Sep 12, 2012

Asian Monster Flick Week: Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion



Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion
Director: Shûsuke Kaneko
1996
Action/Fantasy

This time the threat comes from outer space, a gigantic insect like alien which in turn is built up by smaller units. The government tries to fight it of but stands helpless (of course). Their only hope is Gamera even if he’s still not considered an ally. Nevertheless, Gamera takes on the fight with the gigantic creature from outer space.

The bible basis is obvious and is even mentioned in the movie “we are legion because we are many”. But I still wouldn’t consider this a biblical film or something like that. The monster isn’t some kind of metaphor for something else. Unless the whole story about the attacking monsters and the defending Gamera is a metaphor for attacking Japan in any form, by monsters of by military force. I know I always interpreted the Godzilla movies in that way. Why shouldn’t this be the same?

But even if there’s a hidden message in these movies the most important thing for me in entertainment value. I don’t really care if Japan or any other country is defeated by a monster or saved by one. The main thing is the fighting and how good the special effects are. Here, they are somewhat better than in the previous movie Guardian of the Universe. But that also makes it a less entertaining film. I find it very amusing to watch rubber monsters fight each other and I don’t really get that feeling here. The monster is kind of weak in displaying personality and charisma and that ruins it a bit for me.  There are more drama and less monsters in this one than the previous and I’m not too fond of that.

What I liked with the first one was that they tried to explain origins and such which isn’t necessary here. Gamera simply exist and there’s nothing more to it. But I guess it would be to repeat everything by going through it again. There was however a touch of legend and mythology to it which is not present in the same way here.

I found this slightly less entertaining than the first but still interesting enough to go forward with more Asian monster movies!

6/10