Welcome to Tokusatsu Gesundheit, where this week we’re looking at Japan’s newest Godzilla feature, Shin Godzilla!
A giant, radioactive creature enters Tokyo, causing plenty of damage even before it makes landfall. The Japanese government must come up with a solution to this unprecedented problem, as the situation (and the creature itself) rapidly evolves.
Inspired by the commercial and creative success of Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla flick, Toho decided it was time to wake the proper King of Monsters from his ten year slumber. With director Hideaki Anno (of Neon Genesis Evangelion fame), they produced a brand new feature that got back to the political roots of the franchise – 2016’s Shin Godzilla.
- The film posits a truly novel way of defeating Godzilla – theorizing that his blood helps act a cooling system for his internal reactor, the Japanese government uses a coagulant to slow his blood flow down and force him to either shut down his reactor or go into meltdown.
- Godzilla’s new design is a suitable mix of fresh and recognizable, and the gimmick of its rapid and constant evolution is, while a bit cheesy, a fine way to ground Godzilla’s classically inconsistent power levels in some rules.
This movie represents the first all CGI Japanese Godzilla. While from a technical standpoint, it makes sense that Toho would get with the times, it still feels like something has been lost.
- It is REALLY neat that no sci-fi super science, no magic, no psychic powers, nothing unreal is used to beat Godzilla this time around. They just use mundane cranes, if slightly modified, to inject him with an unholy amount of existing drugs.
Overall, I found the movie to be pretty boring. I genuinely appreciated the points listed in the highlights, but most of the flick played more like an episode of the West Wing where the political crisis-of-the-week happens to be giant monster attack. Being as I’m not well versed in Japanese politics nor have I studied the flaws in the responses to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake/tsunami, most of the political commentary was lost on me.
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