Shin Godzilla

Shin Godzilla ★★★★½

"Frankly, we haven't determined what agency this falls under" - stooge,

Everyone hates America until it's time to blow up a giant lizard.

This movie has no protagonist and that is kind of weird... but I like it. In Shin Godzilla, an unknown species of monster begins to attack Japan and people push around papers and have meetings to figure out what to do about it. It is a slow but effective film about the difficulties of solving large problems without effective and purposeful communal action.

A movie that demonstrates the inability for advanced bureaucracies to handle large scale crisis.... sounds familiar. This movie is fucking brilliant. I love the idea that if Godzilla really showed up we would all be sitting in boring meetings figuring out how to solve the problem instead of actually doing something. Yet, this film does provide hope in showing the ways that people can work together to fight a force that is greater than any individual. The politics of this film are explicitly Japanese yet the message is universal enough that it can be applied to any culture.

The monster itself looks pretty ridiculous... as it should. It is a cgi mess which in some ways pushes the message of the film even more effectively because it makes the threat seem manageable at the start. As the film progresses it starts to look more real and scary, evolving like an actual disaster would. It's part of the genius of this film.

The action itself and the plot of the story is kind of secondary to the overall point and commentary but it is still highly effective. The film builds and draws you in because of your frustration with the inaction and indecisiveness of the government. When people start to work together it's highly gratifying. There are better looking giant monsters in films but the devastation feels real and works for the film because so much effort is put into making the viewer feel vulnerable to the monster.

Absolute recommend.

P.S. What other Godzilla should I watch? I may be hooked but all I've seen is King of the monsters the one where he fights King Kong.

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