1/21/17

SHIN GODZILLA - REVIEW


Also known as Godzilla Resurgence, this was Japan's answer to Hollywood's own reboot about the iconic monster released a couple of years ago with Toho coming back to re-introduce Godzilla once again in style.

The film initially shows Godzilla when he first appears in modern day Japan, in a lesser form. Out-of-control and extremely destructive, he of course creates a lot of carnage even before morphing into an evolved and more familiar form. Members of the Japanese government and the military, along with the US are therefore forced to figure out the best way to take him out before he reaches Tokyo. Everything you'd expect from a Godzilla movie is in this one including boring talks between officials, buildings toppling left and right, people being evacuated, planes dropping bombs on the beast. There is definitely more cool stuff to look at in Shin Godzilla than there was in the American Godzilla reboot, which was basically unwilling to show us Godzilla until the very end.

The Godzilla scenes look genuinely spectacular, especially when atomic rays are beaming out of his back, tail and mouth, shooting down planes and drones, literally slicing entire buildings in half. In one scene, Godzilla even sets fire to the entire city in a single breath. Those scenes are, indeed, better divided than in the other film which makes for a more entertaining watch altogether. However, there is still too little Godzilla and far too much of people talking in big rooms, which is a shame because the special effects in the film are so good that you'll constantly be wishing for more destruction. The human characters are frankly forgettable and rather bland with Satomi Ishihara being the most miscast. For all the time we spend with these people, we really learn nothing about them.

When Godzilla is on screen, Shin Godzilla certainly delivers the goods, far more so than the 2014 reboot. It suffers from inexplicable longueurs making the non-action scenes far duller than they needed to be. A bigger sequel with more monsters should easily fix any of those issues.

Good but almost great.

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