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Despite the other reviews stating that this movie is basically a comedy, I went into it not really knowing what to expect. I therefore purchased my copy of Monster X Strikes Back - Attack the G8 Summit, with some trepidation. As a long time kaiju fan, there's nothing that puts a smile on my face like some good old-fashioned man-in-suit-stomping-cheesy-miniature-buildings, giant monster action. And when you end up having two or more of those monsters in the same film, duking it out and putting the smackdown on one another - well, that's just the icing on the cake.
That being said, I will also admit that I usually like my giant monster action to have at least some serious overtones, ala Godzilla Raids Again, or Godzilla vs Mothra. I suppose that the aforementioned "comedy" aspect was my greatest fear when I first put this disc into my DVD player. Even my beloved King Kong vs Godzilla, possibly my favorite kaiju film of all time, was not what I would consider an outright comedy, though it does contain many amusing bits. I was almost expecting Monster X to be as groan-worthy and cringe-inducing as such films as Godzilla's Revenge, or Godzilla on Monster Island. Even though I am happy to have them in my DVD collection, I can honestly say that I very seldom watch those titles, for just those very reasons.
Much to my joy and relief, Monster X Strikes Back proved to be a deliriously delightful, modern-day kaiju film. While a great deal of the film is indeed played for laughs (some of which fall pretty flat), the overall look and feel of it brings back wonderful memories of Saturday afternoon matinees, watching giant monsters cavort on the screen, when all the while, we puny humans are trying to concoct any number of outlandish schemes to try and subdue them. Monster X (aka Guilala) himself is about as goofy-looking a kaiju as has ever appeared in any film of this type, having been introduced 40 years earlier in 1968's The X From outer Space. This 2008 homage is not really a sequel to that earlier film, though it does contain a few not-so-obscure references to its predecessor.
With all the good things Monster X Strikes Back has going for it, there are definitely a few aspects of it I would have liked to have seen handled in a bit different way. Such as Guilala's giant adversary near the end of the film, the "legendary" Take-Majin. While impressive in his glittering gold cheesiness, his propensity for rattling off one-liners and snide comments directed at his opponent is something I could have easily done without. The same can be said for a couple of the ridiculously hair-brained schemes devised by the G8 attendees to rid the Earth of Guilala. And why in the world does the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom not have even the slightest trace of a British accent? Watching the trailer, I thought perhaps he was supposed to be the U.S. President. And last but not least, there's is Guilala's little "dance" midway through the movie, which, while amusing, was fortunately kept mercifully short. One thing I did appreciate a lot, is that involvement of cutesy little Japanese kids, while alluded to with a knowing wink, was kept to a minimum. Goodness knows the adult actors involved acted childish enough (in particular, the world "leaders"), without having to resort to adding little kids to the mix!
But these few things aside, I really cannot help but give Monster X Strikes Back a solid four stars. Had I written this review immediately after my first viewing, I may have leaned more toward a three star rating. But a subsequent viewing proved to be even more enjoyable, as I think I may have finally "got it" the second time around. Even if you are a die-hard kaiju fan from years gone by, as long as you are willing to accept the idea of someone have a good bit of fun with the genre, while at the same time, delivering a lovingly warped homage to it, you might just find yourself enjoying Monster X Strikes Back - Attack the G8 Summit, as much as I did.