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Jeanette Lin Tsui,
Kelly Lai Chen
For 45 years they have protected Earth, a planet that reminds them of their Ancient Past. The Ultraman, from the Land Of Light(aka Planet Ultra) in the Nebula M78. In the near future, mankind will also expand into the universe. ZAP SPACY, the organization leading everything, will find itself in a fierce battle with the scrounges of the universe as both Mankind and Ultramen move into a new chapter of their history with an evil, all-powerful ultra breaks out of space prison with a weapon that can control 100 monsters at one time. Written by
Ladies and Gentlemen, the best superhero movie of all time. Years and years ago an Ultraman named Belial attempted to gain access to the Plasma Spark, the artificial sun which serves as the power source for the Ultraman homeworld known as The Land of Light. He failed and was banished but not before bonding with a powerful alien entity called Reiblood and then returning to attempt to steal the Plasma Spark, he failed again and was this time imprisoned, years have gone by and now Ultraman Belial is free, he plans to steal the plasma spark, destroy the land of light and gain access to the monster graveyard, the inter-dimensional realm where the souls of all the monsters ever defeated go. Now bear in mind, there have been over a dozen Ultraman shows and they all had weekly monster, all those monster all in one place, and all revived at the hands of one evil Ultraman, This is as epic as it sounds. This movie gets everything right, let me go through it: Production design: This film has some great sets flawlessly blending CGI and real sets, I dare you to tell which is which in a lot of the bigger scenes, the overall look is an easy a-plus. Music: The usual kick-ass battle music we've come to expect from this franchise but with gravitas in scenes where it's needed. Fight choreography: Here is where the film easily shines over any western superhero film, I mean yeah the fight scenes in the MCU movies have been able to blend CGI and live fighting almost flawlessly but here it's all wirework and martial arts with a little CGI for power attacks, just enough to make it look good. The two best scenes are the attack on the land of the light and the showdown in the monster graveyard. The attack on the land of light is when Ultraman Belial attacks the land of light in order to seize the plasma spark, but in order to get there he has to fight his way through a whole army of Ultramen. I love this scene for two reasons, firstly the Ultramen included in the fighting firmly establish 'Ultraman: The Legend Begins', 'Ultraman Beyond' and 'Ultraman Powered' (all foreign crossovers) as being in cannon, clearly demonstrating that the creative team knew what they were doing and had a deep love of the Ultraman universe. The other thing I love is that all the Ultramen Belial has to fight through have each had whole TV series to build up their credibility, each has had a whole series of us watching them fight monsters on a weekly basis, sometimes battling more then one on occasion and some taking on evils that threaten the existence of the entire multiverse. And yet Ultraman Belial is able to fight his way through by fighting them three at a time, This is the best way to establish how unstoppable the villain is and why to this day Ultraman Belial is one of my favourites villains of all time, this and his design is appropriately hellish and the guy doing the voice sounds appropriately maniacal and gleeful. The other fight scene I like is the showdown in the Monster Graveyard, this scene is almost a reverse of the assault on the land of light, here the few Ultramen who survived the assault on their home face off against Ultraman Belial and a whole army of monsters, it's urgent, it's dynamic, it is awesome. Acting: the acting in this movie is great, it's actually a bit more toned down then in other movies which people could accuse of being melodramatic, making it a more accessible movie for others. Characters: this movie is a grand anniversary and reunites over forty years worth of Ultramen, though some get taken out early no one feels sidelined, the only problem I have is that there is a crossover with another series about a group of humans flying around with a spaceship and one of them has a machine with which he can summon monsters but they don't take up too much screen time and their presence is explained so I don't mind them, they also pick up Ultraman Dyna (who's from the Ultraman Tiga universe but let's not get into that) just to add one of the alternate universe Ultramen to this reunion. Story: I am actually really impressed that this story works so well, having to fit in so many characters and yet it manages to make them all fit, the script could easily have felt like fan service designed to be the ultimate Ultraman crossover but it actually feels like a decent story. And so here it is, my favourite Superhero film of all time, serving as a great introduction to Ultraman, a great tribute to years of Ultraman lore, a great tokusatsu film, and a kick-ass superhero film.
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