Eric Neely’s review published on Letterboxd:
Shin Godzilla is the most like the original Gojira of any other Godzilla film. Period. From the title reveal which reveals the film's intentions to the closing credits, Shin Godzilla lives up to its name, taking the ideas and tone behind the original and revamping them for modern day. Like the original, Godzilla isn't confined to an analogous allegory where Godzilla equals [fill in the blank].
Godzilla’s design, while terrifying on its own, is always accompanied by just as terrifying and awe-inspiring music. Of course, we get the Ifikube classics, including my favorite surprise, the “Battle in Outer Space”. But I also think the night-time attack music, specifically Shiro Sagisu’s “Defeat is no option” and “Who will know”, which both feature haunting operatic voices that intensify the harrowing tone of Godzilla’s destruction, match Ifikube's purpose. Include “Persecution of the masses” in there and its my favorite Godzilla soundtrack yet.
This movie has a lot to say, but it doesn't offer easy answers. Yaguchi, our protagonist, doesn’t deserve unanimous praise. He owns his responsibility, but the film acknowledges his privilege as he was the son of another politician just like Patterson - a weak point in the film for me. It’s easy to critique the likes of the Prime Minister, but he’s not left without humanity or without strength. And the overall political system, though reliant on an convoluted internal system that also depends on external approval is juxtaposed with the brute force of the US, which is painted as the country that does whatever it wants whenever it wants. Just because we get the biting critique of the bureaucracy doesn’t necessarily mean its all for naught. The movie doesn’t spare any criticism of the elite - even the biology scientists and professors get taken down and yet its heroes are essentially all elites.
My criticisms are few and mainly deal with the lack of "common man" connections that provided that little bit of emotion to the original. But overall, this is the closest I've come after almost 30 films to reach that feeling.
Part of my Reiwa/Legendary Era Rankings.
Part of my Ongoing Godzilla List Ranked.
Listen to the full review and analysis on the Monsters vs. Men Podcast.