Are You Thai? Jingoism Today.
Joshua Koppel | Chicago, IL United States | 08/01/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Garuda is said to be the first Thai movie inspired by the Godzilla films. I can see a little of that, but it comes off more as an Alien film crossed with Lovecraft than Kaiju. The film opens with a narrative that tells of an evil ancient being who was imprisoned by others. Now a train tunnel is being dug and the borer hits solid rock. A young woman is brought in to help although she is not really allowed to do so. The rock is broken and a cavern is found. It is here that the opening creature is held.
The large (15-20 foot) creature is revived and starts attacking the military unit assigned to the project. They seem to specialize in this sort of thing and a flashback shows then fighting a giant snake. The bird creature stalks the people through the cavern and stations. Eventually the creature and survivors make it to the surface where the final showdown must occur before the creature can destroy the city.
This film was hard to understand. One of the main characters is part Thai and part American. She is therefore ostracized as being not Thai. Despite this, she is brought in on the project. But she doesn't do anything. The military blows up the rock and opens the cave. She is held prisoner, attacked, and blamed for the deaths of everyone killed by the creature. So why is she there? I don't know. Her main purpose seems to be so that others can tell her she is not really Thai.
The effects are pretty good CGI and animatronics. But can this really be a kaiju film when the creature is so small? Many would say no. I thing is the woman had not been included in the film that it would have worked better as the action sequences and effects make for a good monster film even if parts of the plot make no sense. One speech berating the woman is mostly about her not being Thai. The soldier then goes on to wonder why the rest of the world can't be more like the Thai as they have learned to respect others. Considering all of the Not-Thai arguments, this is almost laughable. If you want plausible arguments stay away but if you want a good monster, check it out."
Garuda is a Thai Kaiju movie that is worth the viewing...
King Kong Fan | Massachusetts USA | 05/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The story centers around an elite group of Thai soldiers who's job it is to kill the creatures of myth. They are called in when the Garuda is discovered in an underfround cave. If you are familiar with Thai culture you will most likely enjoy this film as it is a rare example of a modern Thai monster movie. If you aren't too keen on monster movies then,of course, this is not for you. I thought it was much better than the Korean film Yongary 2000. Worth a look for it's obscure monster and CGI effects."