Rebirth of Mothra 2

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Time to check back in with the giant laser firing, winged insect who always has a pair of cuties with him. Yes, its time to tackle the second movie in Mothra’s trilogy from the 90s. For all you Mothra fans out there, you may not like what I have to say.

As strange and destructive creatures called Barem spread across the ocean, another mysterious creature named Ghogo appears. Ghogo befriends 3 kids named Shiori, Yoji, and Kohei who wish to help stop the the Cosmos Twins, Moll and Lora o stop the Barem from consuming the world. As they work towards stopping the Barem, they soon find that Barem are being spread by a monster named Dagahra. Moll and Lora have no choice but to summon Mothra, but even his power may not be enough to stop Dagara and the Barem from covering the ocean.

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As promised its all down hill from here.┬áThis film is basically the Goonies with giant monsters and sadly the humans are less charming this to around. The trio doesn’t really have anything in terms of memorability behind them what they do and offer no real skills or talents that would help them on their adventure. Truth is that they are just the kids who were lucky enough to find Ghogo and decided to help.

Mothra does gets two new transformations in this movie. The first is called Rainbow Mothra, which I will admit I didn’t really notice until writing up this review that it took place. The wing shape and color changes a bit but the attacks stay about the same. Maybe blame that old VHS fansub version of this film I used to watched. The second form, Aqua Mothra is much more distinct with its shape and color. It also has┬ásome interesting attacks but the weird look to him may turn off a few of the Mothra fans out there. I haven’t heard people complain about it but I think he looks too much like a flying fish myself. I’m sure that’s what they were going for with the design aspect but I’m just not feeling it myself.

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The environmental message here is much thicker than the one in the previous film. The movie states that Dagahra and the Barem were created to eat the waste of man but that didn’t work and ended up destroying the ancient civilization instead. I personally prefer Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster when it comes to the environmental message mixed with Kaiju. This didn’t really grab me as much.

Moll and Lora regrettably don’t have a chance to grow much this film and get no actual character development. They are still just supporting characters to the humans and don’t get to shine. There really hasn’t been anything to help describe who they are and what makes them function other than they serve Mothra. They care whether or not humanity is destroyed but that’s about all we get to know about them.

I hate to keep comparing the Mothra and Gamera trilogies, especially since Gamera’s three films are vastly superior. Still both came out a time when Godzilla was nowhere to be seen. They were the monsters in the spotlight and while Gamera performance was phenomenal, Mothra really didn’t make any strives or impact with his movies. The Gamera trilogy totally reinvented the monster from his comedic films in the 60s and is some of the best giant monster movies to come out of the 90s. The Mothra Trilogy really becomes a treat mostly for the Mothra fanbase and few others. And if you think this is bad, wait until I get around to the third movie.

Rating: B-

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Rebirth of Mothra

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When Godzilla made first appearance in America the throne for the king of the monsters became empty. Two different contenders stepped up in an effort to prove their greatness by releasing trilogies. These two enormous titans were Gamera and Mothra. I have already reviewed the Gamera trilogy and how exceptional those three movies were but what about Mothra?

Picking up after Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla, Mothra has presumably saved the world from an asteroid that would have wiped out all life and has since returned to his island and laid a new egg. Elsewhere a construction company is tricked by a mischievous fairy named Belvera into released the ancient evil known as Death Ghidorah (I’m aware wikipedia has it named differently but that’s the name the version I saw used and I think it sounds better than Desghidorah). Working to stop Belvera plans is the twin guardians, Moll and Lora who summon Mothra to fight against this reborn terror. As the new born larva hatches he has no choice but to fight along side of its weakened mother to stop Death Ghidora from destroying all mankind.

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The characters for this outing are a mixed bag. I don’t really remember anything that stands out in the human characters of Taiki and Wakaba and are really only there so the Moll and Lora have someone that doesn’t know what’s happening to explain the situation to. The three Elias sister though definitely stand out. I’m glad that they didn’t have Moll and Lora talk in unison. That would have really gotten old fast. The fact that the two of them have to watch their sister, Belvera try to take down humanity and stop them is very touching to watch. I’d be willing to go to bat with other Kaiju fans to say that are the top runners for the best priestess Mothra has ever had.

Once again we witness a Mothra death scene but this one is probably one of the most tear jerking of them all. His Showa era death was pretty memorable with the Mother Mothra sacrificing itself to protect her egg but in this film we witness as the baby Mothra can do nothing to save its mother who is too weak to return home and collapses into the sea from exhaustion. It definitely is one of the most heart breaking scenes of the Heisei era of monsters.

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One minor strike I can’t help but note against this series is Mothra’s genre. The movie makes it a point to express that the Mothra that is the center point for this trilogy is distinctly male, even given the name Mothra Leo once it hatches from its cocoon. What did they not think that a female monster would be able to carry the entire series. Come on Japan, that’s old school thinking.

The Rebirth of Mothra trilogy comes out swinging and delivers one of the Kaijus most action packed and heart felt outings. It also possesses my favorite version of Mothra, complete with lasers coming out of every possible surface. Unfortunately it’s all downhill from here. Unlike the Gamera where all three movies maintain a high level of quality through the series, the next two films are not as entertaining as this one. My advice is to just watch this one and walk away. Stay tuned for later posts where I will describe in detail how those movies don’t stack up.

Rating: B+