Clearly this isn’t a very good movie. The plot is clunky and familiar without bringing anything new. I’m okay with that as the familiar is nice sometimes. What did bug me was the glacial pacing. We get too many useless scenes that don’t move things along. The entire subplot of the kid, played by a very young Emile Hirsch, befriending the small monster has a very Gadzookie feel to it, but not in a fun way. This entire plot is sort of useless except as an explanation why the bigger lizard monsters follow them out into the ocean. This itself leads to an ending that really isn’t an ending. They lead the monsters back into the ocean and away from the island. Okay so what happens next? Do the many dead folks not get avenged at all? Sure, one of the monsters is dead… but damn it!
The various creatures are brought to the screen using some old school tricks including forced perspective and an awesomely bad rubber puppet. Really, I loved the creature appliance they created. It isn’t good but I have a soft spot for such things. But they do screw the pooch with some downright terrible CGI, even by made for television late nineties standards. Just about the time I was liking what they were doing they blew it with some terrible digital effect. That was frustrating.
In the end this is a harmless and not good cash in on an equally disappointing Godzilla movie. It is very cheesy and throws a lot of things at the audience, most of which don’t stick. I won’t hate on this too much because it is what it was supposed to be. Utterly forgettable and an easy way to kill ninety minutes while turning your brain off. While that isn’t a recommendation it is the best thing, I can say about Gargantua.
© Copyright 2021 John Shatzer