There’s no denying this film was made as a tribute to the old kaiju Japanese films of old, and actually it’s based on an original idea that was later turned into the first Godzilla film. Rather than employing modern CGI the filmmakers have also opted to use the forced perspective of filming something very close at an angle so it seems like huge far away. The result is you almost expect Godzilla, Ultraman or the Power Rangers to show up at some point.
Monster Seafood Wars was directed by Minoru Kawasaki who wrote it with Masakazu Migita. Young master Yuta Tanuma is delivering some offerings to the local temple when he crashes his bike and finds the food stolen. As it turns out, Yuta is a genius scientist that was fired for going over budget. When a giant octopus, squid and crab mysteriously appear in downtown, it’s up to Yuta and the SMAT (Seafood Monster Attack Team) to take them on and save the city of Tokyo.
Okey, we’re dealing with a silly yet endearing premise that brings back the days of the monster rubber suit (kigurumi tokusatsu) and has fun doing it. However, as you’ll soon witness, the monsters do have a positive side to it. When they fight each other and one limb gets cut it ends up feeding the population with delicious savory dishes that everyone instantly loves.
The one downside that is really hard to get use to is the comedic timing. In this film, every comedic moment requires a setup, a pause, a step back and an exaggerated delivery. Perhaps I am too used to the quick modern style timing, but the whole setup felt a little slow and I found myself waiting for every comedic moment. Perhaps it’s a cultural shift that happened at some point, but it felt a little too blatant and very often jokes fell a bit flat.
Recommended with reservations for nostalgia if nothing else. If you can get past the old way of over-acting and slowing down comedic delivery, you might enjoy some of its moments. Definitely a nostalgia vehicle for those of us who grew up with classic kaiju films and TV shows of the day. Casual viewers might want something with a quicker wit and faster delivery. Speaking about delivery, who’s up for some seafood?
That will do for now.