There is an iron rule of sequels which few movies — or movie series — manage to escape:
Each new sequel is worse than the one before.
Yes, I know there are exceptions — and even a few, like The Road Warrior which are better than the original.
But that certainly isn’t true of the latest entry in the Reigo/Raiga saga.
Now the first film, 2005s Reigo, the Deep-Sea Monster vs. the Battleship Yamato, is surprisingly good for what is more or less a fan film. It has a serious plot, an interesting setting, and occasionally good home made effects (particularly the practical guy-in-a-suit monster shots).
The second film, Raiga: The Monster from the Deep Sea (2009), was a let down despite its better effects, as it had turned into a lame comedy — with Kaiju.
The third film doesn’t live up to the second one, let alone the first. A minor, one-joke character from the first film has become the main character, the plot has become more tangled and complex, with lots of behind the scenes political intriguing of the sort Shin Godzilla (2016) gloried in.
But those aren’t the film’s worst flaws. Despite its generous helping of Kaiju mayhem (and, after all, who really cares about the plot of a Kaiju Eiga film if the destruction is grand enough?) or its goofy assortment of secret weapons, it fails at its main mission because it is all covered with so many digital effects and overlays that it is hard to see much of anything, let alone the monsters.
Now, I’ll admit that I enjoyed the scenes at the JDF which, like Gerry Anderson’s Captain Scarlet or Thunderbirds, star detailed dolls instead of human actors (only the Director, Shinpei Hayashiya has chosen to use still photos instead of “supermarionation”).
But that isn’t enough to make up for not being able to see those giant rubbery monsters duking it out.
Oh, well. Yet another victim of the Iron Sequel Rule.
But one which ends on a truly ominous note:
It announces the coming of the Fourth film…
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