Gamera 3 : Really that good?

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Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby LegendZilla » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:01 pm

Hello once again, first of all, I want to say happy forthcoming holidays to all of you. Now we got that out of the way I would like the state an opinion (albeit controversal one) of mine. I know I have stated time and time again regarding my disdain for GMK, but that particular film is not the only Kaneko-directed kaiju film that I'm not exactly crazy over either. That being Gamera 3 : The Revenge of Iris. I know it has a lot of good things going for it, such as special effects, atmosphere and creature design, but allow me to state my issues with the film :

First of all we have Ayana. I know loosing her parents at a young age warped her mind a tad bit, but she comes across as selfish and entitled to the point of stupidity. Anyone with a brain who went through what she did could find the time to stop to think "what if Gamera only killed got my parents killed by accident and/or what if it was Gyaos who killed my parents?" In addition if it was really that big a deal that the boy's family shrine was kept concealed to imprison the creature inside (Iris), then why didn't she get into any deeper poop from him and why did he not use that dagger to kill Iris on sight the moment he saw him?!

Secondly the plot is for the lack of better term, convoluted. An example of this is the presence those treasure hunters who were hunting the remains of the Atlantean amulets. I seriously could not for the life of me figure out what the purpose they had in the story and in the grand scheme of things. I mean, people give Godzilla Vs SpaceGodzilla poop for its sub-plot involving the Yakuza attempting to use Miki's psychic powers to control Godzilla being poorly executed, yet when this movie does something similar, they give it a free pass? Come on!

And lastly, the movie's supposed to be the grand finale to a trilogy, yet it ends on a skreeonking cliffhanger? Give me a break.

If you wish to refute my claims then go ahead.
Last edited by LegendZilla on Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby eabaker » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:44 pm

I don't feel like rehashing points that have been made a million times about the movie's aesthetic and tonal appeal. It's so specific in its focus (as opposed to the more broadly appealing Guardian of the Universe) that it's invariably going to alienate a portion of the audience. Those same elements that alienate some people are the reason that it is so beloved by its ardent fans.

But I will debate two points:

1.) Ayana's behavior is absolutely irrational, but that's in no way a flaw in the movie. People behave irrationally. "Anyone with half a brain" is easy invective to throw out, but it disregards human emotion and psychology.

2.) It doesn't end on a cliffhanger. A cliffhanger implies a continuation, which is required because the work hasn't finished its story.

Gamera III has finished its story. It has an open ending, but that's not the same as a cliffhanger. The resolution is that Gamera will continue to fight for and alongside humanity; the outcome of the specific battle with the Gyaos is immaterial.

That ending is one of the best parts of the movie.
Last edited by eabaker on Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby Zarm » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:35 am

I mean, 'good' is subjective for movies. For me, it really is that good. For someone else it might not be.

But, i would suggest that while Ayana's behavior is indeed irrational , that's... what loss and grief can do to you. That feels real to me, so it never bothered me. And I think that the young lad's behavior makes perfect sense, as well- he recognizes that there is theoretical danger in the shrine. He may or may not believe in it, or believe it can come from something so small and harmless.

But he also really likes Ayana. A crush at least; if we give him a lot of credit for emotional perceptiveness, he may even recognize that she is deeply hurting and that nurturing this creature is filling an emotional void in her life and functioning as a healing process. Either way, he can tell that it's important to her. And even if he were prone to complete, unquestioning belief in the ancient family legends (which, let's face it, we have more of a reason to believe in as the audience that he does from a culture full of old myths and shrines and stories), he's not just going to go straight-up murder the new pet of the grieving girl he has a crush on. And again, that's 'best-case,' assuming he even agrees that there is a reason to kill it because he fully believes. Even then he'd be likely to hesitate (much less if he's less a believer); guys have done much dumber things throughout history for a pretty lady. Right off the top of my head, neither Delilah nor Mattah Hari would've had much success as spies if guys weren't prone to losing their heads when their hearts (or, if you're more cynically-prone, other parts of their anatomy) get involved.


In terms of the conclusion, I get it. I'm there with you, in part- I like wrapped-up endings. I don't like open or ambiguous. I want a concrete answer to Total Recall or Inception; I don't share my wife's certainty of what's going to happen next at the end of Green Card. I want the 'official' answer; what will be, not what might be.

At the same time, much as the ending drives me crazy with anticipation and curiosity, I can appreciate it. Not only does it fulfill the old showbiz maxim, "Always leave 'em wanting more," but eabaker hits the nail on the head. This isn't continuing the narrative- it's making a statement. Even in his exhausted state, Gamera will continue to fight; that's who he is. What happens next doesn't matter to the narrative, because Gamera going toward the fight already tells us everything needed to conclude *this* narrative.

In its way, it's no more a cliffhanger than the ending of The Incredibles, or any Batman movie where the Bat-signal shows up and he runs off to answer it. It tells us that the adventure continues, that the hero will answer their calling- it tells us how the character is going to operate from then-on, however long he has left. It's a statement of how they mean to live; the actual battle with the Underminer or trouble in Gotham city isn't relevant. (Though the former makes for a fun co-op game on PC). ;) The only difference here is that there is less certainty about who will win the day because of Gamera's weary state and the size of the opposition. But in principle, it's the same kind of 'And the fight goes on...' ending- and the weariness and overmatched nature is a necessary part of the statement it's making; Gamera will continue to fight, even when the odds are against him.

For all that, the ending overcomes my innate desire to have everything wrapped up neatly- because while I can take it as an unresolved narrative hook, I can also see that it was meant to be a statement, and one that resonates with me.

In terms of the subplot, I don't know what to tell you- Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla's subplot never bothered me, because again, it was about establishing other things. Plus, I don't remember the treasure-hunters being in more than one scene, to establish the amulets... unless you mean the psychic lady and the video-game designer, who were there to further a number of thematic aspect which are sadly, I think, largely lost in translation.
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby eabaker » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:14 am

To me, a big part of the problem with the GvsSG sub-plot is that it is introduced and then dismissed so suddenly mid-movie, with nothing setting it up in advance nor coming as a consequence of it; it's pure filler.

Asakura and Kurata may muddy the waters of GIII's plot a bit, but they play a role in articulating the movie's themes, and their actions help put all the pieces in place for the climax. They don't represent a perfect bit of writing by any means, but they're not an empty hand-waving distraction like the GvsSG Mafia stuff.
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby Zarm » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:27 am

eabaker wrote:To me, a big part of the problem with the GvsSG sub-plot is that it is introduced and then dismissed so suddenly mid-movie, with nothing setting it up in advance nor coming as a consequence of it; it's pure filler.


I guess for me, it worked as a furtherance of Miki's relationship with... the fella whose name I can't remember, as well as an establishment of her growing telekenetic powers. It doesn't have plot consequences, but it does further the characters (and gives a little human action and tension in the delay of launching Mogeura). I mean, I agree that it is quite out of nowhere and abruptly resolved, so I'm not going to call it a pinnacle of writing or anything. It just serves enough of a function in the story to me to blunt its edges... it doesn't actively bother me because of that, just reduces it to inoffensively-poor writing. :)
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby Ivo-goji » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:43 am

Gamera 2 is better than 3, but 3 is still better than GofTU.
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby eabaker » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:26 am

Ivo-goji wrote:Gamera 2 is better than 3, but 3 is still better than GofTU.


See, to me 2 - while still a damned good movie - is the weakest of the trilogy, because it's basically all plot, no story. I find it very mechanical.
Last edited by eabaker on Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby Zarm » Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:28 am

eabaker wrote:See, to me 2 - while still a damned good movie - is the weakest of the trilogy, because it's basically all plot, no story. I find it very mechanical.


Ditto. (Which just goes back to the point of what constitutes a 'good' film being very subjective to the tastes of the viewer! So the answer to the thread title is 'Absolutely... and no, not at all. Depending on who you ask.') :)
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby MechaGoji Bro7503 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:12 pm

G3 isn't that good. For me it didn't have that epic feeling as the previous two films.
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby eabaker » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:43 pm

I have never before seen anybody comment that GIII was less epic than the earlier flicks.
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby Ivo-goji » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:43 pm

eabaker wrote:
Ivo-goji wrote:Gamera 2 is better than 3, but 3 is still better than GofTU.


See, to me 2 - while still a damned good movie - is the weakest of the trilogy, because it's basically all plot, no story. I find it very mechanical.

No one appreciates an ode to the early days of science fiction films.

I don't buy that assessment anyway, Gamera 2 was as much as a story about how Gamera had come to fit in the world since the events of the previous film, as we see him through Midori and Watarase's eyes, as it was an alien invasion flick.
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby MechaGoji Bro7503 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:34 pm

eabaker wrote:I have never before seen anybody comment that GIII was less epic than the earlier flicks.

I'm a first for a lot of opinions and such ;) :D
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby kamilleblu » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:12 pm

Those complaints are more nitpicks than anything. Ayana and her secret admirer exhibit perfectly understandable teenage behavior. The former is consumed by hatred after having her life irreparably altered by Gamera (how many children take into account the full scope of complex situations) and the latter goes easy on her because of the feelings her harbors for her. And although Asakura and Kurata are certainly one of the weaker elements of the film, they by no means ruin it and actually prove useful in expanding the world. Of course this is not a perfect film, yet even with its minor shortcomings here and there, Revenge of Iris dashes pass nearly all of its competition in virtually every category. It's one of the finest films of its genre and a really good film in general.

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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby Inferno Rodan » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:57 pm

I've long been one of G3's biggest detractors. I just absolutely do not understand why so many people consider it so great, and find it to be by FAR the weakest of the trilogy. It's so damn drunk on its own mythology (large portions of which don't fit with and even outright go against lore established in the previous movies) that chunks of it just outright don't make sense. The effects and cinematography are both excellent, but those are the only things it has going for it. And, perhaps most damning for a kaiju movie, the monster action is a goddamn joke apart from the short-lived aerial battle.
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby LegendZilla » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:08 am

eabaker wrote:Gamera III has finished its story. It has an open ending, but that's not the same as a cliffhanger.


Would you care as to elaborate what exactly the difference is?
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby Zarm » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:26 am

LegendZilla wrote:
eabaker wrote:Gamera III has finished its story. It has an open ending, but that's not the same as a cliffhanger.


Would you care as to elaborate what exactly the difference is?


I tried to do so in my post; to put it in a nutshell, an open ending is 'the Batsignal lights up and Batman runs off to deal with it.' Many superhero movies end that way- the hero rushing off to face a new crisis. The story is over, but the hero's battles continue. A cliffhanger is a shock revalation or hero in mortal peril or other situation designed to lead into another story.

One communicates "And the adventure continues..." and the other says "Come back next time to see what happens!"

In this case, Gamera going off to fight was a statement about his character, and due to his injuries and the size of the enemy force, it may seem like a cliffhanger at first glance... but it's not meant to entice or tease another story. Instead, it's just saying 'even when he's in trouble, even when the odds are against him, Gamera will always continue to fight.' It's a final statement to close out the trilogy.
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby GodzillaFan1990's » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:24 am

I don't care what people says. 3 will and has always will be equally as good as the other two which all three are equally my favorite movie of all time.

eabaker wrote:Gamera III has finished its story. It has an open ending, but that's not the same as a cliffhanger.

Which is what I like about the ending, leaving it ambiguous and letting you decide what happens in the end.

In my headcanon, Gamera managed to win ridding of the Gyaos threat for good but eventually succumbs to his wounds and dies. The world then mourns the loss of their Guardian and honors him with an worldwide funeral knowing he has saved them from all monster threats for good and that his legacy will always be remembered for what he did for humanity, inspiring mankind to become a better race and take more care of the earth.
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby KingKaiju » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:59 am

Yes! These films have compelling stories, with interesting characters that we actually care for, topped off with great monster action. Not to mention, the cinematography and sfx just kept getting better and better with each film. And, while I'll always be a Godzilla fan first and foremost, they really set a high standard for kaiju films to follow.
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby Kenpachiro Hirata » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:52 am

The only problem this film has is its main plot.

First two movies are great because their stories has simplistic sci fi plots. We know that Atlanteans created Gyaos, couldn't controll them and then created Gamera as counter-measure. To keep Gamera in check they've created beads so that it could actually connect with humans and protect them. This background is very basic and short but works perfectly because it makes sense and doesn't take much screen time yet feels mysterious enough to add to the overall tone.

All of that was completely ruined by ROI's moronic overcomplication of the background, vague ties to mythology and poorly implemented subplots. Why would Atlanteans create a counter-measure for Gamera if it was their last resort in crisis? Why would they base it on Gyaos - a failed creation that required Gamera to deal with? So on and so forth.
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Re: Gamera 3 : Really that good?

Postby eabaker » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:56 am

The plot is overcomplicated, for sure. The story is pretty simple, though: traumatized child lashes out, endangers others, hits bottom, finds redemption.
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