Shin Godzilla

Shin Godzilla ★★★★½

What if Aaron Sorkin wrote a Godzilla film? Shin Godzilla is probably the closest we’ll get. Much of the film is focused on how the Japanese bureaucracy, legislature, military, and Prime Minister’s office responds to the threat posed by Godzilla. We see how decisions are made, spending time in various conference rooms, command centers, and windowless offices (including a great sequence where a command center of rag tag lone wolves and outcasts is hastily assembled). We mostly only get brief glimpses on how this affects the average Tokyo resident, but when we do, it isn’t pretty. Writer/director Hideaki Anno is much more concerned with how the government and those in power protect themselves instead of putting the citizens of their country first. The central moral conflict in the film weighs heavy, with the Japanese deciding whether to try a risky plan of their own making, or follow the destructive path the United States, China, and Russia have set them on. As an American viewer, it’s absolutely fascinating to see a nation wrestle with its own status in the world.

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