10/18/2016

SHIN GODZILLA (Review)

Title: Shin Godzilla 
Director: Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi 
Writer:
Hideaki Anno
Cast:
Hiroki Hasegawa, Yutaka Takenouchi, Satomi Ishihara, Ren Ohsugi, Akira Emoto
Year: 2016
Min: 120

An underwater menace in Japan is discovered. At first authorities scoff, at the idea that's a lifeform, but they soon realize that it is. As it reaches land, it grows and mutates into an even larger monster. America gets involved, even sending their beautiful liaison Kayoko (the gorgeous Satomi Ishihara). It gets its American and Japanese name, Godzilla and Gojira (meaning god incarnate), respectively. The Japanese military strikes do nothing to stop Gojira. In fact, it reveal it's powers. The Americans are ready to implement a nuclear attack to kill it. Can the Japanese find an effective way to stop the King of Monsters before they get nuked?
Shin Godzilla (AKA Shin Gojira AKA Godzilla Resurgence) is the 31st (29th as far as Toho goes) Big-G movie and a reboot of the series. Unlike earlier entries, some of which acknowledged the first film, this one acts as if this is the first Godzilla is attacking and appearing. Which is fine by me as continuity is mostly non-existent in this franchise anyways. Japan hasn't given us a Godzilla movie since the awesome Godzilla: Final Wars, and with the US giving their own Godzilla flick in 2014, it seemed long overdue. 
It's a solid film, but one that definitely has it's faults. One of the major problems are the characters. There are a lot of them, but none are really developed save for Kayoko. And, even she is not much more than pretty American/ Japanese ambassador who is dedicated to her position but wants to help Japan. There is a lot of talking and introduction of these characters, and most of it is done via subtitles. These are on top of subtitles telling us where we are and the actual subtitles telling us what they are saying! It's a bit overwhelming, more so when they are on top of Japanese subtitles! This means we have like 3-5 subtitles on screen! Of course, this should not deter you from seeing it dubbed, as Godzilla movies are always dubbed awfully, in the US.
That being said the acting is good, but I just didn't care about anyone. There is a lot of talking by the characters. Now, on one hand this adds a welcome sense of real world feel to the proceedings. But, it really hurts the third act, as the movie just stops to have more talking and exposition. Perhaps some editing was in need, or at least that is how I feel.
The FX are all CGI. Some of it is not that good, especially the first version of Godzilla, which looks rather silly with googly eyes. But, a lot of the CGI is good. Especially the actual full grown Godzilla, which is amazing! Whenever he is onscreen and attacking, the movie is rocks. The destruction scenes are utterly devastating. In fact, he has not been this terrifying in ages. Godzilla is utterly menacing, as the movie has a closer horror movie feel than the series has had in a long time, with some truly chilling shot of him. The final shot in the film is one the best in the entire series. Be warned, thogh, there is not a lot of Godzilla in the movie. This ain't a tease fest like the 2014 US flick, but Big-G sleeps a lot. This is alternated with a lot of the Japanese government talking about what to do about him. But, hey when he is onscreen, it fucking rules.
Shin Godzilla maybe hurt by its flat characters and uneven pace, but it is definitely worth seeing for Godzilla fans. The adding of a real world feel adds to the upped horror factor. And, there are enough surprises in the movie to make up for the lack of other monsters. Let's hope this is the beginning of a new batch of Godzilla flicks from Toho. In the meantime, if you love monster movies, in particular Godzilla movies, you gotta see this one.

     
3 out of 4

1 comments:

PiercingMetal Ken said...

I have to agree with a lot of the stuff you mentioned. Its fun on and off but a whole lot of flatness at the end of the day and oh so much TALKING. I close my eyes and still hear the talking LOL. My own summary and views of the film are on my site too if you should be curious - Rock on Master Gio - http://piercingmetal.com/piercingmetal-sees-shin-godzilla-aka-godzilla-resurgence-amc-empire-25/