Saturday, January 12, 2019

Shin Godzilla

Shin Godzilla

The twelve years between Godzilla: Final Wars and Shin Godzilla is the longest Japan has gone between Godzilla films since 1954.  The continuity of Godzilla films is complex, with at least six reboots being a direct sequel to the original, much like the Halloween films.  This is the first time the series has been rebooted to the very beginning, to the point that a character googles Godzilla to see what it means.

The keys to any good Godzilla movie are:
  • Monster fights
  • The parts that aren't monsters fighting are spies or aliens, preferably alien spies.
Instead we get endless scenes of men in suits being serious in command centers and maybe fifteen minutes total of monster.  There's a love/hate thing going on with the US military and some kind of commentary about government bureaucracy - themes that are in lots of other disaster or kaiju movies while still being entertaining.  Here it's just people talking fast while looking at laptops.  There's an "American" character, Ms. Patterson, who speaks worse English than the Japanese speaking characters.

The effects were serviceable, with the rubber suits holding up better than the CGI.  Where they really drop the ball is in monster design, something Japan used to be good at.  He (or she, like in the superior Broderick version) looks rigodamndiculous.  He's a warty pile of molten lava with button eyes and a giant snake tail twice as high as his body that shoots lasers.  When he breathes radioactive flame his mouth opens twice the size of his head.

Godzilla is stopped by feeding him blood coagulant from cranes, which turns him into a block of ice, which is what happens when your blood gets too thick.

This is the worst Godzilla movie.  Worse than All Monsters Attack.  Worse than the 1998 American version, which didn't even have Godzilla in it.  On the other hand, it was a big hit in Japan, likely for consciously invoking the memory of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and subsequent nuclear disasters.  That and the the usual strain of nationalist militarism, a bit absurd given that the Civil Defense Forces in Godzilla movies are the Washington Generals of the military.

DVD from Amazon

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