Hello and welcome to a special review. This doesn’t fit my Anime Chop Block reviews due to the content. So without further ado, here is a hopefully short review of Hideaki Anno’s Shin Godzilla.
Frist piece of warning, this movie is a lot more human centric than most Godzilla movies. This movie should be viewed more as a political piece with a monster being responded to than a straight monster movie. That said, the political commentary made is superb. The movie resurrects the anti-nuclear stance of the original Godzilla but instead of the bombs, it was Fukushima as the focal point. The first portion of the movie comments on the bureaucratic roadblock of dealing with the initial disaster by making the initial response to the monster completely ineffectual. The second deals with the logistics of dealing with a future attack/disaster. The third makes a parallel between the workers at Fukushima and the people who defeat Godzilla.
This political focus is accompanied by characters that are both specific avatars of positions in government and individual enough to make them worth following. In particular, the commander of the task force against Godzilla, Yaguchi is a rebellious sort of politician that is both reckless and focused on dealing with the threat. In addition, his interactions with both older political circles in Japan and the American side of it are compelling and have tension. This is achieved through tense close ups of the people and quick cutting between people when they talk to keep the audience in the situation.
The monster is just as good as the human element. While Godzilla isn’t on screen often, he makes a massive impact. His design is very detailed with the skin being very textured and intricate. The classic roar associated with Godzilla is still intact and the lighting of the scales and back are well done. In addition, Godzilla has features and powers that are original to this version of the monster that makes him worth seeing as he’s different from the older iterations.
All and All, if you are not a fan of political satire about Japanese politics, the monster won’t be enough to make you like it. However, if you like both the human and monster side of Godzilla, this will be a fun and tense movie.