The Showa Era Godzilla movies (1954 - 1975): Fourth film: Mosura tai Gojira / Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) - A franchise rising on the wings of a moth - 9/10
Two years after the rather underwhelming but financially successful King Kong versus Godzilla, Toho Studios continued its most important franchise with fourth entry Mothra versus Godzilla. This movie is one of the highlights in the franchise and its best movie of the sixties along with Invasion of Astro Monster. The story has many interesting facets such as greed, perseverance, renaissance, sacrifice and spirituality.
After a terrible typhoon, a strict news reporter and his creative photographer find a mysterious object in the debris. A gigantic egg is also discovered next to a village and quickly bought by a greedy entrepreneur and the backstabbing businessman behind him. Two tiny twin girls from Infant Island reveal that the egg belongs to gigantic moth Mothra and that the dying gigantic monster will be reborn as a larva once the egg hatches. The entrepreneur and businessman ignore the twin girls' warning and the complaints of local fishermen but soon get into an argument regarding promotion and wealth. Meanwhile, the reporter and photographer contact a professor and they discover that the mysterious object is a radioactive scale. When they investigate the place where they found the debris again, they are immediately stopped by a selfish politician who wants to avoid negative articles. However, the ground suddenly starts to shake as Godzilla rises from the underground as it becomes obvious that the radioactive scale belonged to him. The king of monsters goes on a rampage and attacks the city of Nagoya. The military isn't able to stop the monster this time around. The reporter, photographer and professor ask the tribe from Infant Island to send Mothra as her egg is also likely to get destroyed by Godzilla. The tribe is initially hesitant to agree but the twin girls convince them and decide to summon Mothra to fight Godzilla.
This highlight in the franchise convinces on multiple levels. The film criticizes egoism, greed and ignorance by spreading powerful, relevant and even timeless messages.
The story is quite diversified with its many twists and turns. The story about the greedy businessmen is as captivating as the reporter's, photographer's and professor's quest for truth and the dramatic battle between the two titular gigantic monsters.
The settings are particularly exotoc this time around. Especially the scenes filmed on Infant Island are splendid to watch. The rituals to summon Mothra are certainly highlights as well.
The speciall effects have greatly improved since the previous installment. The opening scene with the terrible typhoon is already quite impressive. The gigantic egg is stunning to watch. Aged moth Mothra, a resilient Godzilla and the larva that hatches from the egg are beautiful as well. Even the fight choreographies between the monsters are of a rare intensity.
Mothra versus Godzilla might not reinvent the kaiju movie genre but it's an impressive return to form for the frachise after nine years. This movie sets the bar for all upcoming Showa Era Godzilla movies. Fans of the franchise will find everything they like about it here such as sympathetic characters, moral lessons and impressive monsters.« Dévoilement des drapeaux du Collège Nouvelles Frontières et de l'ArsenalThe Showa Era Godzilla movies (1954 - 1975): Fifth film: San daikaijû: Chikyû saidai no kessen / Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964) - The scariest villain - 8/10 »