So in 1995, Toho killed off Godzilla, albeit in pretty spectacular fashion. But now, there is a slight problem in the world as what are they going to do to fill the void left by the King of the Monsters. Well, why not fall back on their second most popular monster. Yes, Toho decided to do a trilogy of films starring Mothra, hoping to cash in on the fact that Godzilla Vs Mothra: The Battle For Earth was the most attended movie in the Heisei series. A big portion of that was Mothra’s popularity among women, who making up the larger portion of movie audiences in the 90’s. So let’s see how Toho does with today’s movie, Rebirth Of Mothra.
The plot: A logging company is clear cutting a forest when they suddenly uncover a large fossil. The workers all gather around as Mr. Goto, the site’s foreman, climbs onto the fossil and, noticing a strange seal on top of the fossil, uses a screwdriver to remove the seal, causing the ground around them to quake. Elsewhere, Moll and Lora, the two Elias that worship Mothra, sense the seal’s removal but so does their sister Belvera. Entering the chamber where Mothra is resting, after creating an egg to house her offspring, the Elias summon Fairy, a small miniature version of Mothra, and fly off towards logging site. Reaching the site, they land on top of the fossil, and comment on how the chamber housing an evil monster was opened and they need to find the seal before Belvera does or else she will attempt to release the creature and use it to destroy humanity. Meanwhile, after having an argument with his wife about not being home, Mr. Goto returns home late that night and, after attaching the seal to a chain, places it around his daughter Wakaba’s neck while she is sleeping. The next day, MR. Goto is called back to the site after a news story breaks concerning the fossil. Meanwhile, Wakaba uses strange powers to attack her older brother Taki and chase him out of the house. Peering into the window, Taki sees his mother tied up and gagged on the floor behind the couch while Wakaba is eatign snacks and watching TV. Suddenly, Taki hears a voice speaking to him and turns to find Belvera riding a miniature dragon facing him. Belvera briefly attacks Taki, then has a dog chase him up a tree, where she mocks him and says she controls Wakaba, before heading back inside. The Elias see Taki’s predicament and after sending the dog away, rescue Taki when he falls out of the tree. Approaching Taki’s house, the three see Belvera as she watches the news story about the fossil at the logging site. The Elias have Fairy fly into the house and they begin attacking Belvera while Taki moves Wakaba to safety behind the couch and works on freeing his mom. When Belvera manages to briefly trap Fairy under a rug, Taki tries capturing Belvera in a butterfly net but Belvera drags Taki and his mom through the house until they are unable to hold onto the net. Belvera then has her dragon blast Fairy before she flies out the window. The Elias apologize to Mrs. Goto for damaging her house and they then explain that 65 million years ago, a space monster called Desghidorah had arrived on Earth and attempted to drain it of all it’s life energy but their ancestors managed to defeat the monster and seal it away. They want to get the seal back so the can ensure the creature doesn’t escape but with Fairy injured, it is unable to fly. Meanwhile, Mr. Goto arrives back on the site to discover his men trying to keep a film crew off the site. Suddenly, explosions start rocking the area where the fossil is and a giant rock formation rises from the ground. Mrs. Goto buys plane tickets to where the site is and disguising the Elias as dolls and Fairy as a toy, they are able to take them to the dig site, but they are too late as Belvera has taken command of Mr. Goto and makes him drive a bulldozer loaded with dynamite towards the fossil, damaging it enough for Belvera to release Desghidorah. As the rock formation violently starts to break apart, the workers and camera crew scramble to escape from the falling debris, except for the journalist, who stays behind to film everything. As Belvera watches, she is suddenly attacked by the Elias, who are riding on a kite controlled by Taki. Taki manages to strike Belvera’s dragon, causing Belvera to fall into a tree and drop the seal. The Elias slide down the kite strings but as they grab the seal, they realize they are too late to stop Desghidorah from emerging. Using the seal to heal Fairy, the Elias lead Taki and Wakaba to safety and they watch as Desghidorah, a massive three-headed dragon-like creature begins absorbing the energy from the forest. The Elias ask Wakaba to guard the seal for them and, after finding Mr. & Mrs. Goto and telling them where their children were headed, they call out for Mothra to come and battle Desghidorah. Hearing the Elias, Mothra flies out and begins battling against Desghidorah but due to her weakened condition, she is soon overpowered and Desghidorah manages to grab Mothra by the wing and fling it to the ground. Sensing it’s mother in trouble, the larva hatches from the egg prematurely and makes it’s way towards the battle. Back in the forest, Taki and Wakaba make it to a nearby mountain, where they can still see Desghidorah, when Belvera attacks them and reclaims the seal. Suddenly, a tendril of energy knocks the seal from Belvera’s hand and Taki manages to grab it. Turning around, Taki and Wakaba see Mothra lying on the mountain in front of them and they decide to use the seal to try and help heal Mothra like the Elias did to Fairy and manage to give Mothra a little bit of energy. Suddenly, they see the larva arrive and begin attacking Desghidorah, using its silk to try and trap the monster but Desghidorah is to strong and easily breaks free. Desghidorah grabs the larva with two of it’s heads and begins repeatedly slamming it on the ground. The adult Mothra manages to free the larva and the two Mothra’s begin fighting Desghidorah but Desghidorah proves to be too much for the two insects. Belvera commands Desghidorah to focus on the larva and the larva attempts to camouflage itself in order to hide but Desghidorah starts blasting the forest and finds it. The adult Mothra distracts Desghidorah and leads it towards a dam and Desghidorah blasts the dam while attacking Mothra and ends up being pushed away by the rush of water. The adult Mothra grabs it’s larva and flies off but ends up crashing into the sea. The larva tries to save it’s mother but the adult Mothra is too injured and it sinks to the bottom of the sea. As the larva swims away, the Elias tell Taki that it is going to transform into an adult in order to fight Desghidorah, then they ask Wakaba to hold onto the seal for them as they fly off to follow the larva. Reaching a hospital in Hokkaido, the Gotos see a news broadcast talking about Desghidorah and how all the vegetation in the area seems to be dying. They also see a broadcast about the larva reaching an island known for it’s forest of trees that are thousands of years old. The journalist is on the phone talking about how the oxygen in the area is getting thin and when he tries to get his phone back, he notices Mr. Goto and starts blaming him for releasing the monster and saying they are all going to die but Taki says that Mothra will save them. On the island, the larva heads towards the oldest tree in the forest and begins building a cocoon around itself as it begins to absorb the energy from the tree. As the Elias begin to sing, the cocoon burst open and hundred of tiny, multi-colored moths burst forth and converge to from a new adult Mothra. Heading to face Desghidorah, the new Mothra, dubbed Mothra Leo, proves to be faster and more powerful than it’s mother and easily overpowers Desghidorah and proceeds to trap it back into the earth. Taki and Wakaba, who saw the report of Mothra Leo arriving, head back to the forest and throw the seal to the Elias, who use it to restore the seal and keep Desghidorah from breaking free. Belvera, who was being carried by Fairy, manages to slup free and escape into some tree roots and the Elias explain to Taki and Wakaba that she is their sister. As Taki and Wakaba are given the chance to fly on Mothra, they witness Mothra using it’s powers to restore the areas Desghidorah drained, then rejoin their parents as the Elias and Fairy thank them for their help in saving the Earth before flying off with Mothra back to their home.
I do love a good kaiju movie but this was kind of disappointing. I know a lot of times that it is hard to tell about the acting in a dubbed film but in this case, the acting honestly didn’t seem all that good. Part of that could have been the camera work as it seemed to do a lot of close ups on some of the characters, particularly Moll, Lora, and Belvera as they are fighting. The story was interesting, albeit a somewhat typical fantasy plot of a giant monster that once attacked the Earth and was told might be released form it’s imprisonment. The special effects regarding the monsters were pretty good and while I did like the upgrade in powers for the adult Mothra and Mothra Leo, I don’t know if I liked the idea of the Mothra larva being able to shoot and energy beam from it’s chest. That honestly seemed a little much. As for some of the other camera editing, some of the blue screen/rear screen involving the Elias and Belvera looked pretty bad. If it had been a little cleaner and not as glaring, it would have helped make for a better movie. All in all, it’s not the worst kaiju movie I have ever seen but for one that came out in the 90’s, it did not really impress.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5