When my brother was in Kindergarten, Ultraman was his favorite TV show.
While he doesn’t remember that after all these years, his sons are now full-fledged addicts and have eagerly devoured the original series and anything else by Tsuburaya they can get their hands on.
Ultraman has been around now for over Fifty years, and it is mind-boggling when you look at how many different iterations it has gone through in that time (whether you count the Ultraman-less Ultra Q or not).
So here we have the ultimate Ultra mashup (well, one of them, at least) which features an absurd number of geeky references to all things Ultra, not to mention onscreen appearances by four former Ultraman actors as well as the non-Ultra hero (and cast) of the then-current Ultra Galaxy Legends series. It even introduces us to a new member of the clan, Ultraman Zero.
It’s a bit overwhelming.
In fact, “overwhelming” is very much the theme here as the film has an incredibly intense super-saturated color scheme, and non-stop Ultra wire-fu. Most of the film — except the actors, giant suitmation monsters, and one spaceship set — is CGI. It looks a bit soft, even for 2009, so much so that I didn’t think I’d found the right film as the thumbnails looked like they’d come from an animated film!
It is also quite beautiful most of the time, with the real standout the Ultra’s fantastic city of light on their home planet in the M78 Nebula.
This time, they are up against the first evil Ultra, Ultraman Belial. He’s an outstanding creation, with massive claws, slanting eyes and a black and red neoprene suit.
However, the most impressive moment of the film comes when a group of human-sized characters encounter the monumental frozen form of Ultraman Taro. The sheer sense of scale in that moment brings home just how huge the Ultras really are.
On the other hand, I found it a touch amusing that, as the monsters twist and turn through space during the lengthy battles, the suits’ zippers and seams are very clearly visible, even with all that CGI.
It all ends with the final Boss monster to end all final boss monsters, the most insane, the most stupidly awesome monster ever committed to celluloid — and it gets even better when we get to see its surface close up (which, yes, appears to be a practical effect).
Let’s face it, the main market for this movie is kids. Hyperactive kids (if they weren’t hyperactive before….) It may just cause headaches in any adults who happen to see it, as it is too bright, too busy and too silly.
But what the heck, I enjoyed every stunningly idiotic moment .
It’s just that kind of film.
5 thoughts on “Daikaijû Batoru: Urutora Ginga Densetsu – The Movie [Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends – The Movie] (2009)”