Blah blah blah, new Japanese Godzilla film.
Blah blah blah, end of opening paragraph.
A mysterious fountain has appeared in Tokyo Bay.
Whilst a bunch of politicians deliberate on what it could be, A tail reveals itself to be the cause. Shortly after this, the creature that belongs to the tail begins making it’s way inland, causing panic along the way.
From there, hijinks occur.
Some parts of the film are cut quite quickly, such as any time when Godzilla appears. Usually this serves in the benefit of the film, as it provides a sense of momentum, although at times it seems a bit unnecessary.
Godzilla, and by extension, other non-practical effects usually look quite good. There are moments where they look believable; there are also moments where they do seem to drop in quality. However, these are fairly brief.
Most of the cuts during Godzilla scenes being quick might be due to it being more obviously CG / motion capture than at other times.
With that being said, the design of this version of Godzilla is going to come down to personal taste. It does look quite monstrous and, in many ways, menacing, but the way that it’s executed might be too obvious.
Then again, if something of that size was around, doing it’s thing, subtlety might not be in abundance.
Something that is handled well is Godzilla’s motivations. They’re not necessarily easy to discern, although there are hints here and there. I can’t remember if there is dialogue that confirms it (or if you can find out somewhere online), but a lot of it can be considered conjecture.
With that being said, there is some things in the film that paint Godzilla as quite probably the most sympathetic character (it is a product of nuclear waste in this iteration), with humans mostly being a close second.
Probably the best thing that this film does is having Godzilla’s presence felt throughout almost the whole film, even when it’s not on screen. Considering the threat that Godzilla presents, this helps to strengthen the idea that it informs most, if not all of the decisions made throughout the film, as well as adding weight and pressure on to the characters.
The dialogue and plot both tend to flow quite well, although there is a slight slow-down in the second half. Some exchanges are a bit cheesier than others, but they don’t detract or lessen the film.
There are also moments that are humorous and they serve the film well as they mostly feel natural not shoe-horned.
Whilst the plot does seem to be about stopping Godzilla, it is probably more about how people would react and take action when it comes to an unexpected event on a grand scale.
It also seems to be a critique, but I’m not sure who it is directed to.
Is it directed at the Japanese Government as a whole, mired in inaction? Is it targeting America? Is it saying something about Japan needing to become wholly independent? Is it arguing that everyone needs to unite and work together to ultimately succeed against a threat that is bigger than them?
Is it trying to display characters who have allowed themselves to become entangled in bureaucratic processes for too long as being sympathetic?
One could argue for some, all, or none of these. It’s an interesting idea, and whilst it’s appreciative that these are fairly blunt, the delivery feels quite clumsy in parts.
Ultimately, no one is portrayed as being evil. There’s enough left open about some characters about what their motivations were, but most seem to be doing what they think is going to lead to the best outcome.
Shin Godzilla is a good film. It does falter in parts, but overall it delivers. It blends the human and Kaiju side of Godzilla films together quite well.
It’s worth seeing.