REVIEW: SHIN GODZILLA Is The Remake We've Been Waiting For

REVIEW: SHIN GODZILLA Is The Remake We've Been Waiting For

Shin Godzilla will play in select North American theaters from Oct 11-18, courtesy of FUNimation. Thinking of venturing to the cinema to check it out? Read our spoiler free review if you're on the fence.

Review Opinion
By MarkJulian - Oct 10, 2016 10:10 PM EST
Filed Under: Godzilla
It's the first Godzilla film from Japan in over 12 years.  Is it worth the wait or are fans better off waiting for the sequel to 2014's American Godzilla film from Warner Bros.?

Yes and... no. 

In an effort to recapture the serious and political tone of the original 1954 film, co-director Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi perhaps take Shin Godzilla a little TOO seriously.  However, it's satisfying to see Big G return to his villainous roots, destroying hapless towns and civilians with an indiscriminate abandon that would make short work of the giant lizard featured in Garth Edwards' 2014 feature film.  With talks of a potential sequel, it will be interesting to see whether Godzilla makes a "face-turn" to become Japan's protector against another kaiju threat? 

Sadly, despite the fact that Neon Genesis Evangelion's Anno serving as screenwriter and co-director, there wasn't a giant mecha deployed  to take down the King of All Monsters.  It would have served to bring some lightheartedness to an extremely dark feature which not-so subtly points the finger at the United States for the creation of Godzilla.  This harkens back to the original '54 film and the real-life World War II nuclear attack by the US in 1945.  

Where the film excels is in its sheer inventiveness.  Instead of generic destruction porn, Godzilla's rampages through Tokyo like never before - bringing a few new tricks and surprises that will entertain even the most jaded of kaiju fans.  Meeting Godzilla head-on with force only serves to make it even more powerful, as it evolves into more menacing forms - it's like Godzilla is the ultimate Pokemon.   Even sub-par CGI won't keep you from marveling at Godzilla's new repertoire of "finishing moves." Thankfully, the inventiveness doesn't overshadow a prevailing sense of nostalgia present from the film's opening number when a grotesque tadpole version of Godzilla first emerges from the ocean.  

As is often the case with many Godzilla films, an ensemble cast is used instead of driving the narrative through a single lead character.  As such, it's hard to truly care about the well-being of any of Godzilla's victims but perhaps that's intentional?  By the time you reach the film's climax, you're actively rooting for Big G to succeed after watching his sheer determination to let nothing keep him down for long.  For those searching, the many allegories of Japan-US relations, the dangers of nuclear warfare and ecological preservation presnet old school Godzilla films are readily apparent.  And for those just looking to see good ol' fahsioned giant monster mayhem, there's plenty of that on display as well.  





ABOUT SHIN GODZILLA

Make way for the ultimate homage to one of the most enduring legends of the big screen—Godzilla! The King of the Monsters is back in Tokyo for a city-crushing crusade that speaks to the very roots of the world-renowned franchise.

It’s a peaceful day in Japan when a strange fountain of water erupts in the bay, causing panic to spread among government officials. At first, they suspect only volcanic activity, but one young executive dares to wonder if it may be something different… something alive. His worst nightmare comes to life when a massive, gilled monster emerges from the deep and begins tearing through the city, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake. As the government scrambles to save the citizens, a rag-tag team of volunteers cuts through a web of red tape to uncover the monster’s weakness and its mysterious ties to a foreign superpower. But time is not on their side—the greatest catastrophe to ever befall the world is about to evolve right before their very eyes.

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