A typhoon results in a massive egg being washed ashore on the beach of a fishing village so obviously, as this isn’t generally isn’t an everyday occurrence, interest is stoked. Reporters on the scene are surprised to find that the villagers have sold the egg to representatives of Happy Enterprises, the company owned by a business tycoon who intends to charge for the privilege of seeing it. The Shobijn, a pair of doll sized priestesses of Mothra, the God Of Infant Island from where the egg originally came, appear to beg for it’s return as keeping it would disrupt the life cycle of their huge fluffy deity, but are predictably denied their request because rich = bad. Obvs.
Suddenly Godzilla, realising he’d better make an appearance at some point, rises from beneath the ground and immediately makes a beeline for the egg, possibly in hopes of making a football field sized omelette.
Once again the fate of all involved are in the hands of massive Kaiju, but Mothra is at the end of her cycle and Godzilla is, well, Godzilla. Can the contents of the egg contain the secret of halting the King Of The Monster’s latest rampage.
Technically more of a direct sequel to Ishiro Honda’s 1961 film Mothra than a fully fledged ‘Zilla flick, there’s nothing wrong with Mothra Vs. Godzilla per se, but you do get a definite sense that the franchise is spinning it’s wheels somewhat. There’s nothing new here, really. The plot is pretty similar to Mothra (flood, egg, reporters, arsehole entrepreneurs) and shoving The Big G in to be an angry browed villain is essentially the same as in King Kong Vs Godzilla. Now, I know variety in this genre is a little sparse and I also know that this entry is somewhat beloved by fans but the cutting and pasting the plots of movies only release a couple of years prior leaves me a little cold.
The film itself, however, is very well made for it’s time and genre. You can tell director Honda and his crew have fine tuned the creative process of Japan getting tore up from the floor up by various titans, plus Mothra, thematically speaking, is a fantastic foil for Godzilla. While the colossal lizard drunk-stumbles his way through various land marks like the single minded brute he is, the gentle, almost delicate Mothra is rational and compassionate and inherently more relatable as she has a mouthpiece in the form of her Barbie sized worshippers.
The humans once again can only stand and watch open-mouthed but again, the Shobijn create more of a direct link to the monster action than previous movies.
Another noticeable addition to the ever solidifying Godzilla style of the series is the second of six appearances by franchise regular Akira Takarada (who plays a completely different character in every one) and this also heralds a far more family friendly atmosphere, especially compared to the grim faced original.
Fairly derivative but ultimately well made, Mothra Vs. Godzilla is a supremely decent example of it’s kind but ultimately let down by hewing too close to what has come before.