Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby Kaiju no Kami » Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:34 pm

Yeah, the battle towards the beginning of the movie when Gamera is fighting the Gyaos in Shibuya is hands down the best fight of the entire trilogy. Just watching how the city is destroyed just by the battle is amazing to watch. Until GMK, no other Kaiju movie really showed how much a monster battle effected those trying to escape from it. Getting to shockwaves in the streets and stuff and the subway collapsing the way it did was so realistic. Because of that, and how badass Gamera is in it, GIII is the best of the movies.

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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby Mr. Xeno » Tue Apr 14, 2015 7:56 pm

tymon wrote:There's no doubt that it has much higher goals than its predecessers, but it meets almost none of them. It actually ends usually being cheesier than the first two movies despite trying to tell a straight-faced somber story. That's a failure.

I understand why someone wouldn't like the movie, but I have no idea whatsoever how anyone could find it cheesier than the first two movies. It's like saying that you've seen The Exorcist 167 times and it keeps getting funnier every time.

tymon wrote:And yes, more of this teenage idea that darker or more serious automatically equals better. :lol: You're not making a great case here, and the "bad taste" comment really makes you look like an idiot/fanboy (especially considering that you and I share many of the same favorite films....soo....tell me how that makes sense?).

I didn't just say, "It's dark and gritty, so it's cool!" I said it's, "weightier, ballsier, more ground-breaking [...] subversive to it's genre, and tells a thrilling/unique character study that shows what's it's genre is fully capable of." And the "bad taste" comment was a half joke about how every acclaimed movie has it's share of people who just don't get it, and G3 is obviously no exception.

tymon wrote:And "character study"? Neither G3 or The Dark Knight are character studies, they're plot-based action movies that are simply darker (and in TDK's case, much more thrilling) than their counterparts.

While both films have a good dose of plot (especially TDK 'cuz, y'know, Nolan) both films, and G3 in particular, are definitely strong character studies, at least in relation to their genre bretherin. This is all encapsulated with Ayana; she isn't a scientist or a reporter as seen in nearly every other daikaiju film ever, she's just a girl who's suffered extreme tragedy at the hands of our so-called "hero" (in a neat little tie-in to the first film, might I add). But it doesn't just end there, as she's also lived with a foster family who clearly can't stand her, with her only respite being her little brother, and he's dealing with his own bullying problems. In fact, it's his innocent love for her that gives her any real connection to the outside world, hence why she stands up to his bullies. It's all of this repressed hate that Iris latches onto and feeds on, resulting in a giant warpath that kills thousands, severely maims Gamera, and nearly costs Ayana her life. It isn't until later, when she finally realizes that people really DO care for her (the boy's knife cutting her face, Asagi and Nagamine's attempts to protect her) and she can have a happy, normal life, that she realizes all the true horror of her inability to deal with tragedy, as well as her fixation on revenge. And this is all given plenty of time to resonate with the audience, with scenes such as Ayana seeing the aftermath of Gamera's fight with Gyaos on TV.

On top of that, and in one of the film's greatest themes, Ayana isn't necessarily wrong. We see the death and destruction Gamera causes quite in depth, including but not limited to the death of Ayana's parents. After all, Gamera does cause a ridiculous of collateral damage in his attempts to fight off the Gyaos, and while he obviously can't be blamed entirely for it, there is some degree of responsibility on his behalf. And while Gamera is still definitely the good guy, he comes off as a flawed good guy; his nature makes him an anti-hero in the true sense of the word in that he essentially kills millions to save billions. He's not the hero because he's some superhero sent from Atlantis to protect the Earth, but because he's the lesser of two evils with, for lack of a better term, a heart of gold. And I don't know about you, but that's far better than just a great but admittedly very basic action film ala G1 and G2.

And this is what I mean when I said the film was, "weightier, ballsier, more ground-breaking [...] subversive to it's genre, and tells a thrilling/unique character study that shows what's it's genre is fully capable of." How many other daikaiju films even try, let alone succeed, at attempting to discuss such themes and ideas? To use Kaiser's example of Biollante (in a twist of irony), it's a film that definitely tries for weightier ideas, but the first half (which is basically all the plot/character stuff, as the second half is all the Godzilla action) moves at the speed of a Vine sex tape, allowing almost nothing within the film to truly resonate. Take the death of Shiragami's daughter, for example. Despite being an extremely important plot point, it has almost no impact because A) her death and the aftermath is barely even glanced over, and B) we never got to know her in the first place (seriously, count the amount of seconds she's onscreen).

As for this:

Kaiser wrote: it feels sort of rushed and thrown in, kind of like the whole puzzle games aspect and Shinto/psychic stuff.
-
G3 would be much better in my opinion if it just focused on Ayana and Iris trying to get revenge on Gamera without all this political intrigue and return of the Gaos and Gamera graveyards and stuff that's cool, but never gets mentioned again in the film.


While these smaller aspects of the film are more faded in my memory since it's been a while since I've last seen the film, I'd first like to point out that most of those things are not "never mentioned again". Both the political intrigue and the Gyaos' return are featured and mentioned frequently throughout the film, although the Gamera graveyard is only mentioned once later, but still. The games (which are the nature simulators that Weird Dude created, right?) were supposed to act as some character building for said Weird Dude, while explaining both how Gamera defeated Legion in the previous movie, and how/why the Gyaos are returning. I also think you're overestimating the purpose of the Shinto and Gamera graveyard stuff. Both were just supposed to act as some quick world building, only hinting at bigger things.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby tymon » Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:24 am

Xeno...I've seen the movie. I know the plot, and the themes, and don't need them broken down in such a long-winded manner. I know how emo Ayana is, and how her quest for revenge contains a certain amount of moral relativism. It'd be nice if any of that were interesting, thought-provoking or groundbreaking like you claim. But it's not. It's not even well-executed within the film. :|

And character arc =/= character study...

I understand why someone wouldn't like the movie, but I have no idea whatsoever how anyone could find it cheesier than the first two movies. It's like saying that you've seen The Exorcist 167 times and it keeps getting funnier every time.

See, here's the thing: there are two types of "cheesy". A) the type of cheesy that's intentional, in a light-hearted and/or comedic film that never expects the audience to take things too seriously or think about it too much - such as the Showa Godzilla films or GOTU; or B) the type of cheesy that's unintentional - where the story presents itself as serious business, but the writing is so bad, convoluted or pretentious that it ends up being cheesy in spite of itself, and far more cringe-worthy than the intentional stuff. See: The Heisei Godzilla films, G3, and a perfect example that just reminded me how skreeonking awful it is with the Season Five premiere: Game of Thrones.

Short version: if you're going to write a serious story, you better have some amazing writing and performances going into it, otherwise it falls flat and unintentional cheesiness ensues. Or, you succeed, and end up with a film like Godzilla (1954).

And the "bad taste" comment was a half joke about how every acclaimed movie has it's share of people who just don't get it, and G3 is obviously no exception.

So you're one of those people who think that if a film has garnered enough acclaim, that it's somehow objectively good, and the nay-sayers are just wrong. I can't even tell you how simple-minded that is.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby Mr. Xeno » Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:51 pm

tymon wrote:So you're one of those people who think that if a film has garnered enough acclaim, that it's somehow objectively good, and the nay-sayers are just wrong. I can't even tell you how simple-minded that is.

Uh...

tymon wrote:There's no doubt that it has much higher goals than its predecessers, but it meets almost none of them. It actually ends usually being cheesier than the first two movies despite trying to tell a straight-faced somber story. That's a failure.
[...]
It'd be nice if any of that were interesting, thought-provoking or groundbreaking like you claim. But it's not. It's not even well-executed within the film.
[...]
the writing is so bad, convoluted or pretentious that it ends up being cheesy in spite of itself, and far more cringe-worthy than the intentional stuff. See: The Heisei Godzilla films, G3, and a perfect example that just reminded me how skreeonking awful it is with the Season Five premiere: Game of Thrones.


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If you wanna criticize me for acting like a movie's quality is objective, then that's fine (I myself have repeatedly criticized people for doing the same thing, mostly with G'14), but don't then make counter points that are just as objective in their indignation.

And touche on you again for your comment about my "long winded breakdown" of the movie's plot and themes, while simultaneously insulting me for my "bad taste" comment. I explained in-depth some of what most people see in the movie that makes them love it so much, illustrating how and why the movie is everything that I've claimed it to be, and you basically just go, "I don't need to hear this, you're being too simplistic and objective." That's such a great way to completely brush off everything I just said without actually refuting it, which you've repeatedly failed to do. All you've said is variations of, "The movie sets up big goals and fails."
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby Kaiser » Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:29 pm

Mr. Xeno wrote:While these smaller aspects of the film are more faded in my memory since it's been a while since I've last seen the film, I'd first like to point out that most of those things are not "never mentioned again". Both the political intrigue and the Gyaos' return are featured and mentioned frequently throughout the film, although the Gamera graveyard is only mentioned once later, but still. The games (which are the nature simulators that Weird Dude created, right?) were supposed to act as some character building for said Weird Dude, while explaining both how Gamera defeated Legion in the previous movie, and how/why the Gyaos are returning. I also think you're overestimating the purpose of the Shinto and Gamera graveyard stuff. Both were just supposed to act as some quick world building, only hinting at bigger things.


The Gyaos returning is always in the background of the film though (with the exception of the Shibuya scene obviously) and I just feel that it was never given enough time to develop in the narrative. Something as grand and important as the emergence of hundreds of Gyaos feels like a glorified B-plot so we can focus on Ayana and her angst.

Maybe the Blu-Ray just has bad subtitles, but the whole subplot with Kurata and Asakura feels confusing as hell to me. I'm still not quite sure what either of them adds to the whole. As for the "quick world building" you mentioned, well that's part of the problem. We already have so many plot threads that spouting off some inconsequential details just makes the plot even harder to follow because things that should be getting development aren't.

My biggest problem with the film is how many things feel pointless. Tatsunari contributes nothing to film, we spend ten minutes getting him to Kyoto only for him to epic fail as soon as he gets there. This could be amazing if pulled off correctly (like the Shining) but the way its presented in the movie makes it just feel like a waste of time. Kurata and Asakura hand Ayana back over almost immediately and die pointlessly soon after. Inspector Osako seems to be in the film just for continuity's sake. And Ayana's adoptive family is given almost zero development before they're killed off. I actually was wondering who those people were when that part in the movie came up.

Maybe if Kaneko made the movie like two and a half hours, it might've worked but there's no way anyone at Toho would greenlight a two-and-a-half hour kaiju film, so we just get a rushed film as a result.

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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby tymon » Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:38 pm

Xeno, I never said any of my statements were factual or objective, never even implied it, so that's your own misinterpretation. I state my opinions with candor, is all. I would never say anything as blatantly stupid as "u have bad taste", either, for one simple reason: there's no such thing as bad taste. It's all relative. Which usually goes without being said, but hey, I shouldn't expect too much out of fanboys.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby Tyrant_Lizard_King » Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:11 pm

I really like the characters in Gamera 2 myself. I found Ayana's story pretty boring. I've never cared much for the whole "monster killed my family, friend, or comrades and I want revenge" plot.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby seamus » Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:33 am

Kaiser wrote:Maybe the Blu-Ray just has bad subtitles, but the whole subplot with Kurata and Asakura feels confusing as hell to me.


The blu-ray has terrible subtitles, for this part of the plot in particular. There are lines of dialogue left out. The company sent out free replacements afterwards with supposedly fixed subtitles, but really they are both awkwardly worded at times and both missing lines of dialogue. I was able to get an imported letterbox VHS with a great subtitle track, but from what I remember of the DVD that one is decent.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby tymon » Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:07 pm

^Ya know, I didn't even think of that. I've only seen this movie on Blu with the bad subs, so I suppose I can't judge the film fully until I see a proper translation...
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby Kaiser » Sat Apr 18, 2015 6:46 pm

seamus wrote:
Kaiser wrote:Maybe the Blu-Ray just has bad subtitles, but the whole subplot with Kurata and Asakura feels confusing as hell to me.


The blu-ray has terrible subtitles, for this part of the plot in particular. There are lines of dialogue left out. The company sent out free replacements afterwards with supposedly fixed subtitles, but really they are both awkwardly worded at times and both missing lines of dialogue. I was able to get an imported letterbox VHS with a great subtitle track, but from what I remember of the DVD that one is decent.


Even with an improved translation, a lot of the problems I have with this movie will still remain. There's just too much stuff to fit into a 108 minute movie. If it was closer to Final Wars' run-time, it might work, but as it is the movie just doesn't have any room to breath.

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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby Breakdown » Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:05 pm

Just finished watching this, and I'm really underwhelmed with the SFX with the film. The animatronic head on Gamera looks too robotic and erratic in the way it moves. The CG was also pretty lacking, and was often times used when it wasn't necessary. I understand it wasn't as advanced at the time or like it was in Gamera 3, but knowing this it should have been used a bit more sparsely.

Otherwise everything else was pretty great. The composite shots with the suits and actors looked very convincing, and the way the Legion spread from one planet to another was pretty interesting.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby LamangoKaijura » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:17 pm

Watching this now, so far, it's taken parts of the Juran episode of UltraQ and Godzilla vs Destoroyah.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby Living Corpse » Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:20 pm

G2 is the most fun out of all the Gamera films. The military is not useless but can not win by itself. Gamera is the hero but needs help. It's the prefect balance of humans and monster needing to team up to fight a common enemy.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby Mechagigan » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:09 pm

G:GotU was, quite clearly, an honest and creatively driven attempt to rejuvenate the Gamera franchise; though it lacked the gusto to create a truly spectacular film in and of itself, it did display a perfectly innovative and welcoming new world, one willing to accept the sci-fi oddities of any Kaiju universe, but set within a reasonable pitch from out reality.

Advent of Legion approaches many of it's predecessors faults in a smart fashion - by simply inverting, or mostly avoiding them. While this often works, it also leads to it's own abundance of problems.

I feel the biggest issue to the first installment was it's lackluster cast and story direction, both of which lacked logical 'flow' and an sense of major purpose. With this film, one quick swipe eradicates both problems; by abandoning the character-based and socially critiquing styles of the first movie, we have an entirely new style of direction with which to view this particular film.

It's very akin to the story-driven plot of GvD; Characters are wheels to the vehicle that is the plot itself, unfolding as it pleases and letting it's cast react. Though the opposite approach (used in the previous film) often has more professional results, this fashion certainly suits the tense, action-based tone of the production far better than a slow, analytical view would've.

However, this also makes much of the cast blur into insignificance - what little development they do have hardly matters, as few are memorable enough to warrant further detail. In many cases, entire chucks of character-led scenes could be removed from the film without strongly affecting the whole. Thematically, however, this seems to not truly be a negative; the film itself chooses to limit it's emotional backing, instead running us through a wild, colorful ride. The plot itself manages to grasp our attention very strongly, consistently feeling more eventful and, thus, more 'involving' than the tale told in G:GotU. And, though it does reach some sluggish points, the direct style and relatively fast pace never fails at remaining both fresh, and exciting - even when there aren't monsters onscreen. This is one of very few cases in which I'll admit that the underuse of character development may have been better for the entirety.

Though there may be some minor fault in the script, the effects are spectacular. They simply decimate the aesthetically pleasing, though poorly puppeteered SPFX in the previous film; not only does AoL manage to nicely blend CG and Suitmation, but it also convincingly creates lifelike, fully believable creatures. Each monster looks nothing short of excellent. Even minor details such as smoke or fire effets look stunning - especially when compared to Toho's output, even at the very same time of production.

Though AoL effectively does not succeed where G:GotU failed, it manages to carry on strongly upon it's own merits. I highly prefer this to it's father film, thanks especially to the faster pace and improved visuals. Though aspects such as unneeded characters, poor editing, and an occasional lack of coherent flow make a return to this film, as well, they prove less detrimental thanks to further upsides.

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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby G&G-Fan » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:09 am

I watched this movie recently after not having seen it for years... and I know I'm going to be lynched for this, but... it was underwhelming.

First, the pros. The special effects are great, the soundtrack was good, and Legion is just an awesome kaiju.

But here's why this movie is honestly only "pretty good" in my mind. The story is just another alien invasion thing. Not that it's bad, it's just that 1 and 3 have such unique stories that this one just felt a little more generic. The characters... are honestly forgettable. Asagi is bascially Miki in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah in this film: a spectator that does very little for the plot except help get the title monster (Godzilla, Gamera) back awake halfway through the movie to take down the main threat. She's my favorite character in the trilogy and I thought she was underutilized. The only other character I can remember is the one dude played by the same guy who played Professor Omae in my favorite movie, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, which was the only reason I remember him. Everyone else is just a soldier, and there's this one lady who I guess is supposed to be the main character but she's just kind of there... and I remember halfway through it's revealed she has some sort of connection with one of the soldiers, which was just like "Oh... ok"... honestly, they were forgettable. Any time something wasn't happening with one of the monsters, I was bored. There were times where I really just wanted it to pick up the pace. And the final fight was a little short for me. The mana blast just came out of nowhere and I felt it happened to quick. When it came, my thoughts were "Already?!" and "Wait, I want to see more fight! Stop!". It didn't feel like it was a last resort, Gamera isn't at his lowest point. It felt like something Gamera just pulled out of his ass. Most of the physical fighting is just them hugging and Gamera holding Legion's horn.

I actually preferred Guardian of the Universe to this.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby Zarm » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:17 am

G&G-Fan wrote:I watched this movie recently after not having seen it for years... and I know I'm going to be lynched for this, but... it was underwhelming.


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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby eabaker » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:59 am

Amazing spectacle and atmosphere, a batch of well-thought-out sci-fi concepts, and the filmmakers' love for the monsters really shows through, so this is a pretty strong movie for me; but it doesn't have nearly the structural perfection of its predecessor, nor the duende of its follow-up.
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby GojiDog » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:25 pm

I think what I liked about G2 was that it felt the most like the old school Gamera films, at least in terms of its formula.

How did most of the old Gamera films go? Bad monster shows up, overwhelms human's efforts to stop it, Gamera shows up to help, gets his butt kicked, kids do something to help Gamera, and Gamera comes back beat down the baddie and win the day.

How does this film go? Legion shows up, overwhelms humanity's efforts to stop him, Gamera shows up to help, but ultimately gets his butt kicked to near the point of death, Asagi and a bunch of kids pray for and support Gamera to give him his strength back, and then Gamera comes back to beat Legion. If you throw in a couple of scenes of him specifically saving kids, this would basically be a 60s Gamera movie, lol.

They basically took that formula but applied to a more serious and militaristic style film, and it worked pretty well. I also really liked the design and execution of Legion.

One knock though. Did anyone else think it was anti-climactic that they show the Queen Legion flying, but then its wings get shot off immediately afterwards and we never see it fly again? I mean to me that would be like Spacegodzilla getting his shoulder crystals blown off in the first act. Why give the monster the ability to fly only to immediately take it away? its like they just wanted the creature to get to the next location quickly and didn't feel like explaining any other way to do it.

Oh well, lol.

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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby LSD Jellyfish » Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:18 am

eabaker wrote:Amazing spectacle and atmosphere, a batch of well-thought-out sci-fi concepts, and the filmmakers' love for the monsters really shows through, so this is a pretty strong movie for me; but it doesn't have nearly the structural perfection of its predecessor, nor the duende of its follow-up.

I just rewatched this and I’m pretty much in agreement. Unfortunately the beginning is just a bit too slow, and the pacing is a bit off.

I like aspects of it more then the first, but also think the first did a lot better.


One unique thing I really liked was the whole winter vibe the whole film had. It’s unique for a Kaiju film, especially showing Sapporo and so much snow. Fun fact: originally when I wanted to move to japan I wanted to move to Sapporo but that didn’t work out :(
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Re: Gamera 2: Advent of Legion (1996)

Postby Tyrant_Lizard_King » Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:25 am

One of my top 5 favorite kaiju films.
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