere with the narrative much and act as part of the charms to the films he is involved in.
The cast and characters in this film like the previous movies are good and are able to deliver on the narrative. Akira Takarada returns and does a good job, he acts as the person who sees what is happening as an inevitability, because of how humanity acts.
There’s also out Indiana Jones character Takuya Fujita, a thief who is divorced and never sees his daughter. His character may seem shallow but over the film you see that he is kind of ashamed of himself, and it takes the words of his daughter to realize he needs to change his ways.
His chemistry with his ex-wife Masako Tezuka is entertaining to watch. The Cosmos were entertaining with their elegance and divinity.
Godzilla if I need to repeat myself is great in this film. Despite not being the main focus of the film, he still has his prescience felt in every scene he’s in.
Mothra is also good here, treated as a warm, kind protect or god. She doesn’t mean harm but humans do bad things which will cause her to act, such as the kidnapping of the Cosmos.
Battra is an interesting monster because he does care about the Earth but he hates humans. He sees them as stains and hindrances on the Earth. He’s kind of like Heisei Gamera if he fully went against humanity.
Kawakita and Akira Ifukube deliver again, what more is there to say. The special effects and action are again of high quality and fun to watch. Watching a modernized version of Mothra leaving the her cocoon is beautiful. Ifukube modernized his Mothra stuff and adds wonderful elements to his music to fit the film. He’s great as always.
This movie despite Mothra focus is still entertaining and competent. It is a fun watch and is a really great way to reintroduce Mothra to the 90’s. If you’re not a fan of Mothra, this might not be for you, but I’d still say watch to see Godzilla in action as well a Battra. It’s a fun film that I think old and new fans will enjoy like vs. King Ghidorah. It managed to bring back a popular monster and add some new stuff with fresh ideas so that older fans can appreciate the new take and newer fans can feel welcomed to seeing these monsters for the first time. I wonder if they’ll ever do that again in the Heisei? I love it and I hope if you ever watch, you do too.
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