Monster movies are a far too seldom visited semi-secret pleasure of mine that, were there more quality releases within the genre, I would probably visit more often. This Korean treasure is the example personified of why I have this fascination in the first place. It harkens back to a day where scale models of Tokyo were decimated weekly by a giant lizard with questionable alliances, while adding it's own, more modern, highly entertaining and infinitely better written spin to the mix.
It had been awhile since the first time I saw this movie, around four or five years I'm going to guess. But I remembered really enjoying it on the first go around, luckily my memory is better than I usually give it credit for, because this one was just as good the second time. This flick has a variety of faces ranging from slapstick comedy to the more serious epic quest inclined "rescue of the innocents" storyline . The characters are all extremely vivid, lovable, engaging and just as varied as you would hope from a movie that goes in as many directions as this one does. And storywise, despite it's resemblance to it's other, less intellectually layered predecessors, it shines... eliminating a small portion of the damage that the SyFy channel has been working so diligently to cast upon the genre.
I may sound like a flip-flopper when I say that I really liked the CGI in this film *gasp*, I know, it's hard to even say. But considering the genuinely organic feel that they managed to create for this creature, I come away feeling much less dirty for having praised a computer generated monster. The art direction and concept behind said monster were something to behold as well. Asian monster creators take the cake for originality and for thinking "outside of the box". This thing was equal parts salmon, alligator, lamprey, basilisk and orca.....not an easy creature to picture, but once you see this abomination, you'll understand.
This movie has a little something for everyone, and you don't even have to turn it off when the kids are around, or mom shows up. "Family friendly movies on this review-blog?" you ask. Yea, it's not gonna happen very often.......unless a bunch of monster flicks on par with this one start popping up, which, come to think of it, would not be a bad thing.
8/10 detached retinas