Director: Minoru Kawasaki
Writer: Minoru Kawasaki, Takao Nakano
Cast: Kota Ibushi, Saki Akai, Shûsuke Saitô, Ryû Manatsu, Bin Furuya, Shinzô Hotta, Miki Kawanishi, Eiichi Kikuchi, Minoru Suzuki
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 24.9.2016
There’s a monster closing in on Japan and nobody knows what to do about it or how to confront it. Nobody, that is, but Totaro Saigo (Ryû Manatsu), whose research was disgraced many years ago. But with the help of his daughter Miwa (Miki Kawanishi) and research assistant Hideo Nitto (Shûsuke Saitô) he kept working – and now it’s his moment to shine. He injects Hideo with Cell-X, a special serum that not only makes him the size of the monster, but also gives him superstrength and the body to match. Because sometimes the best way to take down a monster is in hand-to-hand combat.
Kaiju Mono is, unfortunately, too little idea for too much film. As a short, it would have worked perfectly. As a feature-length film it started to drag and was bolstered with misogyny.
I haven’t seen many kaiju films and of those I have seen, I’m not a big fan. It’s simply not my cup of tea. So you should bear in my mind, that I’m not in the target audience of this film that is obviously built on nostalgia for the kaiju films of many a moon ago. And wrestling.
Be that as it may, I saw it and it simply did not convince me. While I loved the funny, colorful, cute monster design, and while I could laugh about some of the jokes here and there, there was nothing else that made me like the film.
In fact, the misogyny and sexism in it made me hate it. For one, there is the fact that – much like in Ant-Man – it isn’t even considered that Miwa could be cell-X-ed because she’s a woman, I guess. There are throw-away lines about pregnant people being irrational and crazed by their hormones and couldn’t possibly be trusted with anything. And the fact that it’s one big joke that Totaro likes to cosplay as female characters. Can you imagine! A man! In WOMEN’S clothing!
Much as I would have liked to, I simply could not get into the film like that, cute monster or no cute monster, wrestling or no wrestling.