Invasion of Astro-Monster ★★★★

This interesting entry in the franchise successfully blends the tokusatsu-style of films like The Mysterians and Gorath with that of the more typical Kaiju-centric movies. The way they mixed these sci-fi sub-genres is really quite a feat and left me impressed with the creativity of the screenwriters, who took the best of both worlds and combined into an absolute blockbuster.

The first half is pretty much a space adventure with aliens and spaceships galore, while the latter brings our favorite monsters into focus and lets them rampage around. Really enjoyable and creative stuff. It could do with a bit more monster mayhem, but what we do get is impressive and raises the special effects bar once again.

Unfortunately at this point previous knowledge of the franchise is required for 100% enjoyment, so I wouldn't recommend this film as an entry point for any newcomers. I'll be damned but the Toho Cinematic Universe is most definitely a thing.