Gamera, a giant fire-breathing turtle, is awoken after Japan falls prey to a pack of flesh-eating birds known as the Gyaos. The Japanese government mistakenly attacks Gamera before a young girl that shares a psychic link to the monster intervenes. Director Shusuke Kaneko removes the corny, childish aspects of the earlier films and steps up the serious action and violence in a grim Kaiju fable. Much like in his Godzilla effort, Kaneko reintroduces the character as a monster of legend that has laid in wait for centuries until the Earth needed him. The set design and miniature work used in the film easily rivals any of the models produced by Toho, with amazing attention to detail that goes as far as to hang clothes over balcony rails on housing complexes. The monster designs are a little cartoony and stiff, but in the context of the frame, they are play well and look believable. The background story behind the monster mayhem plays on all of the standard Kaiju conventions, but the human characters and plot are engaging enough to carry the film between battles. All in all, a fun modernization of the classic monster that will please any giant monster fans!
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