Monday, October 5, 2009

Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (1999)

GAMERA 3 may be one of the greatest giant monster movies ever made. This film completely blew me away, and even managed to top several of my favorite Godzilla films. While this entry does break the golden Kaiju rule of strictly using practical costuming by introducing computerized characters, it marries the use of over-sized rubber costumes and amazing computer imagery beautifully, and only takes advantage of the visual FX when their physical equivalents would not be achievable or convincing. Gamera has received a major upgrade, with a new design that is far more menacing than in previous installments. The giant turtle continues to battle legions of the Gaos, and then must face off with the guardian Iris, a tentacled beast that rivals Gamera in size and strength. Each of the aerial battles and brawls on the ground are absolutely spectacular, and the scale model buildings that are crushed in the monsters' path of destruction are indistinguishable from the real thing. These improved special FX sell every second of the action, and on top of that, this film marks one of the goriest battles in Kaiju history. Fans of the Final Fantasy game series will find a lot to like here, as the visual stylization and mystical connections between the beasts and the human characters bear many similarities.

Unlike most other giant monster movies that rely strictly on the costume design and wrestling style action to define their quality, GAMERA 3 also shows remarkable cinematic strength and storytelling throughout the human side of the picture. It continues to build off of the characters of the previous films, while also deepening the mythology of the monsters in its fantasy world. The acting transcends the typical B-Movie fare, and treats the material seriously and respectfully considering it is still a monster movie at heart. Despite the fact that Gamera is more pissed off than ever, the film still recaptures the softer side of the series as the beast defends several of the children that stumble into harms way.

GAMERA 3 may be as close to perfection in the giant monster realm as any entry has come since the original GOJIRA. It achieves an epic film quality that stands out above all other creature features. This one comes highly recommended, and is a must-see for any Kaiju fans!

Rating: 9/10.
Entertainment: 10/10.
Number of views: 1.



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3 comments:

  1. I didn't care for all the supernatural mumbo jumbo in this movie. I enjoyed it, but preferred the previous two installments. The second film is my favorite. As good as the effects are, this movie was dark fantasy first, monster movie second. If you loved this one that much, Carl, you really should steer clear of GODZILLA: FINAL WARS. That film is a major step backwards in all categories.

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  2. That was the one element that kept me from giving it a perfect score; as awesome as the action was when it was occurring, the battles were few and far between. I loved the dark fantasy behind the film even if it did move away from the conventions of the original Kaiju films. I cant wait to grab the second film, damn Blockbuster for teasing me with this one before I had the chance to see the second, but I couldnt resist temptation in skipping ahead.

    I am saving FW for absolute last so that i have a broad scope by which to judge it =D

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  3. I don't think it matters by seeing the third film before seeing the second one. I don't recall much in the way of a connection outside of the character played by Ayako Fujitani. Gamera is more evil looking in the third. The second film gives him some new abilities which aren't ported over to the third picture.

    Good luck with FW's. Who knows, you may actually enjoy the film.

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