Gamera 2: Attack of Legion

Gamera 2: Attack of Legion ★★★★

While there is continuity in the Godzilla franchise, rarely does that series grapple with the existential weight of humans being confronted with their powerlessness in the face of awakened gods battling it out with indifference to the death toll of the little panicked specks who flee beneath their feet. The narrative continuity here elevates the solid kaiju action of the first Heisei film into outright horror as returning characters and the general population of Japan struggle to accept the idea of Gamera as a "protector" only by pure happenstance, and one just as likely to level cities as the monsters he fights. This movie cribs a great deal from other films, including a version of Akira's nuclear annihilation that wipes Sendai off the map, but the imaginative creature design and consistently excellent effects work give this its own personality in the kaiju canon. The final moments, in which soldiers are left to contemplate how powerless they would be should Gamera willfully turn on mankind, is as unnerving as the genre gets.

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