Mothra 2 (Japan 1997)

Rating: **
Review Date: 9/5/99

A serious letdown after the surprisingly refreshing "Mothra: Queen Of The Monsters" (1996). Decidedly more juvenile, this film revolves around a group of children who stumble upon a strange creature called Gohgo that resembles a Furby. Gohgo also attracts the attention of Mothra's fairies, the bad fairy from the first film, and a couple of bumbling troublemakers. Gohgo additionally has the ability to heal people's wounds by peeing on them. Uh-huh. Man's pollution of the sea has incurred the wrath of a sea creature called Dagahra and it ravages a small island community. Gogho leads the kids to an ancient underwater city while the fairies call to Mothra for help. Mothra and Dagahra thrash about for the majority of the film, while the kids try to figure out a way to beat Dagahra and escape from the clutches of the bad guys who want Gogho for their own selfish purposes. The treasure of the underwater city is finally revealed, and Mothra gets a new power-up allowing her to morph into a flying fish of sorts, called Aquamothra. She also has the ability to part the sea like Moses, which lets the kids get back to the shore. Handy. Mothra then takes out Dagahra once and for all by splitting into a bunch of little Aquamothras which fly into Dagahra's mouth and tear him apart from the inside. Ew... The importance of the kids in the film is reminiscent of the old Gamera movies, and the heavy handed environmental theme becomes quickly tiresome. The combat sequences are nice, but the film is edited so oddly that they seem really out of place. Sadly, the biggest letdown is in the special effects department. The physical effects, like the monsters and the explosions, are good, but the digital effects are painfully disappointing. Poor composites and grainy compositions abound, including the worst digital wire removal I've ever seen (I think that actually seeing the wires would have been less distracting). Undiscerning kids will probably enjoy it.