Immediately from the fading Toho logo the action begins. We are introduced directly to a disturbance in the water, a small ripple of what is to come. Quick to short introductions, quick reactions to an abrupt danger, Shin Godzilla has us humans franticly clamoring about when this disturbance in the water causes some industrial damage. Not knowing what to make of it, political officials struggle throwing solutions around trying to control and remedy the situation before it worsens. That is until a creature manifests with ungodly destruction. It is then our politicians must decide the fate of the monster and of Tokyo, nonetheless, any vulnerable city ripe for ruin. And if they don’t decide quick, another foreign power house will and the results will be catastrophic.
Shin Godzilla let’s off heat early on, opening the majority of the movie for us to watch and listen to important figures make important decisions. How exactly would scientists and government officials react to handle a situation involving innocent lives that demand a response? Each individual represents a respective department but not so much a character, so they reflect a whole department serving as their character trait. Like how the chain of command is used or a Biologist worrying about his image before making an accusation or an interpreter speaking on the behalf of the President.
Godzilla is horrific and monstrous. Retaining his iconic screech, the new look offers new terror as he sluggishly stampedes through Tokyo. It is epic and devastating to see Godzilla leave destruction around his massive presence. There is something more costly to his devastation this time than other previous iterations. His effect on the city below his feet has more weight and severe consequences. This is reinforced by the awareness of costs of damage and images of innocent people scrambling about. The military goes to great lengths to rid the behemoth. But Godzilla is an intimidating, indestructible force. In contrast, it shows how humans can be monsters as well. To nature itself and to each other. From dumping waste in the ocean to dropping bombs on cities’ foreheads. Almost as if Godzilla is the waking life form for nature to retaliate.
To continue, Godzilla is a natural disaster in physical form. Japan suffered a massive earthquake in 2011 that also cause radiation leakage. In the midst of chaos, people needed to evacuate. Shin Godzilla focused on those who were in charge of regulating the population on information and what is required to do for safety without causing additional harm. But you can’t control chaos. Nor nature. It is then officials realize let go of the textbook, the regulations, protocols, and barriers and let the populace decide what is best to do to survive in a natural disaster.
It is unfortunate we will not be getting a sequel to Shin Godzilla. Thanks to a contract signed for Godzilla being part the MonsterVerse in America and not being allowed to work on any new material for that time period. With this movie being a reboot not sure how Toho will continue their Godzilla legacy especially after the mild cliffhanger at the end. Too bad, I would like to have seen it.
Overall, Shin Godzilla can be a bit overwhelming due to the fast paced story which requires you to read subtitles quickly. It’s better not worrying about who is who first time round as it would just aggravate the viewing experience. I think the movie could have been slimmed down a bit from it’s two hour run time. It seemed they were focusing on the government’s procedures in a moment of chaos to an immediate problem and makes Shin Godzilla a bit of satire. As intriguing as it was, I could have used less of it.
Still, Shin Godzilla remains a stand out in the long running kaiju series.