Gamera rewatch – Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris

Rewatching the Gamera movies! The action is bigger and bolder than ever in the ambitious wrap-up to Gamera’s 90s trilogy in Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris (1999).

Here’s what happens: It’s been three years since anyone has seen Gamera. Ayana is a young girl who lost her parents in Gamera’s battles in the previous movie. She finds a mysterious egg in her village, which hatches into a creature she names Iris. She and Iris have a psychic bond, and they both seek revenge against Gamera. When Gyaos creatures reappear, Gamera shows up to battle them, and this gives Ayana and Iris the chance to attack.

Nice gams: This movie adds a supernatural element, as characters theorize that Gamera absorbed mana from humanity to defeat Legion in the previous movie, and that mana can explain more about everything Gamera can do.

Turtle power: Gamera got quite a redesign this time, as he’s covered with spikes now. The plates on his shell can move around now, providing additional shielding when fighting or aerodynamics while flying.

Big baddie: Because the enemy monster is more sympathetic this time, Iris’ early forms are more likable and magical, with big expressive cartoon eyes. When Iris later evolves to her final form, she’s all deadly tentacles and deadly lasers, and puts up a good fight against Gamera.

We also get multiple new Gyaos birds in this one, which the Wiki calls “Hyper Gyaos.” They’re smaller and quicker than the big Gyaos from two movies back. It’s thrilling when Gamera quite literally blows one apart.

Kid stuff: It’s an inversion of the Gamera formula to have the kid/teen character befriend the enemy monster instead of the heroic one. A lot of time is spent making her and Iris sympathetic.  

We also get the return of Asagi, the girl who psychically bonded with Gamera in the previous two movies. She’s in college now, and she’s the one who comes up with the whole thing about supernatural mana powering Gamera.

Hapless humans: The lady scientist and male military guy from the last movie are back, doing more science/military stuff. There are some other government agents also investigating what’s happening, and a weird occultist guy who shows up to make some dramatic speeches. To be honest, these subplots kind of lost me, and I don’t know how important they were to the overall film.

Thoughts on this viewing: Trying to follow the character arcs in the movie’s first half is something of a fool’s errand. The good news is that when the movie works, it really works! The monster battles are truly explosive and ridiculously violent, not shying away from all the collateral damage this would cause. The kaiju are filmed from a man-on-the-street perspective throughout, with the camera always looking up at the creatures and emphasizing just how massive they are. I wanted to do this blog series after watching Revenge of Iris for the first time last year. I loved it that time. The flaws are more evident on this rewatch, but it’s still a super fun time at the movies.

Next: Brave heart.

* * * *

Want more? Check out my new ongoing serial, THE SUBTERKNIGHTS, on Kindle Vella. A man searches for his missing sister in a city full of far-out technology and hidden dark magic. The first three chapters are FREE, so give it a shot! Click here for a list of all my books and serials.

About Mac McEntire

Author of CINE HIGH.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s