Yonggary (용가리) is a 1999 kaiju film by Shim Hyung-Rae. It is a "re-imagining" of the original 1967 Yongary film, and was heavily inspired by the success of Shusuke Kaneko‘s Gamera trilogy and even Roland Emmerich's 1998 Godzilla movie. The movie is notorious for having an "upgraded" version that is the only version released on home media.
Before humans existed, a deadly beam emitted from an alien ship wiped out all the dinosaurs. Millions of years later, a "massive radiation spike" collides with two N.A.S.A. satilites and a shuttle. After the collision, American archaeologist Dr. David "Dave" Campbell (Richard B. Livingston) is called over to the northern Ural Mountains by the U.S. and Russian Militaries, who decide to collaborate with Dr. Campbell to find out the mystery behind a few recent deaths. Campbell and the U.S. Military find giant footprints belonging to a creature yet to be discovered, Campbell deduces the U.S. Military's theories that the creature is an alien, but rather, a living dinosaur. Later on, the creature makes its way to Los Angeles, where it goes on a rampage.
During the rampage, Holly Davis (Donna Philipson), Dr. Campbell's ex-girlfriend sees him on the news at a bar, which the creature walks by. After the creature disappears, Dr. Campbell and the U.S. Military arrive and evacuate the city.
The creature appears again, with the .U.S. Military on standby. At first, it seems calm and collected, but then they open fire too soon, causing it to escape to the mountainside, where helicopters engage battle with it, only to be defeated. Dr. Campbell then meets Holly and together, they analyse the creature's blood left over from its battle with the jets and discover that it's pregnant and a female. Holly then steals Dr. Campbell's disc in her own report, only for her boss and superior, Dudly Ryan (D.J. Robins) to get a hold of it for his own, he dubs the creature to "Yonggary", after a Korean legend about a dragon that caused earthquakes and was rumored to have attacked Seoul 32 years ago. Dr. Campbell is then removed from the operation because of Holly's actions.
At a bar, he meets Dr. Wendell Hughes (Harrison Young), an old man he met before coming to Los Angeles, who tells him he was sent by the C.I.A. to help investigate Yonggary's attacks, he also tells him he wants to find Yonggary's nest too. Campbell is reluctant at first, but then comes around when Hughes shows him the team he assembled and they head off into the city, with Holly, worried about Campbell's safety, followed by her friend, cameraman Bud Black (Brad Sergi).
Yonggary then comes out to have her second encounter with the U.S. Military, but they again fail to hit as she heads off , where jets chase her, until she dives into the Los Angeles River and submarines attack and kill her, allowing the authorities to celebrate. Meanwhile, Campbell and the others find Yonggary's nest in the Staples Center as soon as the babies attack, killing off Hughes' fellow C.I.A. investigators, disguised as U.S. Military soldiers.
While taking refuge in the kitchen, Campbell and Hughes bump into Holly and Bud and in a scene reminiscent of the first Jurassic Park, the four flee the Yonggary's children and head to the control room to boot the power back up and call for help.
Meanwhile back at the U.S. Military headquarters, General Murdock (Dan Cashman) then receives word from the President that he will deploy a bomber to nuke the nest, but Campbell and his team opt to have a jets destroy the nest. After the Staples Center is blown up, Campbell and Holly rekindle and kiss, just as Yonggary rises out of the ruins of the building to mourn her dead children, thus she gives chase.
The U.S. Military (and Los Angeles Police Department) then realize Yonggary is back upon seeing her chasing Campbell and his team in a taxi cab, Captain Parker (Brant Welles) then tells General Murdock to turn the jets around to attack Yonggary, who is lured to the Los Angeles River to be attacked by the jets.
After being shot/burned to death by the jets, Yonggary collapses on the land and dies of her wounds. General Murdock then successfully calls off the bomber as the city reopens. The next morning, Yonggary's corpse is airlifted away from Los Angeles to a hangar to be studied by scientists.
Why It Sucks
- Poor acting, especially from Richard B. Livingston and Donna Philipson.
- Unoriginal and uninspired story complete with pointless subplots, one of which involves a stereotypical elderly bureaucrat.
- Extremely terrible CGI and green-screen effects that look like something out of a late 1980s-early 1990s PC game.
- The action scenes are too repetitive and one of them steals a shot from a certain film from the previous year.
- The character of Captain Parker is meant to be the comic relief, but fails miserably.
- Yonggary is supposed to be related to the creature from the original, despite the two looking nothing alike and being of different origins.
- There are too many close-up shots of Yonggary's face.
- Yonggary dosen't cause much damage when compared to the U.S. Military, just like that other movie.
- It's a whole lot better than Gamera Super Monster or Godzilla's Revenge.
- Harrison Young provides the best performance in the movie.
- A few scenes pay a good tribute to the 1967 original.
- Recycles ideas from the unmade 1983 American Godzilla movie conceived by Steve Miner.
- Yonggary's death is actually emotional.
- Yonggary waking up as she is being airlifted off is a good sequel hook.
- Amazing soundtrack.