Reviewed By: Paul Cooke Director : Monthon Arayangkoon Starring : Sarah Legge , Sonram Teppinat , Daniel Fraser , Peeya Wantyon & Ken Streutker
‘‘We’re soldiers who kill Gods’’
Movie monster legend King Kong beat your chest with all your might as there’s a new creature on the block and he’s got all the digital dexterity that Thailand’s movie moguls can muster to bring it to life.
Under the city of Bangkok the last thing that the authorities need to worry about is a thriving bootleg industry , as deep within an enclosed cavern is something growing at an even greater rate and when its awoken it’ll knock off more than a few Britney covers. In the mid Seventies an archaeologist named professor Javier uncovers a paleontologists wildest dream as he discovers the remains of a giant bird , long since forgotten from the age of the dinosaurs. Legend has it that one of these mighty ornithological beasts ruled the roost , back in the day when it was dangerous even to be walking out as a Neanderthal without the invention of an umbrella !. These fearsome flying freaks were like feathered cousins several generations removed from the pterodactyl , just as fast and ferocious but with the lethal advantage of intelligence. The Thai people have a name for the mighty creature , one that has been whispered down through the generations , it is called Garuda.
Modern day Bangkok introduce Leena Javier , a beautiful young woman seeking a grant from the collective curators of the cities museum in order to carry on the work of her professor father. She is a half caste and considered an outsider , along with her European male companion named Tim. Together they are soon swept up in events far more pressing than they could ever have expected though , as their expertise is called upon to verify another discovery !.
In the underground railway system beneath the thriving city of Bangkok a protecting wall is blown open , its demise revealing a lost world where within resides a seemingly dormant beast. The scientific crew set up their equipment to study what appears to be a living incarnation of the Garuda , in hibernation for what must have been centuries undisturbed. Time for a team of ‘Aliens’ fatigued super soldiers to set parameters , almost in expectation of the worst. This special unit is clearly a stealth corps that is used to dealing with the unexpected and trained to handle what no one else is equipped for. Their no nonsense leader is Tan , steely cool in a tight situation and a real take charge kind of guy. His style of command immediately rubs Leena up the wrong way as he is only interested in the protection and survival of those around him , and could care less for her interests in preserving a find of mythical proportions. After intruding upon the Garuda’s domain its not long before the sleeping beast awakens from its slumber and the indoctrinate of endangered species becomes a moot one.
The Garuda appears with all the budgetary might that the Thai film industry can muster , from this their very first foray into the digital media. Its appearance is like that of a demonically deformed hatchling from the nightmarish dark side of Ray Harryhausen , uncomfortable in its flightless restrain yet impressively unsullied in its creation. The expansively powerful behemoth surges forth in search of an expanse to stretch its wings , laying waste to those foolish enough to stand in its way. Its deadly talons tear through steel like blades to paper and flesh with bloody outcome. With a high pitched cry that beckons its intent this is one big bird that you wouldn’t want to upset on a date and as far as taking it home to meet the parents , forget it !.
The movie is high on Westernized cliché and glossy inter-cuts of rampaging monster up against charging soldiers , letting rip with a retaliatory barrage of bullets. Fun stuff indeed and all played out in crowd pleasing fashion , unashamed to stake its intent as a non serious slice of pure fiction to great effect. It works on a universal level that will surely have regions the world over snapping the movie up and affording it a huge return on its outlay. With a very attractive lead in Sarah Legge you have a sexy contender for Miss. Jessica Alba’s crown as battling babe to the league of male admirers and in Sonram Teppinat’s hero model Tan , the antithesis of Action hero is perfectly defined.
Don’t be left expecting disappointment with what often has a creature feature running out of steam come the final act , ‘Garuda’ kicks up a mighty notch for the closing run in big time. An unfettered Garuda is a thing of might as ultimately it rises up from its lower ground shackle , unbound to sour the skies of a bewildered Bangkok. Effortlessly it swats fevered helicopters like pesky mosquito’s seeking its blood in the night sky. Surviving super soldiers fire everything they have at it but this mighty winged deity outmaneuvers and outsmarts them with devastating reaction.
It’s up to the combined creative efforts of Tan and Leena to pluck this bird back into obscurity , but with the special effects team serving up a combination of wonderment to behold you wont want the plumage plucked for quite a while. The tower block stomping on display is as rapturous as the fire breathing turmoil brought about by the mighty Godzilla himself. Beauty and the Beast never played out with such revel raising excitement as is on show here , with a surprise side of the building ascension to put the need for a stain remover into Spiderman’s next wash. ‘Garuda’ is gung ho goodness that puts Thailand on the monster movie map and most definitely one you won’t want to give the bird to.
Format : DVD ( Thailand ) Presentation : Wide Screen Approx 1:77:1 Format Sound : DTS / Dolby Digital 5.1 Language : Thai Extras : Making Of Garuda / Trailer / English Language Subtitles
Film: 4.0 BITCH SLAPS Picture: 4.5 BITCH SLAPS Sound: 4.0 BITCH SLAPS Extras: 2.5 BITCH SLAPS Overall: 4.0 BITCH SLAPS
Discuss this film or DVD in our forum.