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Gamera the Brave (2006)

Chiisaki yûsha-tachi: Gamera (original title)
In 1973, Gamera sacrifices his life to rid the world of the Gyaos once and for all. Thirty-three years later, a small boy, whose father witnessed the 1973 event, named Toru finds a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Ryô Tomioka ...
Toru Aizawa
Kaho ...
Mai Nishio
Shingo Ishikawa ...
Ishimaru Ishida
Shogo Narita ...
Katsuya Ishida
Kanji Tsuda ...
Kousuke Aizawa
Susumu Terajima ...
Osamu Nishio
Tomorowo Taguchi ...
Councilor Yoshimitsu Hitotsugi
Kenjirô Ishimaru ...
Professor Soichiro Amamiya
Megumi Kobayashi ...
Miyuki Aizawa
Kenji Motomiya ...
Army
Tetsu Watanabe
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Storyline

In 1973, Gamera sacrifices his life to rid the world of the Gyaos once and for all. Thirty-three years later, a small boy, whose father witnessed the 1973 event, named Toru finds a mysterious egg. From it, hatches a small Turtle. Toru and his friends raise the turtle, who turns out to be a small Gamera. After a new man eating creature named Zedus, it's up to the small Gamera to save the world as the previous Gamera had done before. Written by The_Depressed_Star_Wars_Fan

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29 April 2006 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Gamera the Brave  »

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Trivia

When little Toto/Gamera is crawling thru the kitchen, a knife falls off a table and sticks in the floor in such a way as to resemble Guiron, the monster Gamera fought in Gamera vs. Guiron (1969). See more »

Connections

Follows Daikaijû Gamera (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's not necessarily a bad throwback to the Gamera movies of yesteryear, but it does leave you wanting more. A whole lot more.
21 March 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Fans of the Japanese monster movie genre, myself included, had to wait seven years to see the return of one of the idols. That idol being Gamera, a fire-breathing turtle with the ability to fly. In the sixties and seventies, Gamera oftentimes combated other monsters to defend children in peril. In the 1990s, Gamera was re-invented in a more nostalgic, serious manner. The new movie, "Gamera the Brave" is a kick-start to a new franchise and sort of a throwback to the original series. It would probably do the original creators of Gamera proud, but sadly will not do the same for the fans or moviegoers in general.

The movie introduces Gamera in an entirely different way. After a prologues shows the giant turtle's ancestor dying in battle with the ferocious, bat-like Gyaos, a young boy (Ryo Tomioka) glum over the recent death of his mother, discovers a baby turtle which he soon realizes is not normal. Not unless you consider the ability to fly, breathe fire, and grow at an astronomically fast rate normal. It isn't long before he learns that his pet turtle, whom he names Toto, is really a descendant of the first Gamera. At the same time, a sea monster begins to plague the Japanese coastline to satiate its hunger.

"Gamera the Brave" is constructed basically on the same grounds as the original series. It is more juvenile that the 90s trilogy but done with near-equal technical efficiency and, about halfway through, is a very sweet and sometimes very tender little movie. It starts out good, so very good, that when it starts to take the wrong turns at the forty-five minute mark and continues to make them clear to the end, when the intrinsically dissatisfying ending comes along, it's only more of a letdown.

I really liked the first half of the movie. It dealt with re-inventing Gamera's origins in a way that was original and pleasing. Young actor Mr. Tomioko is talented and does very good interacting with an imaginary creature and the moments between them are very tender and sentimental. In addition, both Gamera and his new opponent Zedus are well-realized via some very good special effects. They are still men in suits, but there are many shots where you would never know it. And their first battle is marvelously done. The dynamic with Mr. Tomioko and a teenage girl (Kaho) is well-written and performed. Everything works in a way that reminds you of the original series, but doesn't become too juvenile.

It works until the halfway mark.

Then the movie starts throwing up potentially great ideas and never follows through on them. The idea of Gamera, before being fully grown, being captured by scientists starts out promising and then cuts off before you know it had even begun. Furthermore, Zedus, good-looking at he is, really doesn't have much presence beyond the ostensive qualities and is a rather forgettable monster. He doesn't same the same antagonistic personality as some of Gamera's earlier opponents like Gyaos and Barugon and, more recently, Iris, who is one of the cinema's most cold-blooded villains. And it's at the halfway mark that the relationship between Gamera and Mr. Tomioko becomes way too sappy, takes the wrong turns, and leaves you feeling rather empty. That great pull we felt before disconnects and never rejoins again.

There are also some very bad sequences, many of which are poorly edited and unwisely lacking soundtrack which seem to have no purpose in the picture at all. There's also a sequence in the third act, leading up to the climax, which almost seems like a silent film. Firstly, the visuals are preposterous, the idea is very bad. And it not saved on account of an excruciatingly juvenile and amateurish musical score.

And on a side note: what the heck happened to Gamera's trademark roar? It is not to be found. Not even once, even for a finale. Now after doing some research, I learned that this movie was produced by Kadakowa Pictures and not Daiei, who produced all the Gamera movies before this one. Maybe there was a copyright problem? Who knows. But here's my question. Whose imbecilic, unforgivable idea was it to replace Gamera's trademark shriek with a stock, B-movie dinosaur roar from the 1950s. Remember the cartoonish T-rex in "The Land Unknown?" Well, Gamera gets his roar. Not only is it too cartoonish, but it doesn't even fit him at all.

"Gamera the Brave" is well directed and acted and half of its screenplay is terrific. However, the other half of it is very condescending. It's not a horrible movie by any means, but it does leave you wanting more. A whole lot more. And the musical score by Yoko Ueno is absolutely awful.


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