Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Bravest of Them All.

Gamera The Brave.

The last of the Gamera movies and the last movie in the Monster Movie Monday’s series.

When I started reviewing the complete Gamera series about 11/12 weeks ago I had no idea that I would find a monster movie with this much heart in it. I know I said that all Gamera, Mothra, King Kong, Godzilla etc (Kaiju films – giant monsters) are all 5 stars – but I am biased of course, cause I grew up with these films and love Godzilla etc. But this film, Gamera the Brave is truly 5 stars for all viewers!

I swear to you that this is equal to E.T.! This movie is a triumph of story and heart. I found myself choked up at the end, and I have NEVER felt that in ANY monster movie I have EVER seen.

This film is a great piece of work – I cannot suggest it enough for ANYONE. It will please the Kaiju fans, and fans of fantasy and for those who still feel young at heart, or at least want to.

The film opens with Gamera fighting a bunch of Gyaos – they give the date as 1973 – but they are using the Heisei Series Gamera – perhaps continuing from the cliff-hanger in the last film? Anyway, Gamera is being hammered by these guys and as a last resort to save humanity he self destructs taking all the Gyaos with him. A small boy, who we sense loves Gamera, watches on as his hero sacrifices himself for the Earth.

33 years later that boy grows up and has his own son and the pair of them are visiting his wife’s grave. She died in a car accident. The boy is Toru and his father runs a restaurant near where Gamera died. Toru is upset over his mothers death and wasn’t so close with his dad – his dad was always busy running the restaurant.

At a near by mountain, Toru sees an orange glowing object which is basically a small rock-like container that has an egg in it – the egg hatches in front of Toru and a baby Gamera is born. Baby Gamera is the size of a normal turtle and Toru doesn’t know too much about Gamera, since there hasn’t been an attack by a monster in 33 years (they even disbanded the Giant Monster Council) and he takes the turtle home.

The film at that point is all about Toru and his turtle (named Toto – based on Wizard of Oz). He isn’t allowed to have pets so he keeps “Toto” hidden – but when Toto starts to fly (just like Gamera) he tells his friends.

Soon Toru learns that Toto is really a baby Gamera and that he was hatched in time to stop a pending attack by Zedus – a new bad-ass monster that resembles a dragon.

What follows is a heartwarming tale of a boy dealing with the loss of his mother and the loss of his pet as Gamera grows bigger and bigger in order to fight for humanity once again.

The fight between Gamera and Zedus is great – not as great as others in the series, but the emotional involvement of the viewer has never been greater. And at one point Toru realizes that Gamera must consume the orange rock-like container in order to gain his full power and it’s a race to find Gamera and get him the rock. In that race all the children of Tokyo band together to help get the rock to Gamera and Toru’s father (the boy who watched Gamera self-destruct in the 70’s) even comes to help.

The final scenes of the film are so amazing and I wont reveal them here – please see this movie!

This movie may be the best example of how even something as silly as a Giant Monster film, can still move an audience beyond it’s expectations.

A real winner and a perfect way to end Monster Movie Mondays.

PS I hope they make a new Gamera movie and soon – I love Gamera!!!!!!!!!



1 comment:

  1. To be truly honest, I really liked Gamera more than any of the other kaiju when I was a kid, based on looks and abilities. However, seeing a short clip of one of the Gamera movies dubbed terribly while channel surfing turned me off to watching any more Gamera flicks. In retrospect, I believe watching that poorly dubbed clip may have hurt my feelings; their lack of respect for the series by dubbing so badly (some grown man trying to sound like a kid, saying "Bye bye, Gamera!") made me lose respect for the genre. If all the movies are going to sound this bad, why would I want to see them, you know? But how would I have known back then that movies would become more readily available in their original foreign languages with English subtitles in the future?

    Today, I'm generally pretty indifferent to kaiju movies. I bet if I went out and got a kaiju movie (based on my interest in a parallel genre, sentai), I would find it entertaining, but I don't have the motivation to pursue them. Considering your review, I might have to find this one. It sounds great.