Gamera 2: Advent of Legion – Review


Cam Wade, Staff Writer

In terms of giant flying turtle movies, Gamera: Guardian of the Universe is arguably one of the best, grossing well over eleven million dollars adjusted to inflation, with critics and audiences praising the return of the titanic terrapin. As every studio does when one of their films becomes a runaway success, Daiei had announced a sequel shortly after, promising that it will be bigger and better than the first one. With excitement in the air, the only thing that people had wondered was whether it would live up to these expectations. 

Gamera 2: Advent of Legion was released on July 13, 1996, raking in twelve million dollars in the box office, again, adjusted to inflation.  Film critics loved it, claiming it was leagues better than the first. When the general public finally watched it, it was treated to a renowning, “Yeah, that was alright.” Gamera in this film has never looked better, giving him longer arms, a smaller head, and a generally more threatening appearance than that dough-eyed appearance he had in the first one. The movie starts off really strong, with a large meteor crash within the first five minutes. That meteor was carrying Gamera’s foe of the film, Legion. While a generic way of getting a monster onto earth, it’s nonetheless effective in starting the film. Legion himself looks straight out of Lovecraft’s nightmares, giving the alien a shape that is hard to pin exactly what it is. It’s definitely hard to tell that that thing’s a guy in a suit and not a puppet of some sort.

The final battle at the end is far better than the first one, with choreography that doesn’t look like two hand puppets having a thumb war. While the CGI in the movie hasn’t aged the best, it’s never to the point where it takes you out of the movie. However, one aspect that I can say is worse than the first movie are the human characters. Most of the time when they’re on screen, I end up just tapping my foot waiting for either of the monsters to show up. In any other monster movie, this would be par for the course, but this is especially apparent considering how well the human plotline was in the previous film. 

I cannot in good conscience put this movie above the original. The monsters, the action, and the special effects may be better than the first one, but the part we spend most of the movie with, the humans, weigh the film down. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, Gamera 2: Advent of legion is an exceptionally high creature feature that I would still recommend this film to whoever has seen the original. I give the film three and a half  eldredge space centipedes out of five.