Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Kaiju Chronology: Gamera 2- Attack of the Legion

The angry Turtle is back!  Today's film is Gamera 2: Attack of the Legion (or Advent of the Legion in Japanese), the Sequel to yesterday's film (Gamera: Guardian of the Universe).  I'm always curious to see how true Sequels are treated by Toho as they can be mixed bag.  Some (like the Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla/Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S.) are very directly-related, while most of the 1970s Godzilla films barely had anything in common.  In this case, we get a few major Characters returning and references to the previous film.  I know that you were hoping for the Cowardly Cop to come back- so he is!  In this one, some meteorites crash on Earth and some mysterious creatures start to appear.  Where's Gamera?  Are we going to have to take care of this ourselves?  If so, we are probably boned.  To find out, read on...
A Meteorite breaks up as it nears the Earth and small pieces crash all over the place.  This leads to a series of Scenes of weird events (like the sky glowing green) and a break-in at a Kirin Factory (patrolled by Cowardly Cop) by...
...these things.  They are...not here to 'phone home.'
Soon they start to set up nests and wreak all sorts of havoc in the city.  The military is called in and...well, this is a Toho Film, so they do great.

In all fairness, they do alright.  They just aren't Gamera.
Speaking of Gamera, the girl with the psychic connection to Gamera is back.  Continuity- hurray!

She doesn't add nearly as much as in the last film though.
Gamera, of course, shows up and battles the Legion.  They show their true colors in the form of a giant, spiky bug.  Why can't they stay small like they do on Power Rangers?!?

Ooh, shiny!
Legion is no pushover and has the ability to shoot the smaller insects at Gamera and try to eat him.  Is that like if a giant lady started throwing her kids at Godzilla?
While Legion's attack is impressive, Gamera has a giant cannon that fires a giant, orange beam out of his chest, so he wins.  The End.
Easily the best of the Gamera films so far.  Yes, better than Gamera vs. Gyaos!  I kid, I kid.  In all seriousness, this is good.  It gets the simple stuff- giant monster fights Gamera and smashes up city- right and gives you a little extra.  While they don't save the day, it is nice to see the Military do a little more to earn their pensions.  Another thing it has going for it is the fact that it only needs to do set-up for one monster this time.  We know who Gamera is here, so it is all about Legion.  It gets to go from unseen entity, tiny carnivores and, finally, a giant monster.  It is nice to see the evolution of a creature, since it helps with the build-up.  When a giant monster just shows up, it is not quite the same.  That's taking nothing away from Godzilla, but it is something that I like.  In addition, it allows for more interaction between the creature and others, since it isn't instantly 20-feet tall.  The action is strong here, which is ultimately what you're here for.  While it seems to be not as well-regarded by the DVD/Blu-Ray Distributors (always bundled with the first film), it is a strong enough film to stand on its own.  As a bonus, it was fun to promote!
Next up, the final part of Gamera's swan song (for about 10 years).  With a new creature and a new villain as well, he has his tiny hands full.  Stay tuned...

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