Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Ultraman: Rising

Combining elements of a reluctant hero, evil government agencies, the struggles of early parenthood, estranged father-son relationships, selfish characters learning to care about others, and Kaiju leaving mass destruction in their wake comes Ultraman: Rising inspired by the Japanese series and its various spin-offs. Our main character is prima dona Ken Sato (Christopher Sean) who returns to play for the local baseball team and to take over his father's secret role as Japan's protector Ultraman.

The movie doesn't get into how Ultraman works, or why Ken is the only suitable (and reluctant) replacement, but on one of his early adventures he finds himself forced to take care of a newly-hatched Kaiju newborn who imprints on Ultraman as its parent. Figuring out how to parent the creature he names Ami, Ken must protect it from the KDF and their obsessed leader Dr. Onda (Keone Young) who wish to use it to wipe out all of its kind from the globe believing no good can come from any such creature.

Highlighted by some stylish animation, Ultraman: Rising hits the basic beats you would expect from its premise with Ken learning a little something about the challenges of being both a hero and a father and in turn reconsidering his estranged relationship to his own father (who he blames for choosing the role of Ultraman over father). Basically a giant toddler unaware of its own power, it's almost impossible to keep Ami away from trouble (including racing through the city after seeing Ken's commercial playing on a blimp overhead) eventually leading to another confrontation with the KDF where the various themes of the story will all come together.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Ultraman: Rising
  • IMDb: link

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