Shin Godzilla

Shin Godzilla ★★★

Rented Shin Godzilla (aka Godzilla Resurgence), Japan’s latest reboot of the giant monster, released in 2016. In this flick, Godzilla / Gojira is back to being the destructive force of nature. No saving the earth, just stomping on Tokyo and Japan (and the international community) trying to figure out how to respond. It’s set in modern Japan and includes smart phone footage, social media, and fairly believable international responses.

90% of this movie is about board room/cabinet meetings and people arguing and debating about how to handle the situation. A lot of the old Godzilla movies also had more arguing politicians and scientists than they did man-in-suits stomping models of Japan. This one is that too but it also seems to be a parody of government bureaucracy and red tape… possibly a response to the Japanese government’s response to the tsunami from last decade. Maybe.

Because when Godzilla first come ashore, the visuals of him pushing boats and debris inland on a wave of water is clearly a reference to the tsunami videos.

This Godzilla is a real monster and when he lets loose on the city, it’s legitimately horrifyingly awesome in the level of destruction. Godzilla’s atomic breath has never been this destructive… plus he has a few extra tricks he’s never (as far as I know) had before.

The streaming version I rented is in Japanese with subtitles. But not just subtitles – every person is introduced with English text at the top of the page. Every location as well. Every aircraft, tank, or missile too. This can be distracting since the dialog subtitles at the bottom of the screen need to be read at the same time. But, ultimately, there’s only three of four memorable characters in the flick and you can pretty much just focus on the dialog text and ignore the details.

So, yeah, if you’re a Godzilla completionist or are just interested in seeing what a modern Godzilla flick would look like, this is a worthy rental. If you want more Godzilla in your Godzilla movie (psst. it has less than even the last American film) and don’t think you can handle the gargantuan amount of subtitled dialog, stay away.

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