Reviewed by Dave Chua
Director: Monthon Arayangkoon
Year Released: 2004
Thailand has been ramping up its film production lately, with successes on both sides of the spectrum; mainstream and artistic. One of the more mainstream attempts is Garuda , a monster movie that plays by the numbers, casting the mythical creature Garuda as a creature best-left-alone, unfortunately its bought back to life by a bunch of curious scientists in near-future Bangkok, where it wreaks (predictable) havoc.
The movie received a lot of flak for depicting the mythical Garuda as a bad guy, AND simply a bad guy. I was expecting something more redemptive about the beast, but throughout the film it's just a beastie with a bad attitude, chomping off heads and killing off as many folks as possible.
There's definitely some cool action scenes, and the Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) is good. The Garuda doesn't look like a man in a bad chicken suit, and moves quite fluidly. There's a pretty cool sequence where Garuda faces off against one of the bad-ass mercenaries sent to hunt it, but otherwise this movie isn't particularly high on originality.
I certainly wish they had done more, and took a chance on having more than just an overgrown monster returned to destroy civilization, particularly with the creature's benevolent roots in Asian history. As it is, it's quite a disappointment and worth just a rental or if you're curious about the special effects.