Just as a note, I watched the film in fullscreen, English dubbed. That’s not the optimal way to view a Godzilla film, so I won’t mark that against it.
And as another note, this is the first time I’d watched the movie since I was around 8 years old and it came on the Disney Channel (back when you had to pay for it) on a double feature with “Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster”. I remember not liking it then because I hated, and still hate, Mothra.
C’mon, what has she got going for her? Ooooh she’s a really big moth! I’ve never dug the giant insect kaiju, like Kumonga and Kamakuras. That and she’s the “good guy” of the Godzilla universe. I mean, Godzilla will battle to save the Earth, but that’s only for self-preservation. If the Earth burns, so does he. Mothra fights to protect the world and innocent people and all that crap. Goody-two-shoes. Add to that I never really dug her special attacks, either. Stun Spours, Laser Antennea and that stinger ray from Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. The web-spray in larva form is alright, but that power really belongs to Kumonga. C’mon, moths only shoot webbing when they’re forming their cocoon, not to trap pray or whatever. And then there’s those two twin brats. I just don’t understand why Mothra is so popular. She even had all those Rebirth movies during the 90’s.
Anyway, with that aside, it was actually a pretty damn good movie. For one thing, I really liked the human drama in this one. The typical “Government hires scientists to stop Godzilla” drama has been done to death. A story about a group of reporters trying to get to the bottom of the Mothra egg mystery was actually pretty interesting. Add to that the greedy, back-stabbing theme park owners and a well-rounded array of human characters and the human drama was at its best.
I won’t waste your time too much with a plot-rundown, as there isn’t much of one (this is a Godzilla movie, after all). But essentially, the following stuff happens; the Mothra that attacked Tokyo (in “Mothra”) is old and dying and lays an egg. A bunch of greedy theme-park owners steal the egg to exhibit it. Godzilla recovers from his last battle (in “King Kong vs Godzilla”) and shows up at the theme-park. A battle with Mothra quickly follows.
This Godzilla suit is one of my favorites from the Showa series. He doesn’t look silly like in later films. In fact, he has these weird brownish eyebrow-things; it looks great. The fight scenes were both good and bad. The fast motion made me sick; it looked like and episode of The Munsters. The fighting-itself was rather impressive, though. They made Mothra’s flying look reasonably real, something they couldn’t seem to accomplish with Megaguirus 40 years later. The first Mothra/Godzilla battle was excellent, actually. It’s the second one that pissed me off. The Mothra larvae just get to vantage points and spray him with silly string for 20 minutes. Cheap! Just one more reason for me to hate Mothra.
But still, the special effects in this movie were impressive all the way around. Though I hate the tiny princesses, I was impressed with the effects used to make them appear to really be 6 inches high. Every scene they were in (which was quite a few) had to be a special effects shot. Everything from blue screens, to dolls, to giant sets were used to make it appear genuine. And, given the time period, looks really believable.
I also liked the way Godzilla’s atomic breath melted the tanks. They turned red, caught on fire and slowly turned to ooze. Nicely executed. I have to say, this is easily the best kaiju flick featuring Mothra in a prominent role, next to “Giant Monsters All-Out Attack”.
I’ll give it a B. It was a solid, well-directed, well-acted, well-written movie. One of the better in the Showa series and a real pleasure to watch, even if you hate Mothra.